How does your TRA brain work NOW?

The Mama C teacher look/Mama C and the Boys

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I have grown in the last seven years (Sam is 6.5) not just as a mom, but as a TRA (transracial adoptive) parent.

If I had never adopted Sam, never entered into an open adoption relationship, never waited on the edge wondering what the text response from his first mom was going to be when I suggested (last week, post to come) that we come for a visit in the next year or so, I would not be this mom. I would not be this me.

If I had not scoured the internet and library for help from countless sources (this list is constantly evolving of course) like Love Isn’t Enough, Coloring Between the Lines, This Woman’s Work, Adoption Mosaic Blog, and Chronicles of Munchkinland (all are linked on my blog roll to the right) what bubble would I be living in today?

If I had not written bi-weekly posts over at Moms of Hue (now We of Hue), and made the online connections and friendships I did as a result, not blogged about this family, not organized workshops with Adoption Mosaic, or helped envision groups like MAFC in my own community what would I be doing this morning, instead of getting up early to post here?

I would not wake to blog-life-affirming comments like this:

I’m new at dealing with these intrusive probes and awkward moments…
the questions that remind me that I too chose to create a not so “ordinary” family.  Finding blogs like yours-layered with words I couldn’t find to describe how people’s questions made me feel-truly makes a difference. It almost comforting.

Would I have sat down next to the El Salvadorian woman at last week’s at the basketball game, with the hope of a meaningful connection, a chance to hold her sweet baby girl, and to try to get her son and mine on the same baseball team?

It was not that I saw myself as racist seven years ago.  It was that I had not yet taken on the rigorous work of understanding my own  white mind.  I didn’t  know I had to. Being a TRA mama was a personal wake up bull horn of a call.

My TRA journey has been the invitation over the years to look not only at what I value, and who I think I am, but what I have and continue to perpetuate unconsciously over and over that (I perceive) separates me from “them”. Oh and the them is a long, long, list. What a perfect segue into my current piece over at Mixed and Happy, which chronicles how I now am looking to many of the “thems” to help me continue on my journey:

I kept staring at them. Their kids had a certain “Uh huh we’re all that, and then some,” about them. The daughter’s hair was cascading with perfectly done braids, and the son had a fresh line up. They were laughing, and touching each other in a reassuring sweet way. As I watched them I wrote a story in my head of their never ending romance, their financial stability, and their emotional well being. Their son played basketball with my son Sam. I was so happy to see him talking to him. Maybe that would set a new friendship for all of us in motion? I smiled and said; “Hi”. They smiled back. They were a mixed couple, parenting mixed children. We have something in common. We might have lots of things in common.

For the rest of this post, and more rambe-amblings from my transracial mommy brain please got over to Mixed and Happy. And if you’d love to use this space to share a line or two about your own TRA ah-has and revelations please do. There is also this new open adoption roundtable up at Production not Reproduction that might interest you too.


  1. That is a beautiful post and a touching recognition of the limitations imposed on us (not inherent to us) by whiteness and the role of white in the institution of racism. I love that you wrote this and how you wrote it. It makes me even more hopeful about getting to be the (white) people we really, really wanted and hoped to be– connected, fighting for all people, not so limited in our understandings of the world– smarter somehow (not than others, but than we used to be) and happy, connected. Much love, Laura

  2. Great post. It’s very true that TRA puts you into others shoes and makes you 100% more interested in other families of colour. Well they are no longer the “other.” Interestingly, I went to a StrongStart playgroup at our local school this morning and Of the 20 moms, only two of us were white and her kid was the only white kid. SCORE!

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