“Alex Landau, who is African-American, was adopted by a white couple as a child and grew up in largely white, middle-class suburbs of Denver…
“I thought that love would conquer all and skin color really didn’t matter,” Hathaway says. “I had to learn the really hard way when they almost killed you.”
That was in 2009, when Landau, then a college student, was stopped by Denver police officers and severely beaten.”
“So, what does white privilege have to do with adoption, specifically transracial adoption? Matt and I stepped into the adoption world extremely quickly. In fact, it was more like a dive. I didn’t have time nor did I realize how much I still needed to educate myself. Basically, I did everything backwards from how I wish I did it. So for my friends that are looking and in the process to adopt, here are some things I wish I would have known about transracial adoptions.”
“I took the kids to the park the other day, and I was seated just close enough to the play structure that I could faintly overhear a conversation that occurred between Kembe and several older kids. At first, I had a hard time understanding what was being said, but something about Kembe’s posture caught my attention. Typically, he’s a relatively cocky over-confident kid with a lot of swagger, even around older kids. But in this setting he looked . . . almost cornered. He seemed intimidated and a bit helpless. As I strained to hear, I though I heard one of the kids saying, “That is NOT your real mom.” “
“Some things are easy to identify with being adopted, things like being little and hiding away crying because I wasn’t kept, and that there had to be something terribly wrong with me that others could see, but I couldn’t. Those type of feelings that are specific to being adopted are what people not adopted seem able to accept…
What people can’t seem to grasp are the more subtle connections to being adopted that they dance around, try to explain away, can’t accept it could possibly have a basis in that event that happened when we were mere babies.
But it does, perhaps only in part, but nevertheless, it is related to being adopted.”
“It happened again.
People who know us forgot that I was his mother.
I am white. My son is Black. This is a tremendous invisible burden for him. Being asked to explain yourself or justify yourself as an adoptee is called “narrative burden.” It’s not fair to him, but it is his albatross.”