Face to Face with Lack of Diversity

I've shied away from really diving into race and diversity on this blog because I'm so afraid of getting it wrong. I never want to show that I make mistakes (hi vulnerability!) and when it comes to talking about being a transracial adoptive parent, I am sure to make mistakes. Tons of them.

I'll admit, S and I have been paying lip-service to the idea of incorporating more diversity in our everyday lives and activities. Here are a few things I've thought about doing:

  • Mark on the calendar Cinco de Mayo and Diwali then make sure we find a cultural event centered around those celebrations (I'm sure there are other events we need to look for, but lets start with a couple big ones first...)
  • Join the art museum focused on Latino art.
  • Take some Indian dancing classes with X (assuming I can get him into the studio)
  • Curate a collection of kids books written by Latino/Latina and Indian authors as well as adoptees (so far there's only one children's book written by an adoptee that I can find)
  • Attend classes/seminars/conferences focused on transracial adoption
  • Read books by Latino/Latina and Indian authors
  • Go to cultural events around the city that aren't necessarily focused on the big holidays
  • Put X into sports leagues that are diverse
  • Listen to diverse music
  • Move so that S, Baby Z and I are the minority in the neighborhood (I think we've landed on probably not happening ever, definitely not soon)
  • Heritage Camp - go to it every year (but which one? They are so close together that I don't think we can pull it off to do both - so, Indian-Nepalese or Latin American?)
  • Put X in a diverse school

Guess how many I've accomplished? Well, there's a few, but mostly the easy ones like listening to diverse music (Putam.ayo cds, occasionally remembering to stream Spot.ify or Pand.ora), and seeking out books for me and S to read (but those are starting to collect dust). X's book collection is sadly lacking in diversity, and I've been pretty frustrated with the Scho.lastic offerings. I buy as many diverse books as I can from them, but many of them are not focused on either one of his ethnicities. We started Indian-Nepalese Heritage camp this year. We went to the Latino art museum once.

I read posts by transracial adoptees, and I feel like the common thread through many of them is the fact that they were not raised with diversity in mind. A common thread is also that their parents were not willing to talk about race or adoption in an open manner, so there's that.

As we continue to tour schools, the need for diversity is constant in my mind. I don't think I had come to terms with it until I started touring the schools. Now, the number 1 priority is that X go to a school that is at least approaching a 50/50 split white/kids of color. Thankfully, there are diverse schools near us, and I'm feeling much better about the school choice nonsense.