Once upon a time, I thought that white people who adopted kids of color might be a little further along in their education about race and racism. Of course I also once believed that college-educated people (and in particular college professors) were similarly enlightened. And I used to wait up for Santa Claus, too.
When I first started encountering white adoptive parents with kids of color, especially Asian kids, it was dismaying. And discouraging. And heart-breaking. And painful. And worse yet, sometimes these parents wanted to become my new best friend.
I wanted to think that these parents were anomalies. Outliers. The exception that proved the rule. But they kept coming. I tried not to see. Still more came.
So I started wondering where the agencies were in the educational process. Because I was still thinking about good old Santa.
Santa gives you presents. Apparently adoption agencies do too.
This agency (CCI) sent a waiting parent a t-shirt that reads “Special Delivery from Ethiopia.” (The parent was apparently thrilled.) It has a monkey on the front. But there was more:
A stuffed monkey, too. Probably Costco was all sold out of the “Lil’ Monkey” dolls.
As we’ve written about adoption commodification on this blog frequently enough to make people’s eyes glaze over and give them extra froth at the mouth, we won’t go into the whole “special delivery” thing. Just. Don’t. Do. It.
Of course, this wouldn’t be the first time an agency’s representatives had some ill-thought-out ideas about what might be fitting for adoptive parents.