Well last night’s MAPP class was very……..interesting?
We had a guest speaker come in who was supposed to discuss cross cultural/racial adoption with us.
Let’s just say that he was less than a great speaker. In fact, he was pretty damn awful.
He began by telling us that most Hispanics/Latinos would prefer to be called Hispanics. He then went on to say that Indians/Native Americans would prefer to be called Indians. Both of these ‘facts’ seemed really wrong to me, but hey – what do I know? I’m a white guy and he’s the Indian/Portuguese/White ‘expert’ on the topic.
Throughout the discussion, he stressed the importance of us educating our children about their heritage so that they were better prepared to deal with stereotypes that they may face in their adolescent years. You know, making sure they knew where they came from originally, why they may look different than their parents, it all made sense. However, at one point he told us a story about a time that he took his children out to the southwestern part of the state in order to show them where their people (Indians) came from. He said that they were driving through a particularly impoverished area (which there are apparently lots of) came to a stop and several little. poor children came running up to the car, so they drove away.
Yup. That was his entire story about educating his children on their heritage. AWESOME.
Several times throughout the discussion he would stop and look at us all and just say something random like “It’s not easy, right?” and then pause, while we all stared at him blankly. He’s then say something equally as random like “Things are going to be challenging.” And again, we’d just stare.
At one point, Jim brought up the fact that our child would already be faced with the difference of having two men as parents and if we were to throw a cultural/racial difference into the mix it would create even more confusion. Because of that, we were focusing on adopting a Caucasian child.
This guy then starts ‘advising’ us that we shouldn’t keep it a secret and that he raised his kids as a single parent and his daughter was at one point upset because her dad was the one doing the cooking, ironing, and taking her dress shopping and didn’t have a mom (like her other friends) who took her to do those things. It was all worked out though because she eventually came to understand that those differences were certainly OK.
Ummmm, thanks for the advice. As Jim said on our ride home, when we were talking about the randomness of this guy: “I’m glad he said that, because I thought it would be a great idea to keep it a secret and just tell our child that you were my good friend who slept in the same bed with me every night.”
Anyway…I could go on and on about how weird the rest of the class was, but I’ll stop here. Clearly they all can’t be ‘winners’. :-)
Happy Hump Day!!!!!