'She's White, Is That Okay?' Social Worker Asks Foster Father, He Replies That She Needs a Home
After struggling with infertility for almost fifteen years, a Washington couple decided to welcome kids via adoption. They ended up adopting three white kids who fast became a part of the family despite their racial differences.
For Tierra Hamm and her husband Patrick Hamm, their skin colors were the least determining factors in deciding who makes up a family. The duo recounted their parenting journey and how they ended up as parents to three white kids within seven months.
Tierra recalled meeting her husband at eighteen and immediately settling down with him, fully prepared to fulfill her life-long dream of becoming a mom.
However, those dreams seemed to elude her. Three years into her marriage, Tierra knew something was wrong. She began trying several nutritional methods of getting pregnant, to no avail.
Finally, the woman accepted her fate, believing God never wanted her to become a mom. Between 2011 and 2015, Tierra and her husband took a break from trying to conceive, taking the pressure off their marriage.
By 2015, the Washington woman got her hopes up again after acquiring some knowledge about medical procedures that could aid conception. They began seeing a specialist, tried out three rounds of IUI, and followed all the fads they could find. Again, their efforts amounted to naught.
Around that time, Tierra got talking with a family friend who grew up in foster care and had always urged the couple to try fostering. So she and Patrick decided to try out fostering after some convincing.
The couple began training in January 2017. Five months later, they became officially licensed to foster kids. By July, they were linked to their first foster child, Felicity, who was 15 months old at the time. But there was a catch. Tierra recalled:
“The social worker on the phone said, ‘She’s very shy, and she has attachment issues.’ She paused for a second and then said, ‘She’s white. Is that Okay?’”
Patrick was quick to reply, telling the social worker that the child’s race was irrelevant, as all that mattered was she needed a home. The first 24 hours of peeling the child away from her former foster mom proved so emotionally draining that the couple was left questioning their decision.
However, the moment Felicity got accustomed to her new home and began calling them “mommy” and “daddy” of her own accord, the duo were convinced they had made the right choice.
The pair went on to welcome two more foster kids who were also white. The first, Samuel, joined the family in February 2018, at only five days old. He was born drug-exposed and had to spend 32 days in NICU, but the pair didn’t mind taking on the task.
Next, they welcomed Judah in December that year, when he was only seven days old. After fostering the three kids, all under two, for months, the couple knew they could never bear to part with them again.
Hence, they began the adoption procedures, officially becoming parents to all three kids by July 2020. Her adventurous journey to motherhood led Tierra to see herself differently. She shared:
“As someone who is infertile, I never thought I would ever be a mother and I never thought I could love as hard as I do now.”
Despite having a wonderful family with unconditional love and acceptance between them, the couple admittedly still gets stares from random strangers during family outings.
However, Tierra couldn’t care less, as no matter what the world thought, nothing could change the fact that they were a family. She shared:
“Families do not have to match. As our kids get older, we are discussing race/color more and more. The kids know our skin is different, but it doesn’t matter to them.”
Aside from their three youngsters, the proud parents have fostered other kids over the years, mostly short-term, but their adorable trio remained the only constants in their lives.
Now glad they took the fostering path, Tierra and Patrick encourage other families to do the same, to help give kids a place to call home.
As part of their journey, the Hamms created a podcast, where they share their story, as well as information on transracial adoption. They also share exciting details about their lives as a transracial family.