Feeling at Home

I remember sitting at our dining room table with my husband reading through the packet of paperwork and answering questions that only adoptive parents have to answer. Questions about birth parent medical history, mental health, drug use, smoking history, the list went on. Then more questions about the child we would adopt; age, race, sex, medical complications, handicaps, and that list went on. We were realistic with our answers and honest with ourselves.

The best advice that we had been given regarding answering those questions , maybe even the very best advice through our entire adoption process was from an adoption social worker at the very first seminar we attended. She told everyone there not to feel like you have to say “yes” to everything. Consider thoughtfully what you feel is right for your family, because another family may feel called to adopt very differently than you do.

This advice took the pressure off for us and it’s advice I like to pass on to other couples who are considering adoption.

Just like in life, in adoption there are some decisions that are difficult, and others that are easy. For our family choosing transracial adoption was one of the easy ones, because it felt like home.

I grew up in a mixed race family, my dad is black and my mom is white. Diversity is my comfort zone.   When I told my husband that I wanted to adopt a black or biracial baby, it was because that’s what I wanted for our family. It just felt normal. He agreed easily, something I’ve always been thankful for.

We’re fortunate to have families who were so supportive of our plan to adopt. I’ve never forgotten the priceless and wonderfully excited response of my mother in law when I told her we were planning on a transracial adoption.

I’m also grateful that my daughter will have a connection to her cultural heritage through both her birth mother and her adoptive mother. Being closer to my family is one of the reasons we decided to move from the Detroit Metro area. We were also intentional about choosing a diverse neighborhood, and church when we moved. That decision was just as much for us as for her, we’ve made it a priority to seek out diversity, but it’s also what feels most natural to us.


Annie Feeling at home 2 of 2



It doesn’t take a PhD to see that Norah is not our biological daughter. I knew going in that we’d probably get comments from strangers, friends, family, possibly not even the nicest of comments, most likely unintentional.

In two and a half years, I’ve found that most people, if they say anything at all, are just curious. Norah is still too young to understand, so I’ve never worried at this point that anyone pointing it out has had an impact on her. I’m not surprised when I turn my head and see someone smiling at her, or waving, or pointing even. She’s beautiful, and has an incredible smile! If she was someone else’s baby I’d be doing the same thing!


Annie Feeling at home 1 of 2



I have insecurities, just like any mom does, I expect. Hair care for example is a struggle, but I think I’m harder on myself than I perceive others to be.  I’ve yet to have a black woman scold me in the middle of Target, even though I’ve had this dream quite frequently!

Occasionally I get anxious and find myself thinking about those harder conversations coming in the future when she is in grade school and the curious glances do have an impact. I trust though that in time I’ll have the right words to say to comfort her and give her confidence. To let her know that she is exactly the girl that we hoped for, the perfect match that God intended for our family, and that I love her from the tips of her tiny ringlet curls to bottoms of her dancing toes.


About me: I am a full time working mom of one. My husband and I have been enjoying this crazy ride together for 11 years! We recently relocated from the Metro Detroit area to Grand Rapids to be closer to family. Our family’s favorite activities include singing at the dinner table, dancing in the living room, and taking walks to the neighborhood playgrounds.



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