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Message #96 of 1287  *NEW*
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AdoptBlog.com  
The 'Urkel' Effect
5/21/04, 11:12am (Last Edited: 7/14/05, 11:16pm)
graphic
In our very brief period in the adoption process thus far, Marie and I would say that the single hardest thing has been "the Choice."

Not the choice of sex (we have a very slight preference for a girl at this stage of the game... about 51%-49%... which teeters usually when we start discussing the costs of a wedding and the American culture's preference for the bride's parents to foot the bill).

Not the choice of health... or the choice of disabilities... or the choice of drug-exposed...

What hit us the hardest, emotionally, has been the choice of race.

Yes, when you enter the adoption process, you are confronted with your own sensibilities regarding race. And, when saying "I don't think so" to a specific race of children, I can't help but feel racist in some way.

Our first choice, of course, is Amerasian. Marie is Filipina, I'm white. It stands to reason that we would want to adopt a child that looks the most like us.

Hispanic/White would probably follow a close second, as children of this mix would closely resemble the look of a child that Marie and I would have had naturally.

The only race that we have excluded, preliminarily, is African American.

My reasoning is two-fold. First, adopting an African-American child makes the fact that we adopted "obvious." However, if we were to adopt a purely Asian or Hispanic child, we would confront the same issue... so, why is an Asian or Hispanic child okay, and not an African-American child?

I'll call it the "Urkel" effect. You know the character.

I fear that were I to raise an African-American child, I would be -- somehow -- interfering with that child's identity process. As Marie comes from an Asian culture, I believe that a purely Asian child could relate. As Marie and I live in the San Fernando Valley, the Hispanic culture is everywhere. It wouldn't be difficult to expose a Hispanic child to Hispanic culture in the San Fernando Valley.

Sure, Marie and I have books by Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston in our library. Jackie Robinson tops my list of role models. We have a number of "hip hop/rap" CDs in our music collection.

But, this would hardly count as providing an African-American child with sufficient culture, such that his or her identity would be clearly shaped.

The positive side is that Marie and I live in a very culturally diverse area of the San Fernando Valley. Our community is mixed White, Asian, African-American, and Hispanic. So, our child would have some exposure to his/her culture through the public schooling system, I imagine.

In the end, though, while I wouldn't torture my son or daughter with accordion lessons (I'm giggling here, because *MY* parents actually signed me up for lessons when I was 8 or 9, which I quit almost as quickly as I learned to squeeze my first "ooom-pah-pah"), I don't think that I would be able to help an African-American child through the "identity" process.

I found an article on the net called "A Last Resort," written by Rachel Noerdlinger. She is an African-American adoptee who was adopted by white parents.

She describes her parents as seeing "racial divisions as arbitrary, dangerous cultural distinctions. If we ignored race, they hoped, we might all live happily as one. But when I was a child, my life wasn't 'colorless.' It was white. And colorblindness is a luxury young black children aren't afforded by this world."

She concludes: "It is too easy to say I am against transracial adoption. But I do think it should be a last resort. Although love should be enough, love does not prepare an African American child for the society we live in. And love does not replace the importance of knowing your own ethnicity and culture.

I agree with her.

As I continue typing this post, I'm thinking of my brother and his son... my nephew. A beautiful, little guy named Dylan, who also happens to be biracial (black and white).

Dylan is in a perfect scenario, though... one that Marie and I couldn't provide. He'll be able to experience true racial equality in his own family... and, he is much better off than any African-American child that Marie and I could raise because he is, and will continue to be, exposed to African-American culture on his Mommy's side.

See: "A Last Resort," by Rachel Noerdlinger, http://www.nysccc.org/T-Rarts/Noerdlinger.html

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Message #97 of 1287  *NEW*
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AdoptBlog.com  
The 'Urkel' Effect
5/21/04, 11:26am
graphic
I just did a quick Google search for "Rachel Noerdlinger."

Apparently, she is a spokeswoman for Al Sharpton and his 2004 Presidential Campaign.

http://www.sharpton2004.org/index.php?menuID=PressS
tory&id=13

Now, I feel like a heel for using an article to support my argument that was written by someone who not only endorses Al Sharpton, but works for him. ACK.

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Message #98 of 1287  *NEW*
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Guest9274 (IP: 24.117.110.146)
The 'Urkel' Effect
5/21/04, 1:44pm
Rob
Even if you don't believe with her views politically, she still may have valid things to say about transracial adoption. She is a black adoptee raised in a caucasion home. She has the crediblity to speak about the subject. I don't think her opinion is the only one you should look at, and you may find other's opinions carry more impact. Just don't blow her off because you would vote differently in a presidential election.
l

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Message #99 of 1287  *NEW*
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Rob Reed  
The 'Urkel' Effect
5/21/04, 2:44pm (Last Edited: 5/21/04, 2:45pm)
graphic
Hi L:

I was being facetious, really. I don't discount her argument, personally. I'm not too fond of her political affiliation, myself (although I am a Democrat, as well).

There are many who would discount her thoughts, though, because of her political affiliations... which is why I made the comment.

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"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
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Guest9296 (IP: 198.81.26.10)
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/21/04, 11:21pm
I think you are stressing about these racial things that doesn't make a big difference in the scheme of things really. Particulaly within our diverse family structure. Love will save the day in the end. Babies are babies. Your son/daughter will always know they are adopted. Your issue will not be a concern s to whether they look like you guys or not. If you were going to keep the fact secret that would be another matter. There is so much interacial mating that no worries... Love mom It will all be wonderful for the first 16 years or so anyway..then TEENVILLE TERRORS what ever their race, color or religion da da da dum. lov mom

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Message #101 of 1287  *NEW*
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Rob Reed
Felisa Reed
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/23/04, 10:48am
graphic
Wow, I haven't written in such a long time, but I guess this topic really touched a nerve. My family is truly an ad for the United Nations. My mother has three sisters and I am proud to say that I have two white uncles and 7 bi-racial cousins. I do not believe in my life there is a black or white culture. My white uncles have raised their childeren no differently than my black uncles. We have all been raised in a spirit and enivornment of love and tolerance. That is the same enoviromnent that your brother and I strive to raise Dylan in. My family and background is so diverse I find that I have little or nothing in common with my brothas' & sistas anyway, because I made a choice not to let something as insignificant as the color my skin determine who I am or would become. I can only hope that I can give Dylan that same sense of stability in his life. While I 100% appreciate your opinion on the adoption of an African American child, I think you underestimate yourself and your ability to love. I also think you underestimate all the wonderful things you and Marie could teach any child regardless of race. I hope this makes since. As always you have our support and I hope that I have given you some insight.

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Message #102 of 1287  *NEW*
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Felisa Reed
saundrabeach  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/23/04, 11:51am
graphic
I understand your point of view. We can only hope by these open forums such as this, that we may all grow in our hearts and brains to accept and learn from each other so that one day we will all be "people" not designated "people". With all the blendings of race,color,religion,culture eventually if we have time, we will all "overcome" and arrive at utopia. My motto has always been treat others like you wanna be treated. How could that be bad? Lov mom (Hey, it was a challenge to address "the British are coming" in my own personal experience. LOL...)

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Message #105 of 1287  *NEW*
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Chris Reed  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/24/04, 5:13pm
graphic
Per the suggestion, we will do our best to ensure that our next child is neither black nor Urkel.

Apologies about the sarcasm, but shouldn't the love, nurturing and upbringing you give a child are the best way to guarantee their well being and success, not the culture you bring them up in?

A person doesn't raise their child to be black, Asian, white or Hobbit.... They raise their child to be the best expression of their love and the lessons they taught them. That love and those lessons are universal and have noting to do with the melanin in your skin or the music you listen to.

We have too many kids in the black community being told by their peers that they're being "too white," too many Asians being told they need to sound "more American" and too many white kids being told they need to not “squeeze their ass so tight,” and not enough kids being told they should strive to be the best person they can be. With all the negative influences out there, the only positive influence a child may have is their parent.

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Message #106 of 1287  *NEW*
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Rob Reed  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/24/04, 6:34pm (Last Edited: 5/24/04, 6:48pm)
graphic
>That is the same enoviromnent that your brother and I strive to raise Dylan in.

And I know that you are and will continue to do a great job at it.

>My family and background is so diverse I find that I have
>little or nothing in common with my brothas' & sistas anyway,
>because I made a choice not to let something as insignificant
>as the color my skin determine who I am or would become. I can

You see... here is where the problem lies for us. I believe, also, that Marie and I have little or nothing in common with the those African-Americans who do make the choice that the color of their skin determines who they are.

The perfect world is one where race is absolutely arbitrary.

But, we don't live in a perfect world.

Like you said, you had to make the choice to not let skin color dictate who you are... and I applaud you for that.

Conversely, our own child -- were he or she African American -- would have to make that choice in this imperfect world.

My fear is that our African American child just might follow in the footsteps of the author of the article that I cited...

It is very possible because, face it... color is a feature of each and every one of us, just like our hair color... our eye color. It is a component of who we are. It will always be an issue in our society because, I fear, there will always be "racists" on both sides of the black and white spectrum.

If I put myself in the shoes of the author of the article that I cited, I can't help but wonder if I would feel the same thing.

>While I 100% appreciate your opinion on the
>adoption of an African American child, I think you
>underestimate yourself and your ability to love.

It isn't an issue of love for me. I can love any child, no matter what the color... but I have to go beyond just my own personal feelings. Otherwise, I think I'm being completely selfish in my thinking.

There is the other issue of wanting to have a child that looks close in appearance to Marie and I... the primary issue, really.

If we don't "exclude" certain races, then we are presented to birth parents of those races.

That is what makes the decision so difficult. By not excluding specific types of children, we open up the substantial possibility of adopting a child who looks nothing like us.

We very well might change our mind in this regard... especially if we discover that it delays the process substantially... and Marie and I (as the social workers call it) "hit the wall."

And, I realize that it is a ridiculous notion... an adopted child will more likely than not NOT look anything like Marie and I (even if Amerasian)... BUT, we want to try.

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"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
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Rob Reed  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/24/04, 6:43pm (Last Edited: 5/25/04, 3:16pm)
graphic
>Per the suggestion, we will do our best to ensure that our
>next child is neither black nor Urkel.

Eek. I hope that you don't mean that I was suggesting that you would raise Dylan as "black" and an "Urkel." I thought my post made that clear. I apologize if you were offended.

I was referring to myself.

>Apologies about the sarcasm, but shouldn't the love, nurturing
>and upbringing you give a child are the best way to guarantee
>their well being and success, not the culture you bring them
>up in?

Sure... but, we don't live in a vacuum.

>A person doesn't raise their child to be black, Asian, white
>or Hobbit.... They raise their child to be the best expression
>of their love and the lessons they taught them. That love and
>those lessons are universal and have noting to do with the
>melanin in your skin or the music you listen to.

That is absolutely true in YOUR case, and in MY case... not all cases. I think you are misconstruing my point. This is exactly where my concern comes from. The potential problem is that I *WOULD* raise my child to think "colorless."

>We have too many kids in the black community being told by
>their peers that they're being "too white," too many Asians
>being told they need to sound "more American" and too many
>white kids being told they need to not “squeeze their ass so
>tight,” and not enough kids being told they should strive to
>be the best person they can be. With all the negative
>influences out there, the only positive influence a child may
>have is their parent.

I don't think that a parent is the ONLY positive influence... but, nonetheless, I do agree with your ultimate point.

The problem -- especially in the case of adoption -- is much more complicated.

While I am not a fan of the "Adoptee as victim" mentality... it does exist among adoptees (there are a ton of books out there, written by adoptees that prove that point).

Adoptive parents take "possession" of an adoptive child. It is only natural that an adopted child would eventually ask: "Where did I come from? Who were my birth parents? Who am I, really?"

In Dylan's case, he *IS* you and Felisa. It will never be a question for him.

Identity WILL be an issue for our adopted child... no matter how we raise our child... no matter how loved our child will be (and believe me, s/he will be loved like no other)... no matter how open we are to issues of race.

In the end, by adopting a baby that looks the most like us... we are making it easier for ourselves, and -- I think -- our child.

Those on the outside might not ask the questions that WOULD be asked if we had an African-American child.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
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Message #108 of 1287  *NEW*
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Rob Reed
saundrabeach  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/25/04, 3:14am
graphic
If you two adopt a white child everyone will look at Marie and wonder. Just as when our Felisa went into intensive care to see Dylan when he was born and he appeared very light and the nurses had to look at her id bracelet before they would let her see the baby. They said moms only. If you adopt an asian child people will wonder bout you. In biracial familes face it the children don;t really resemble one parent or the other, as it would be in your case naturally. Anyway who cares...I just didn't want my childen to be fat...lol . I think and hope Rog you will relax and just not be as hard on yourself about this venture. It happens everyday. You just need to give grandma a girl that's my only preference...rofl...

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TREAT OTHERS LIKE YOU WANT TO BE TREATED WELCOME EACH NEW DAY! Just When Your Children Are Fit To Live With, They Are Living With Someone Else!
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Rob Reed  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/25/04, 3:18pm
graphic
>I think you are stressing about these racial things that
>doesn't make a big difference in the scheme of things really.

It doesn't make a difference to *ME* or Marie, but it made a big difference to Rachel in her article.

THAT is where the problem (and Marie's and my conundrum) lies.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
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Rob Reed  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/25/04, 3:21pm
graphic
>didn't want my childen to be fat...lol . I think and hope
>Rog you will relax and just not be as hard on yourself about
>this venture. It happens everyday. You just need to give
>grandma a girl that's my only preference...rofl...

I am relaxed about the concept of adoption, in and of itself... but, I know that if we are going to truly be good parents to our child, Marie and I have to confront as many issues as possible, so that we have fewer "surprises."

In this way, we'll benefit ALL involved. One, we will be able to raise our child with some form of preparation. Two, we'll be completely open and honest through the process, which will benefit the birth parents *AND* our future child.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
--------------------------------------------------------

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Guest9600 (IP: 24.117.110.146)
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/28/04, 9:32am
When we were first pursuing adoption we said we would consider any race , except Native American, we thought dealing with the Indian Child Welfare Act was more than we could handle.

We live in a very white state, and there was only one other family in our agency that said they would take an AA child. Our agency called one day and told us an AA boy was born and the mother was looking at our profile and the other family's. They would call us the next day. We went to a ball game that night. My husband kept thinking are people going to stare at my son when we take him places like this? We spent a restless night with a mixture of happiness and fear of how we were going to handle this. In the end, she choose the other family, who already had an AA daughter. We breathed a sigh of relief and grief. This whole issue is so complicated. I think it can be done and done well, and it depends on the parents and their support system.

We adopted a beautiful baby girl two months later, caucasion. However, she looks nothing like us. We get comments all the time about where did she get those beautiful eyes or curly hair. I end up telling people she is adopted so often its not funny. She is fine with it now, she is a teenager. When she was little I used to worry that these stupid people would make her feel bad, but it hasn't seemed to. We always portrayed adoption as completely positive and point out that Daddy and Mommy don't look alike either.

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Message #125 of 1287  *NEW*
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saundrabeach  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
5/30/04, 5:27am
graphic
trust me my son, you will never be old enough to rid yourself of surprises...My sons never stop surprising me....Only experience will help. You can read all the help type books and guides, as I did, assimilate them and then make your own mind up along the way. My pediatrician said to me when you were born and I was soooo nervous, that I needed to relax and feel confident in the knowledge that 99% of everything a new mother instinctively feels is correct. Sheese, I guess I was, just look at you....xxxoooo

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Guest11269 (IP: 69.139.207.37)
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
7/2/04, 9:47pm
Im not sure how I happened upon this post, but I must say that I read it and I enjoyed it. I have some white friends who just adopted a black child. The very reasons you gave for not adopting a black child are some of the issues they wrestled over during their adoption process. They head an inner city ministry in Compton, Cali so adopting a black child makes complete sense. Thanks for a good read

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Rob Reed  
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
7/4/04, 1:18am
graphic
>Im not sure how I happened upon this post, but I must say that
>I read it and I enjoyed it. I have some white friends who
>just adopted a black child. The very reasons you gave for not
>adopting a black child are some of the issues they wrestled
>over during their adoption process. They head an inner city
>ministry in Compton, Cali so adopting a black child makes
>complete sense. Thanks for a good read

Your comments are much appreciated... I did get some flack for my outward opinion (even from my own family), so it is nice to see that the post was interpreted in the manner intended.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
--------------------------------------------------------

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Guest41285 (IP: 24.23.52.13)
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
1/26/05, 6:01am
stuMbLED on ThiS pOst aNd Found it very InTeresting
good luck with your decision

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Guest33924 (IP: 201.238.79.78)
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
6/3/05, 2:03pm
I ... I ... I don't know where to begin. You say that it would be okay to adopt a Hispanic child because you live in the San Fernando Valley, and there are many Hispanics -- correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't their Blacks in the San Fernando Valley as well? And to intimate that more books by Black authors or God-help-me, hip-hop CD's would help "define" a child's Black culture is frightening. I won't even speculate why you call this the "Urkel" effect.

Listen: as a woman in an interracial marriage who adopted a biracial child, I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the desire to adopt a child who "looks like you." It's definitely a consideration, and one we took seriously when we adopted our daughter. You lost me, though, when you started coming up with reasons why "black" wasn't appropriate. If your only reason for not adopting a black child is because the adoption would appear obvious on its face, I would've supported you 100%. It's the other reasons you pull out that start to make you appear racist.

My $0.02.

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Guest33924 (IP: 201.238.79.78)
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
6/3/05, 2:03pm
I ... I ... I don't know where to begin. You say that it would be okay to adopt a Hispanic child because you live in the San Fernando Valley, and there are many Hispanics -- correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't their Blacks in the San Fernando Valley as well? And to intimate that more books by Black authors or God-help-me, hip-hop CD's would help "define" a child's Black culture is frightening. I won't even speculate why you call this the "Urkel" effect.

Listen: as a woman in an interracial marriage who adopted a biracial child, I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the desire to adopt a child who "looks like you." It's definitely a consideration, and one we took seriously when we adopted our daughter. You lost me, though, when you started coming up with reasons why "black" wasn't appropriate. If your only reason for not adopting a black child is because the adoption would appear obvious on its face, I would've supported you 100%. It's the other reasons you pull out that start to make you appear racist.

My $0.02.

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Rob Reed  
Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
6/3/05, 6:03pm (Last Edited: 6/3/05, 6:08pm)
graphic
No real news to report for now, other than that we received a letter about two weeks ago from our social worker, where she has told us that she is resigning from the agency.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as we have been reassigned to Sherie (the social worker we started with), who was extremely helpful.

In other news, we received a provocative response in the Urkel Effect thread today...

>I ... I ... I don't know where to begin. You say that it
>would be okay to adopt a Hispanic child because you live in
>the San Fernando Valley, and there are many Hispanics --
>correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't their Blacks in the San
>Fernando Valley as well?

Sure... but let's be real. There is a substantially larger latin/hispanic population in the San Fernando Valley.

>And to intimate that more books by
>Black authors or God-help-me, hip-hop CD's would help "define"
>a child's Black culture is frightening.

This misinterpretation of my post really emphasizes my point. When we talk about race issues, there is always a bias. You read this point of mine, and you completely missed the fact (it was the very next paragraph) that I was agreeing with you. While I have CDs, DVDs and books by and including African-Americans, I made the point that this simply isn't going to cut it to help my child (were s/he to be black) "define" his/her status as an African-American.

It is because of this inherent bias that I feel that those who adopt a child of a different race than either parent are already in a hole twenty feet deep. In fact, your response only solidifies my opinion.

Here is my quote, again... read it slowly.

"e-Sure, Marie and I have books by Toni Morrison and Zora Neale Hurston in our library. Jackie Robinson tops my list of role models. We have a number of "hip hop/rap" CDs in our music collection.

But, this would hardly count as providing an African-American child with sufficient culture, such that his or her identity would be clearly shaped.-quote&

I guess you missed that second paragraph.

>I won't even speculate why you call this the "Urkel" effect.

It was funnier (and probably less offensive) than the "Uncle Tom" effect.

>Listen: as a woman in an interracial marriage who adopted a
>biracial child, I TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND the desire
>to adopt a child who "looks like you." It's definitely a
>consideration, and one we took seriously when we adopted our
>daughter. You lost me, though, when you started coming up
>with reasons why "black" wasn't appropriate. If your only
>reason for not adopting a black child is because the adoption
>would appear obvious on its face, I would've supported you
>100%. It's the other reasons you pull out that start to make
>you appear racist.

I "pulled out" two. First, was the appearance factor; second, was the fact that I would teach my kid to be color blind, which -- actually -- I think is a detriment to an African-American child because it pins him/her into a neutral zone when many on both sides of the color spectrum either want to pull the child into that side or the spectrum... or do not want that child on their side at all.

In my humble opinion, this is hardly racist. It is merely realistic. Pessimistic, maybe... but, remember, what set off my post was an article by an African-American woman, adopted by a white couple, who was very dissatisfied with her adoption.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
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Guest34777 (IP: 4.35.112.59)
Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
6/9/05, 11:52pm
An interesting article that I read when we were discussing the interracial adoption questions--

[URL REMOVED]

This was in Salon Magazine. Maybe you've seen it already. I think it covers a lot of the same ground you're considering when you speak of the Urkel effect.

Becky

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Guest34777 (IP: 4.35.112.59)
Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
6/9/05, 11:55pm
Oops, URL was removed. Maybe this will post and you can retype it:

The usual h-t-t-p://
then
[URL REMOVED]
slash
aug97
slash
mothers
slash
adoption970804
dot
html

Becky

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Guest34777 (IP: 4.35.112.59)
Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
6/9/05, 11:57pm
One more try:

archive
dot
salon
dot
com
slash
aug97
slash
mothers
slash
adoption970804
dot
html

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Guest35714 (IP: 200.108.20.86)
Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
6/19/05, 7:32pm
Rob --

First -- I appreciate that you responded to my post. I really do -- thanks. Secondly, your misinterpretation of my post brings my point home, exactly. I said (read it slowly, now) that you *intimated* that hip-hop CDs and African-American authors would *help* define black culture -- the fact that you even brought it up intimates this. I understood that you tried to back off of this in your following paragraph, but, in my opinion, the suggestion was already out there. Then, here, you go on by saying you would teach your child to be colorblind -- but that you realize that it would hurt an African-American child to do so. Wouldn't it also hurt a Hispanic child? An Asian-American child? Why is this an issue only in the adoption of an African-American child?

Finally (and I should have said this in my earlier response), I do commend you for understanding your limitations when it comes to transracial adoption. Because the damage that could've happened if you (or anyone else involved in a transracial adoption) hadn't ,certainly far outweighs any misinterpretations or misunderstandings that are voiced in your forum here. So congratulations to you on your (and your wife's) self-reflection.

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Rob Reed  
Re: Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
6/21/05, 10:12am (Last Edited: 6/21/05, 11:53am)
graphic
>First -- I appreciate that you responded to my post. I really
>do -- thanks. Secondly, your misinterpretation of my post
>brings my point home, exactly. I said (read it slowly, now)
>that you *intimated* that hip-hop CDs and African-American
>authors would *help* define black culture -- the fact that you
>even brought it up intimates this. I understood that you

I believe that hip hop CDS, books by African Americans, and films by African Americans do help to shape a young African American's identity. If youy don't, we'll just have to agree to disagree here.

Focusing on just hip hop Cds makes my point sound ridiculous... I do understand that there is a bigger picture.

Hip hop CDs, alone, don't define the African American culture. Interestingly enough, one could reasonably argue that hip hop Cds define the ENTIRE high school culture today... just pass by a high school as the final bell rings and the cars come out.

>tried to back off of this in your following paragraph, but, in
>my opinion, the suggestion was already out there. Then, here,
>you go on by saying you would teach your child to be
>colorblind -- but that you realize that it would hurt an
>African-American child to do so. Wouldn't it also hurt a
>Hispanic child? An Asian-American child? Why is this an
>issue only in the adoption of an African-American child?

WHAM. This point slapped me in the face... I had to think a bit... but I think I have explained myself in the past. Perhaps, you are forgetting that Marie and I are a mixed couple?

A Hispanic child... an Asian child... a White child (or some mix of the three) would look like both or one of us. The identity issue (and culture issue, for that matter) would not be as prevalent, problematic, and obvious as with an African American child. If we were to adopt a black child, we couldn't come close to veiling the difference.

Marie is Filipina... has Spanish in her near immediate ancestry (grandfather)...

In thinking about it, one could argue that a white child would feel nearly as uncomfortable as a black child in our family... and this is why an all-white child isn't our preference... still, a white child would not seem "out of place" with a white father and is not as likely to have identity/cultural, problematic issues, in my thinking.

I am focusing a lot on the child's thinking and feelings in the above paragraphs, as I look back... the reality (and I imagine it is obvious to most folks reading this) is that this issue is largely about Marie's and my comfort zone.

I have no doubts that we could (and will) raise a wonderful human being, whether black, white, brown, yellow, green, blue. I do have doubts that once that is complete... we might be resented, much like the author I cited in the beginning post of this thread resented her white parents.

>Finally (and I should have said this in my earlier response),
>I do commend you for understanding your limitations when it
>comes to transracial adoption. Because the damage that
>could've happened if you (or anyone else involved in a
>transracial adoption) hadn't ,certainly far outweighs any
>misinterpretations or misunderstandings that are voiced in
>your forum here. So congratulations to you on your (and
>your wife's) self-reflection.

Thanks for your comments... you have been helpful.

--------------------------------------------------------
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
--------------------------------------------------------

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Guest34777 (IP: 4.35.112.59)
Rob Reed  
Re: Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
6/21/05, 10:13am
graphic
>One more try:
>
>archive
>dot
>salon
>dot
>com
>slash
>aug97
>slash
>mothers
>slash
>adoption970804
>dot
>html
>

http://archive.salon.com/aug97/mothers/adoption9708
04.html

Thanks for the link, Becky!

--------------------------------------------------------
"Treat the Earth not as if it was given to you by your parents, but as if it was lent to you by your children." - Kenyan Proverb

"The power of accurate observation is often called cynicism by those that do not have it." - George Bernard Shaw
--------------------------------------------------------

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Guest39197 (IP: 67.22.34.91)
Re: Revisiting The 'Urkel' Effect
7/21/05, 11:40am
We are wishing to adopt also. This will be our second time around We openly adopted our daughter at birth five years ago! I can understand so much of what you are blogging about! Especially The Urkel Effect! We wish you luck and we will keep reading you. Maybe we should put our blog back up too! It helps to vent during this time of waiting. After going through IVF many times and 10 years of infertility it has been all worth it to have our daughter! Wishing for another baby to love!
Nicole
[URL REMOVED]

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Guest33924 (IP: 201.238.79.78)
Guest39215 (IP: 207.200.116.9)
Re: The 'Urkel' Effect
7/21/05, 6:03pm
I just re-read this blog.

What is your definition of racist?

May I gather that you are of color?

All this name calling and finger pointing points the finger back at you. Don't you realise this? I have heard that black people say they can't be racist because they are the minority. Bunk, I say.

Just because an honest young couple dare to express their true feelings in a most sensitive area they are "racist" bunk

They have admitted to being a"mixed" couple. Yeah, they are racist...what aginst only black folk? Get real. People like you make me so furious.

Our world will never be one until people like you stop playing the "race" card and just live.

My .02 cents.......

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