Lakshmi Iyer is a proud mother of three children. After adopting their twin girls, who happen to be white, she gave birth to their third child. In a piece she has penned for Huffpost and Adoptive Families, she discusses the questions and experiences she regularly navigates with regards to raising a non-traditional family.
When one of her daughters asks “Am I Indian?”
“I am tempted to pull her to me, to explain she is American by birth, Native American by birth heritage and Indian by virtue of being raised by us.”
How others react to their family:
In ways that I had not foreseen, our family is now a poster child for racial awareness. Our children are advocates for recognizing white privilege. Our interaction with the outside world is fraught with undertones. Regular grocery trips turn into adoption education. Checkout lines are trial runs to prepare my children for the harsh glare of the real world.
“Are they yours?”
“Where are their parents?”
“Are you their nanny?”
“What are they?”
The future she sees for them:
“My children will walk into interviews and challenge assumptions made based on their names. They will walk the streets of Chennai and speak Tamil with consummate ease. They will know how to make dosas, and how to bake a mean banana bread. My children will bridge cultures and define themselves all over again as adults.”
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