Thursday, May 13, 2010

Transracial what?

*I've been sitting on this topic a while and it's taken me some time to get it all out. I know it's one of those rare serious moments on the blog, but it's important to me and it needed to be said*

As you all know, one of my Hollywood favorites, Sandra Bullock, recently adopted a New Orleans born son and became a single mother. And if you didn't know that, what rock have you been living under?

Anyways, when the story broke the biggest headline was not at Sandra was a newly single mother, it was that she adopted a black child. There were discussions going back and forth and posts like this on CNN and other media outlets discussing the issues (good and bad) with transracial adoptions like hers and other celebrities and every day couples and what that comes across as in society. And all I could help thinking while reading all of this was: Does it really matter?

I mean really people. I read some blog posts (that I will not link to) that made me so angry because they blasted people like Sandra for playing the "savior to lost black babies" and saying "black babies should be raised by black families." I also read posts saying that Sandra did the whole thing for publicity and how dare she since her husband (soon to be ex) took pictures with nazi paraphernalia and is clearly racist. Um. What?

Now I don't know Sandra or anything (but I want to, hi Sandy!) but I would say it's safe to assume that her child isn't some stunt to regain popularity. I would also say that since they filed four years ago asking for ANY child that they were happy to receive little Louis when they did.

Nonetheless, I'm glad this issue was brought up. I'm glad for two reasons. One. I'm biracial. I don't fall under the black category and I don't fall under the white one either. I love both halves of me and I embrace them both as much as I can. Two. My fiance is adopted and one day we might want to adopt as well. So would it be socially unacceptable if we adopted a black child? Or a white child? Because we're not a "black family" or a "white family"?

These sorts of things were never addressed in any argument or discussion I read. Biracial is never addressed, we sort of fly under the radar. And to that I say (excuse my language): What the fuck? (actually I say that's a whole other subject for a whole other post, but still)

I just wish people would stop lumping everyone and every race together and making these ludicrous statements of "black families this" and "white families that" and realize that it's not so clear cut any more, that there are many ways to embrace a family's heritage and history and that children can be raised in any family as long as they are cared for and loved.

And that's my two cents.

happy thursday!


Chrissy said...

Well, my kids are biracial as well.. 1/2 korean-american,( and I stress the American more than korean), 1/2 Irish, 1/2 Swede...
girl, I would never believe what I read in those rags... come on lol... and yes, race will forever be a topic... it will never go away... heck Prop 8 was defeated... Inter racial families will never understand it because we don't have that color issue which is still prevalent in MIDDLE AMERICA...
"2 steps back once again".
Stems from upbringing, fear, uneducated .....

Veronica said...

So I have more than just 2 cents to throw in... in fact I think I'll throw in a whole dollar.

I'm adopted, and my ethnicity is Mexican and Navajo Indian. My adopted father is white, and my adopted mother is Filipino.

When we moved to Alabama YEARS AGO (like back in the early 90's) my family got a lot of racism. Nobody even assumed that I was adopted (it's uncanny how much I look like my adopted mom), but they did assume I came from a mixed couple.

Things like that just absolutely outrage me. Racism is one of my button pushers because it makes no sense.

Granted I don't want to have children, but if I did I'd rather adopt... and I would be happy to adopt a child of any race. I'd love that child no matter what. Race is irrelevant to character.

Lacey Bean said...

THANK YOU! I hate when everyone (aka the media) tries to lump people into one category! Meanwhile, no one would have batted an eye if the kid she adopted was let's say Asian... or Indian! Only cause he is black is it an issue, cause some morons still can't see past the color of someone's skin!!! Ughhh stupid!!!

It's not nearly the same, but I also get annoyed when people ask how Dave and I are going to raise our children, since I'm Jewish and he's (technically) Christian. Ummm both? And when they're older, if they want to pick a certain religion to adopt as their own, that's fine. (Just not scientology haha).

But people make a bigger deal out of things that they need to! For what reason!!

I love that Sandra adopted him. One, cause I know she wanted to be a mother for awhile, and two, cause he's from New Orleans, which I think is awesome! People forget due to Angelina and Madonna that there are kids here in the US too that need homes. Yay for Sandra!!

And wow, this was long!!! :)

Mandy said...

Great post Katelin. I don't understand why its such a big issue either. He is a baby who needs a home, she can provide that. All children need a family and love, at the end of the day thats all that matters.

Jane said...

I love this post. I live in Texas, and even I don't know anyone who doesn't have a cousin/sister/brother/uncle/etc of mixed or different race. Times are changing. It's hard for me to imagine that anyone could look at that picture of Sandra and Louis and think anything other than, "WOW, that is one LOVED, WANTED (gorgeous, chompable) baby."

Love you, Katelin. xoxoxo If you ever come to Austin, we can go to Sandra Bulluck's restaurant. :)

Belle Renee said...

::slow clap::

I love you for writing this. I truly believe there's nothing more beautiful than a family full of different colors.

LiLu said...

Oh, lord.

I look forward to the day when we've finally all mixed so much, "race" will disappear.

Not that I'll SEE it, but, well, you know. ;-)

MH said...

Amen to that.

Being Brazilian, I think this whole race discussion is ridiculous. Very few people here can claim one "race"or a single "color". We're all a mix of bits of everything, from Europeans to Natives to Africans. The only thing I am not (as far as I know!) is Asian, but so what if I chose to adopt and Asian baby one day? Argh. Why, indeed, should this be an issue?

congrats on your post. I'm happy to read you when your texts are fun, funny or silly, and just as happy when they're serious and important like this one!

Amanda said...

Thank you for writing this - I wholeheartedly agree!

chronic procrastination said...


I'm turning sixteen soon, and adoption is a big part of my life. I'm not adopted, but I plan to adopt all of my children. From underpriveliged countries. I'm not trying to become the next Angelina Jolie, honestly, I just think it's such a beautiful thing to bring in other cultures under one roof. And my family is from India!
I didn't think it mattered where your kids come from, as long as you love them and raise them well.

And I'm sixteen.

casey said...

i'm biracial, too.

and i think 1/2 and 1/2 bebes of any two races, are always the cutest.

my husband and i met with a genetic counselor to discuss hereditary diseases and she mentioned in passing that when people of mixed races "breed" (for lack of a better term, her words, not mine) it is a GREAT thing because it makes diseases that are specific to one race become obsolete. interesting, right?

it'd be really nice if people spent zero time debating this crap and instead spent allll their time thanking god that people opened their hearts&homes to orphans. it is the plight of the child that should be most important.

Jess said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post, Katelin. It drives me crazy when people see the need to emphasize a gay couple, a multi-racial family, or just anything that people don't consider the "norm."

It IS the norm. People may not be ready to accept it, but every day, we get closer and closer to more and more tolerance.

Variety is the spice of life, right? So why aren't we embracing more of it? Bravo to you for standing up and writing thisl.

Mrs Soup said...

I hate the whole race thing. It's ridiculous. It shouldn't matter at all! *sigh* It's all so sad and pointless.

samdotcom said...

You are beautiful, and this post is beautiful as well.
I just had dinner with a happy couple and their 4 year old daughter. The mother is white, the father black, and the daughter mixed. The mom talked about how rude people have been to her, when it is just her and her daughter out and about. She said she gets asked more questions about being the 4 year old's nanny, than she gets people assuming she is her mother. I don't exactly know where I'm going with this, but I love your post, and I think it is absolutely absurd that someone would judge a family based on the colour of each member's skin. <3

weezermonkey said...

Only one thing is necessary for a successful family -- love. I wish everybody could understand that.

michelle woo said...

I think it's crazy that people would call it a publicity stunt. I would be beyond offended if I were Sandra. Ugh.

Nora said...

The media makes me crazy.
I don't see how adopting a baby you've always wanted is a publicity stunt. Makes no sense. color doesn't matter, it shouldn't matter, whether it's your friend, fiance, husband, aunt, uncle, baby, or whatever. I don't get it.

There are times where I think I may have to adopt a baby and I honestly don't care what country or nationality the baby will be.

Times like this where I feel like we've come so far and yet... not.

Anonymous said...

My sister married a black man and therefore, my niece is bi-racial. Growing up, I lived in an area where "whites" were the minority. I had many friends of many different races and that helped me to grow up without seeing color as blatantly as others did. And I'll never forget the first time someone said something disparaging about my niece, who was about 3 years old at the time. It's hateful. The media has a hard time wanting to blaze the trail on not seeing color. They figure, everyone else will point it out, so we might as well be the first. It's disgusting.

Ali said...

Amen, SISTER!!!

amanda said...

black, white, asian, indian, purple, green, doesn't matter. the little baby needed a home and sandra is giving him one. it's all so ridiculous.

it doesn't matter what color skin we have. i can't wait for the day when everyone as a whole sees it that way. except, sadly, i'm not sure it will ever come to that. because there will forever be closed-minded people living among us.

power to you, katelin! i think you and matt should have lots of babies...mixed little spuds have the BEST skin. i'm always so envious. yours for instance, so pretty! you have a natural tan all year long. i crave for that!

ps, where was all the speculation when angelina adopted all of her little ones???

lbluca77 said...

Love this post.

I agree though, why people are acting as though Sandra had anything other than the intention to provide any child with a good home is beyond me. She's America's sweetheart!

Rahul said...

This is a great post.

No one cares that Cam and Mitchell adopted a Thai baby on Modern Family. I feel like it's only because they're funny.

Hillary said...

Katelin, this is a beautiful post. Well said, lady.

Kelly and Sara said...

Great post. So true! To me people are who they are because of their actions and how they treat people-that is all that should matter to people :) Hope you have a great weekend !!!

floreta said...

why is this even an issue? it makes me mad that people accuse her of it being a publicity stunt. whether it is or not, who's to judge? this is just proof of people and their insecurities when it comes to biracial families. and that people are still racist and very much NOT color blind. i would think that celebs such as sandra bullock are more open-minded about these things because actors in general (and other creative types) are more liberal and open-minded/progressive than the average person. more power to her!

thatShortChick said...

I completely agree. thankfully, I grew up having (and still do have) friends who are, individually, of various backgrounds/races. My dad always used to say me and my friends were like a walking ad for the united colors of benetton and it's true.

we are all of gorgeous colors and shades and we just love each other for one's self and not racial background.

as cheesy as it sounds, LOVE IS LOVE. no matter what it looks like.

San said...

Wow. Just wow.

I totally agree with you. I think it's absolutely ridiculous what the media and some people make of Sandra's adoption.

Also, I think it's wonderful that white people adopt black babies and black families adopt white babies! It should help to work against prejudices that still exist.

If you want to read more on this topic: is a white mother who adopted a black baby and she writes pretty well about the whole endeavor (plus other interesting stuff). Just thought you might want to take a look!

Rachel said...

Great pos, Katelin! I agree with you!

I'd like to think that our generation has the power to change this. I hope our generation is placing less emphasis on things like race and sexuality. It shouldn't matter your race, gender, religion, sexuality. People shouldn't be judged or commented on in these ways.

I was thinkng about writing a similar post about gays in the military & gay marriage. It's like, wait a second, WHAT is the BIG DEAL if they are gay?? Like, for real.

So amen girl!! :)

Andhari said...

Well said, Katelin. I wonder why those narrow minded thinking still exists! I saw that adopted stories and all I thought about, "Oh yay, now she can focus to raise a baby" instead of,"oh yay now she can focus to raise BLACK baby"..I mean seriously? What's wrong with people?

The Modern Gal said...

I think (and hope) that this is less and less of an issue with every passing generation. I'm like you, and I think "so what?" but that doesn't seem to come so naturally to the generations before us. Still, I wish there was a way to speed the transformation up.

If I ever do have a kid, I likely will adopt, and I don't care where the baby is from, I will love him or her completely!