The article I posted from the New York Times about having “too black” a name being a liability in hiring — that’s really just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the thoughts and worries I’ve been having about my son’s future.
I suppose worrying about one’s child is the hallmark symptom of being a parent. But white parents of white children don’t have to worry about their sons being pulled over more often by police, or that their son will be viewed with suspicion in the wrong neighborhood. Nor do they have to worry about people judging them or asking stupid questions or trying to touch their hair.
I joined a group on Facebook last week because it’s about transracial adoptions. I have mixed feelings about the group so far. Ive heard people utter the very fear I expressed weeks before our son was born – what are we, two white women, doing adopting a black boy? There’s so much anger and resentment from adoptees, and I fear that more than everything. Will he grow up feeling like we’ve given him enough African-American identity, along with his identity as Jewish boy, and a boy with two moms? Is that too much to pile on one child? Is there any alternative?
Then there’s the big choices that loom – do we stay in Boston, which is a “majority minority” city, and therefore stands a good chance of exposing him to other friends and families who look like him? Or do we move to Portland, Oregon, a very white city, but where we could afford a larger home and have many close friends and family. Of course, we’ve been out here long enough that we have many close friends we’d miss out here.
Some of these decisions are ones we’ve been wavering on for years, but having a child now just gives then new weight, new pressure, new anxiety.
Ultimately, I guess it all comes down to the one question many parents worry about – am I good enough? Am I doing this right?