When a black couple started their foster care journey, they were thrilled to open their hearts and home to a white child. But welcoming a Caucasian child as an African American couple meant drawing unnecessary attention.
Often, we come across transracial adoption stories that restore our faith in love, kindness, and humanity. While white parents adopting black kids isn't usually frowned upon, this isn't always true for black couples adopting white children.
Mik and Tracy got married in 1998 and became parents to a baby girl, Taylor, in 1999. She was born with Down syndrome, and the couple did everything to ensure she thrived. After nearly 14 years, the couple wished to expand their family.
Mik and Tracy pictured with their kids. | Photo: instagram.com/fosterwhileblackfam
BECOMING FOSTER PARENTS
Unfortunately, the doctors told Tracy she was infertile. It was then that the couple decided to opt for adoption and thought of starting their foster care journey. Tracy was an Early Childhood educator, while Mik was a business owner and pastor.
They completed the paperwork, leaving only one empty space - they had no preferences like race or color. Then, one day, their caseworker called and told them about an eight-month-old boy with dark brown hair and blue eyes who needed a home.
The couple also learned that the child was white. Even though they were African American and the boy was Caucasian, Mik and Tracy agreed to take him in. When the caseworker arrived with the boy, they looked at him and knew they had made the right decision.
However, the couple wasn't prepared for the attention they drew whenever they went out with their foster son, David. Even their simple trips to the supermarket ended in glares, stares, and derogatory comments from the public.
Mutabazi often faced suspicion and tension from strangers whenever he was out with his kids.
Tracy was out buying groceries with David on one such occasion when an older white man stopped by and remarked, "You must have paid a pretty penny for him." While this was the first unpleasant experience, it wasn't the last.
The harsh treatment continued over the years. Five months after welcoming David, they took in another six-year-old African American boy, Dwayne. But there were no questions this time, and everyone assumed he was their biological child. Tracy told LoveWhatMatters:
"No one ever said it and no one ever outwardly admitted that race was a factor. Our love was a factor too. Our love and determination to show others 'you don’t have to match to be a family.'"
Tracy and Mik adopted Dwayne in July 2018 but faced trouble in finalizing David's adoption. However, their relentless efforts and love paid off, and David became an official member of their family in February 2019.
A STRANGE CONNECTION
Like Tracy and Mik, Keia Jones-Baldwin and Richardo Baldwin didn't know that adopting a white child would make them subjects of harsh treatment from strangers. The North Carolina-based therapist and her husband wished to adopt older kids.
But everything changed when Keia Jones's foster care supervisor called and asked if she could give skin-to-skin contact to a premature baby, Princeton, born to a drug-addicted mom in July 2017. Soon afterward, Princeton moved in with the Baldwins.
Princeton's temporary three-month stay became permanent when the Baldwins adopted him. While his older siblings and adoptive parents loved Princeton, strangers never missed a chance to make him and his family uncomfortable.
Keia Jones shared how people reported a kidnapping twice when she was out with Princeton. She once had a flat tire and stopped by a stranger's house. Instead of helping her, he called the cops and said she had stolen the car and the baby. She also expressed:
“I don’t look at family as blood. I look at family as love. When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts. Love conquers all.”
The Baldwins continue to break stereotypes and document their multiracial family's journey on their Facebook page, "Raising Cultures."
FOSTER DAD AND ROLE MODEL
You might be surprised to know that the Baldwins and Tracy and Mik aren't the only ones who faced backlash for adopting white kids as black parents. A single black foster dad experienced something similar when he opened his home to a white boy.
Peter Mutabazi from Charlotte, North Carolina, escaped his abusive home in Uganda at 10. He lived rough on the streets for many years until a kind man, Jacques Masiko, took him in. Thanks to Masiko, Mutabazi thrived and completed his education.
In his early 40s, Mutabazi started working for an NGO to uplift deprived communities in Uganda. Drawing from his experience, he decided to become a foster parent. He fostered several children, including black, Hispanic, and white.
Mutabazi often took long gaps between the kids to process his emotions. So when the caseworker called one day and told him an 11-year-old boy, Anthony, needed a place to stay, he hesitated. Anthony had been in foster care since the age of two.
At four, a family adopted him but abandoned him at a hospital seven years later. Mutabazi was deeply moved after learning Anthony's story and took him in. What shocked him next was when Anthony asked him if he could call him "dad."
Anthony and Mutabazi grew close, and his adoption was finalized within a year. In spring 2020, Mutabazi welcomed another foster kid, Johnny (not his real name), also white. Like his foster brother, Anthony, he instantly called Mutabazi "dad."
LOVE CONQUERS ALL
Mutabazi often faced suspicion and tension from strangers whenever he was out with his kids. He was often called a "kidnapper." Justifying himself to the public was a heart-wrenching experience, but he managed to stay strong for his family. He told BBC:
"My boys haven't had stable male figures in their life. They need me all to themselves right now, and so long as they do, I'll be there for them completely."
We hope that the incomprehension, suspicion, and harsh treatment these black parents faced from the public stops, and we can value acceptance, family, and kindness. Indeed, true love transcends all boundaries.
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