‘We lost a little girl halfway through our pregnancy and we weren’t able to get pregnant again. So, that led us to adoption. We were asked if we had a preference on race or gender and we told them we just wanted a healthy child. So, Madison’s birth mother chose us to adopt her. We got the call on a Wednesday night and we were told, ‘Can you be here on Friday morning? If you want her, she’s yours.’ It was so surreal. We held our breath until the the papers were signed and the judge said it was final.

At first, when we realized we were adopting a black girl, my biggest worry was, ‘how am I going to do her hair?’ That should have been the least of my concerns. She has ADHD and she’s very mischievous and she gets into everything, but we love it. We wouldn’t have her any other way. God gave the world color for a reason. We want to make sure Madison never loses her identity. We want her to be proud of who she is and of her heritage.

We are a tight-knit group of trans-racial adoptive families. We all get together often and we have an open adoption so Madison’s birth mother can see her any time she wants. Having given birth to my own children, I can’t imagine the bravery of birth mothers and I have so much respect for them. Their courage is incredible. We want to help keep that connection to Madison’s birth mother because it’s so important that she never loses who she is. We’ve even started doing her birth family’s genealogy and we had her DNA tested. She’s from the Congo and she’s Irish and Scottish.

We have to remember that supporting families who choose to adopt trans-racially need the understanding of the community. We used to say ‘all lives matter,’ and, through our experience with Madison, we’ve learned the truth of ‘black lives matter.’ There are prejudices..we all have them. We all need acceptance and understanding. I’ve always wanted to be a mother and when I hold any of my children and feel their little heartbeats, I love them all the same. Even if I was never pregnant with Madison myself, she’s just as much ours as my birth children are. She completes our family in a way that no one else ever could have.’

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