I’ll never forget Jade’s final adoption day in court. We were surrounded by families just like us. We were all there out of love and a shared understanding of the struggle to become a family. I remember when they called our names to come up before the judge. The lawyers had prepped Brian and I beforehand on what we would be asked and what to say. When the lawyer asked Brian to state our daughter’s name, Brian was able to get out her first name and then burst into tears. It was our commitment to loving her forever. It was an amazing feeling to give your whole heart to a tiny little human. She has changed our lives for the better. We are so thankful her birth mother chose us.
Jade is joyful. Her smile brings sunshine into any room she enters. Strangers will constantly comment on her sweet spirit. Also, Jade is curious. She is constantly observing her surroundings. She stays alert when new people or animals are around. Finally, Jade is laid back. She doesn’t let anything ruffle her feathers. If her schedule is off a little bit, she rolls with the punches and lets us know what she needs.
When Brian and I adopted Jade, we knew there would be questions about why we chose to adopt transracially. In our minds, we were given a beautiful gift of life. However, the world and our surroundings challenged our intent from the get-go. We learned to be patient in our encounters and to educate people rather than argue. We have grown to protect Jade, but we also expose ourselves to the greater reality of racism. Conversations and open mindedness must continue.
Stephanie & Brian, Gladney Parents