When I adopted my Black sons, I thought that raising them would be just like raising white children. After all, all children need the same basic things – food, shelter, clothing, love. I was aware of racism in the most blatant forms, though I thought it was rare. I didn’t know about systemic racism or bias.
I was fortunate to come across a group of people who were direct and honest about racism and the experience of growing up Black and non-Black POC in a white family and the very real experiences of racism in the world.
That was about 5 years ago.
As I began to learn more about racism and the systems of oppression, it was like I was discovering a whole other world that I had previously not known existed. I had been able to live in my white bubble, unaware of the experiences of POC all around me.
As I learn, I often have to deal with my feelings of fragility. It is easy to become defensive when I learn about more ways in which I am being racist. It takes intention and a lot of listening to grow from that rather than to tune it out and keep going as I am.
Becoming the mother of Black children has stretched me in ways that I never expected. I hope that I never stop learning.
Jenn Lynn is a white adoptive