Why it’s crucial to acknowledge the race of your adopted child

Adoptive parents explain effort they put into self education and inclusivity

SAN ANTONIO - – Parents who choose to adopt have so much love to give. When they adopt kids of a different race, that love requires education and extra responsibility.

Natalie Megerson and her husband were destined to be parents.

“My husband and I got married later in life and we tried to have a kid and it wasn’t working out,” she said.

Then they found Trulight127 Ministries, a local foster and adoption agency that runs a foster care campus and offers classes for parents.

Trulight introduced Megerson to three beautiful children who soon became her forever family.

“There were certain cultural requirements that you needed to do,” Megerson said. “Every parent has a responsibility to give your kid tools that they need to succeed later on, so I look at it that way. Because of their skin color, there are certain tools that they need.”

Her two sons are Hispanic and her daughter is African American.

“One of the things I hate hearing is, ‘I’m color blind. I don’t see color.’ It’s very important for culture to be acknowledged,” said Trulight CEO Sondra Ajasin.

Ajasin has her own blended family and helps navigate other adoptive parents through that.

“We try to incorporate as much Hispanic culture as we can in our house,” Ajasin said. “Our foster families, especially when they’re adopting African American children, if you ignore the fact that they’re African American, you are setting them up to fail. Because there are still people out there who will look at them differently, treat them differently simply because of the color of their skin.”

She said acknowledging racial differences is also important when it comes to teaching African American children self care.

“We connect them to a community who not only will do their hair for them, but will come in and teach them and give them resources,” Ajasin said.

“I didn’t know what to do with my daughter’s hair,” Megerson said. “I was kind of lost until I decided to invest in learning. I paid for a class at the organization Tutus and Tennis Shoes. They will teach you what type of hair your child has and what type of products you want to be using.”

Megerson has also learned the importance of surrounding her children with diversity.

“My family is all white, so I think daycare is a great option to get them used to being around all colors, all kids, if there’s questions that they have, I answer them,” she said. “When the hard conversations come down the road, we signed up for that.”

She plans to continue her true meaningful dedication to creating a limitless, inclusive future for her children.

Anyone with questions about adoption, fostering, or parent education classes can call Trulight127 Ministries at 210-245-KIDS, email them at info@trulight127.org or visit the organization’s website.

RELATED: Hope for a Home: Adoption questions answered

About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

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