After my book got published, I decided to revamp and re-energise my old “GunnaGirls” blog with follow up pieces linking to the book and the theme of “parenting while white”. I will try and commit to uploading new content every two weeks (at least), which is daunting but also exciting.
I started the old GunnaGirls blog almost 10 years ago, when my journey as a white adoptive mother to children who are black had only just begun. Reading through my old posts (and deleting most of them as they have been used in the book and/or were utterly embarrassing) I realise how far I have come – but also how what I think I know to be true today may no longer be tomorrow’s “ truth”.
I have been, where a lot of White Adoptive Parent start out when they first adopt a child of color : I truly believed colour-blindness to be a virtue and I got defensive when my ability to parent children who are black was questioned. I was the mother who hoped love would be enough, but had a niggling doubt that it might not be. It took me a long time to acknowledge this doubt instead of brushing over it with defensiveness and false self-confidence whenever somebody challenged my WAP fragility (it’s a thing). I felt personally attacked by adult TRA telling their complex and difficult stories. I even wrote uninvited emails to some, defending MY way of parenting as different from what they had experienced (as if they even knew or wanted to know about me, the fragile white mother who felt she had to prove them “wrong”).
The turning point for me came when I really listened to transracial adoptees (TRA) and connected with People of Colour, when I read the “difficult” books (Primal Wound, Inside Transracial Adoption) and maybe most importantly when I listened to my children as they became older and articulated their own feelings and opinions. In my book I talk about this journey from blissful ignorance to painful awakening and how I had to re-orientate myself in a new reality, where my shortcomings, my limitations and my blind-spots were looming large but how they also motivated me to step out of my comfort bubble and do better.
Here I am sharing some of the difficult, heart-breaking, wonderful, hilarious, crazy moments of my journey in the hope that those of you who are just starting out, are thinking about or are otherwise connected to adoption will get a sense of not-being-alone and maybe even some helpful insights .
In time I will also upload useful articles and reading material that I found helpful.
Also, please share your thoughts, feelings, doubts and questions in the comment section or via email.