This post is going to be more serious than a lot of my other ones. I debated on whether or not I wanted to even make this post, because I seem to have gotten myself on this track (or whatever you want to call it) of making posts related to blogging resources, tips, and tricks.
But, I then realized that though I love providing you all with resources and tools to help you be a pro at blogging, I know I want more for myself and for my baby, Sincerely Shirley. I want more in that I want to provide you all with resources, but I also want to be sure to continue incorporating personal stories, thoughts, and beliefs on my blog, too. Because, as said in my ‘About Me’ page, I will only ever be authentic. That said, it is my goal to grow as not only a blogger, but also as an individual. Being a transracial adoptee is a huge part of who I am and I want to embrace it and eventually “work with it,” in that I want to work with those who have similar stories and experiences as me.
So, long story short — here we go.
For as long as I can remember, whenever the subject of me being adopted was even briefly mentioned, I would be bombarded with questions, from curious people who just so happened to be black, asking me various questions, such as —
“Are you being abused by them (them meaning my parents)?” “Have they abused you?” “Do you know if they adopted you just for financial reasons?” “Are you their token black child?” “You’re probably whitewashed now, aren’t you?”
These questions were asked so often that I quickly outgrew the need to be offended and instead answered with the same answer each and every time —
“Absolutely not. My parents have loved me unconditionally since the day they met me when I was just 2.5 months old. Never once have they hurt me, abused me, or anything. I love my family and I’m so grateful they adopted me and can’t imagine my life without them.”
I became so used to giving the same answer 0ver and over that it probably came across as scripted. Which probably inadvertently hurt the case I was trying to make, because my words were true. One-hundred-percent true. However, it would take me until 2018 to fully comprehend and understand that me being asked those questions wasn’t out of ignorance or meanness, like it was when I was asked why I “talk white” or told that I do.
No. It was out of genuine concern.
And like I said, it would take me until March 26, 2018, to understand that my healthy, happy, and loving transracial adoption was a rarity. Before I continue, I do want to make it clear that I never once thought that just because my family was a loving one that that meant all transracial adoptees experience/experienced the same. Nevertheless, I will admit that perhaps I was a bit naive to think that the Hart Family tragedy was rarer than it really is.
So sad and so tragic.
Before I dive (way) further into the Hart Family, I, personally, find it necessary and important to include a segment from The National Association of Black Social Workers “Position Statement on Trans-Racial Adoptions”, in which it aggressively states their opposition to transracial families and why they think black children should be raised by black families —
“The National Association of Black Social Workers has taken a vehement stand against the placement of black children in white homes for any reason. We affirm the inviolable position of black children in black families where they belong physically, psychologically and culturally in order that they receive the total sense of themselves and develop a sound projection of their future.
Ethnicity is a way of life in these United States, and the world at large; a viable, sensitive, meaningful and legitimate societal construct. This is no less true nor legitimate for black people than for other ethnic groups. . . .
The socialization process for every child begins at birth and includes his cultural heritage as an important segment of the process. In our society, the developmental needs of Black children are significantly different from those of white children. Black children are taught, from an early age, highly sophisticated coping techniques to deal with racist practices perpetrated by individuals and institutions. These coping techniques become successfully integrated into ego functions and can be incorporated only through the process of developing positive identification with significant black others. Only a black family can transmit the emotional and sensitive subtleties of perception and reaction essential for a black child’s survival in a racist society. Our society is distinctly black or white and characterized by white racism at every level. We repudiate the fallacious and fantasied reasoning of some that whites adopting black children will alter that basic character…
White parents of black children seek out special help with their parenting; help with acquiring the normal and usually instinctual parental behaviors inherent in the cultural and psychological development of children. It is tantamount to having to be taught to do what comes naturally.”
The document goes on and on. But, I chose to just include those portions of the text, because I feel as though they paint a clear enough picture as to the opposition that some (well, a lot) black people have towards white people adopting black children and raising them as their own.
And while I clearly do not agree with the opinions of the National Association of Black Social Workers, I feel it necessary to point it out, because the opinion is unfortunately widely shared. However, it’s reassuring knowing that as of 2017, 55 percent of black adoptees are adopted into families where at least the mother is white. Prior to 2017, a study conducted by N. Zill of the National Center for Education Statistics + U.S. Department of Education, found that in 1999, only 34% of adoptees were adopted into families where at least the mom was white. In 2011, however, that percentage increased to 51%.
If you want to go way back, for the sake of historical knowledge, the first transracial adoption to ever occur occurred in 1948, when a black baby was adopted into a white family. Though it sounds like forever ago, it was only 70 years ago. And only in 1994, roughly 25 years ago, did the United States see it fit to implement laws that strictly prohibited any and all forms of discrimination in adoption processes, therefore making transracial adoptions easier.
All-in-all, transracial adoptions have been a sore and sensitive topic.
But, nonetheless, at least we have seen an increase in the percentages of transracial adoptions, which means that not all hope is lost and that progress is being made. Right? I’d like to think so, myself. And now that I have gotten the historical stuff out of the way (well, enough of it, so that you are able to put all of this into context and follow along), I want to now jump into the main and most important topic of this post — The Hart Family Tragedy.
Jennifer and Sarah Hart adopt three children — Markis, Abigail, and Hannah. And while the couple (Jennifer and Sarah) are living in Minnesota, the trio is adopted from Colorado.
“In the U.S., foster parents are given monthly payments from the state for taking care of their children. As reported in the San Antonio Express-News, according to the Texas state comptroller, Jen Hart received $1,897 in her latest monthly allotment on March 2. In total, the state of Texas paid the Harts roughly $277,000 between 2009 and 2018. The money is called adoption subsidies. Essentially, the Harts were the legal parents of their children, but Texas paid them to take care of the kids, like they were still in foster care. This is, presumably, to ensure the kids are properly cared for.”
This is where the trouble starts arising. Well, I’m sure that issues were present prior to September of 08′, but it’s here that the police of Alexandria, Minnesota receive a call about a 6-year-old (name and sex have been redacted from files for obvious reasons) with a noticeable bruise on their left arm. The child went on to state that the bruise was made by Jennifer, specifically. This prompts police to have social services interview the two mothers.
What comes out of this interview? More heartbreaking details of the Hell that these three (please keep in mind that three more children will be adopted by the moms, too) children are having to endure —
“They say (the child) has been constantly going through food issues, where (child) will steal people’s food at school or eat out of garbage cans or off the floor,” according to the police report. | cnn
Sometime between mid-2017 to March 2018
The two women forced Hannah to explain to the neighbors that “she had had a rough week” and that “her cat died.” Strangely, the Dekalbs state that all of the children seemed “robotic” and they expressed that the entire experience was “surreal.”
March 23, 2018
March 24, 2018
March 26, 2018 – morning
March 26, 2018 – later that day
- Why did this happen?
- What could have been done to prevent this?
- How can tragedies like this occur?
- What are the causes of such horrific happenings?
Please keep the Hart children in your thoughts (and prayers, if that’s your thing).