Dear Expectant Mother,
Thank you for giving us the opportunity to introduce ourselves. We are Lucas and Caly, a married couple of almost 10 years and parents to our three-year-old daughter, Sophia and our seven-month-old, Tucker. Our family was made possible because of two strong, selfless birth mothers like you. As we write our fourth dear birth mother letter, we are reflecting upon our three prior journeys – the first was a failed adoption when the birth mother decided not to place the child after delivery, the second brought us our sweet daughter, and the third brought us our wonderful son. Each experience has molded us into the parents we are today and has given us an appreciation for the sacrifice you are making as a birth mother.
Caly’s cancer treatment as a baby led to infertility, which originally started us down the adoption path. When we started our journey with adoption several years ago, we knew one thing – we wanted a baby to love, provide for and enrich their life just as much as they would change ours. We discussed very early on that we were open to a child of any race or ethnicity. We discussed that with our family and friends prior to starting the process and we were met with words of encouragement, promises of support for us and our future child and acts of family and friends educating themselves on what the reality would be like helping to “be the village” for our baby that was already so loved. We still have that amazing village, but with recent events happening in the world, we have been doing a lot of self-reflecting and talking to those closest to us and our children.
Before our son was born, Sophia started asking questions about why she was brown, and mommy and daddy were white. We explained that not everyone looked alike and showed her that she had brown dolls, white dolls, brown Barbies, white Barbies and showed her in story books how there were kids that were all different colors. We talked about differences people have outside of skin color too and that those differences should be celebrated because it is what makes the world so special. She continued to make comments from time to time, never upset, but just noticing a difference and we have always taken these opportunities to acknowledge how these differences are all unique and beautiful. She wanted mommy to have hair like her, so Caly would style her hair and Sophia’s to match as closely as possible and Sophia’s face would light up. When we decided we were ready to adopt again, we knew we wanted an African American baby, not because we were against any other races or ethnicities, but because we wanted Sophia to have someone else that looked like her at home. We wanted home to be a place that she never felt alone or that she did not belong. The first time she met Tucker, her first words were “he matches me, mommy - like you match daddy.”
We both feel strongly about our children wanting to feel included and comfortable in their surroundings. While the experience is in no comparison to being raised by parents of a different race, Caly has experience of being raised in a non-traditional family setting. Caly’s birth parents divorced when she was very young and her mother remarried when she was four. Caly considers her step-father as her father and her half and step siblings as her brother and sisters. Her family never differentiated with the titles of “step” or “half” and everyone grew together as one tight-knit family. Outside of the home, Caly and her brothers were constantly questioned how they were so close in age but not twins. When she would go to the doctor and ask about family medical history, it was a reminder that only some of the people she considered family were actually “part of her” and they would deal with stares or prying questions about “how are you really related” to certain people. As we said, we are not trying to compare or equalize the experiences, but we feel that these experiences have helped us identify some situations in which our children could encounter uncomfortable situations. Additionally, from these experiences, we believe that family is not determined by the blood running through your veins; rather, it is based upon those who love and care for you the most.
We understand and appreciate the importance of our children having role models of the same color and know that this is something we need to continue to have as a priority in our life. To be completely honest, our thought has always been that we want what is best for our children, whether that was their doctor, daycare, preschool, friends, babysitters, etc. and that was the only focus. In doing research and finding the best option, our children have an African American pediatrician, hairstylist, and African American friends that have also been adopted by white parents – however, these choices were not made based on skin color, but on research and recommendations that they were the most qualified for our children. We continue to be a part of the adoptive network in our communities, where our children see other families that look like ours. We continue to educate ourselves on how to navigate raising children of different races and ethnicities and especially now specifically focused on Caucasian parents raising African American children. Recent events have left us afraid for our children; they won’t always live with us or in this community that we know is safe for them and where people know them and love them for who they are, not the color of their skin. We know that we have a responsibility to prepare them for challenges they might face and educate ourselves on understanding what those are. We are doing that and are committed to doing anything in our power to make this world safer and ensure that our children would not be limited based on the color of their skin.
As we said earlier, we acknowledge and appreciate your selfless generosity in making the difficult decision to find a stable and loving home for your baby. We can’t begin to understand the difficult decision with which you are faced. We would welcome your baby into our home with open and loving arms and challenge ourselves, our family, and friends to be the best village for your baby. We live in a smaller town in the Midwest with strong family values and a focus on faith and community. We will make sure that our children are raised with a strong spiritual influence, one that is demonstrated through our own lives.
We are very excited for the opportunity to welcome a new baby into our family through adoption! We hope we are a match for you so that we can fulfill our dream of having the family we’ve prayed for, while at the same time, provide the life for your baby that you desire.
Lucas & Caly