Race...yep, I am going there!

What community do you belong to?

As some of you know, I am a Caucasian woman, who adopted an African American child through the foster care system. That being said, I wish race was not an issue in our lives, and for the most part, it is not. Every now and then though a situation will come up that makes me realize that we have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.

The other day, a family member of mine was telling be about a comment that someone she knows made. This woman felt the need to say to my family member "you know, he (referring to my son) will need to decide someday if he is going to be black or white and will need to decide if he will be in our community (referring to the caucasian community) or the black community" My family member handeled it perfectly.

This is what I have to say about that. My son is African American. What is there to choose? He was born that way, God made him that way, and that is who he is. He lives with a white mom, but does that mean he is not African American?

My son is surrounded by a mix of good, caring people who I have chosen to be role models in his life. These people come from all walks of life, are all different races and some are different religions.

My son is being taught that he was chosen by me because he is special. He knows that we are differnt colors, but as he would say "You cut me, I bleed red, you cut you, and you bleed red...we all bleed red!" (As he learned so well from his wonderful daycare lady).

So, to that lady, I say...there will be no choosing for my son. He is who he is. He is being raised with morals and being taught respect.

He will be a member of the human race and a productive member of it. (If it is the last thing I do!)

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Alfred June 14, 2012 at 05:42 PM
I think she meant which culture will he chose, not which race. There is a notable difference in the cultures of an Africian American person in the inner city of Milwaukee and Tosa, Shorewood or Whitefish Bay.
sparky June 14, 2012 at 06:19 PM
My Lord, you let him hang around Catholics? What the heck are you thinking Wish there was a "just kidding" emoticon.
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 02:43 AM
LOL Sparky. How do you not hang around Catholics in Milwaukee?
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 02:43 AM
The culture you are referring to Alfred is a stereotype. Ignorance is no excuse.
Debbie Maley June 15, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Wow, Melissa. I am shocked that somebody would ask a question like that.
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 02:53 AM
I am glad the family member I am talking about handled it. They were so mad. The funny thing is that they just said it out of the blue. They were not even talking about Elijah.
Alfred June 15, 2012 at 02:57 AM
Melissa you are quite naive, maybe willfully ignorant?
Deb June 15, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Melissa, this is well written and obviously you know that we are a transracial family with our daughter and very proud of it. Our daughter's had others refer to her as "black" and us as "white" and she simply replies that she's "brown" and we're "peach" and that we go together perfectly...out of the mouths of the young lies the truth. On a side note, I can't help but notice why this Alfred keeps commenting on your different blogs and always in an unsettling and negative tone. I can't help but think that if he only knew you and your son that he would be ashamed of himself! You're an excellent mother and good role model for many in the community and I say continue what you're doing and the "Alfred's" will slither away....
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 03:03 AM
Alfred..crawl back into your hole. You go off of what you see in the news and feel the need to comment on every single post I do. You are a person that gets off on attacking others. I am not ignorant. I deal with the BAD African American people, and white people, and Latino people everyday when working with Foster parents. I also deal with the good. I have news for you...African Americans are everywhere...even Tosa, Brookfield, etc. There are hard working African Americans and there are bad apples. Same goes for every race. What have you done good for this world Alfred? Think about that instead of telling me what to do with my child...telling me that I am a bad mom because I am single (Previous post), stereotyping, etc.
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Thanks Deb. You are a wonderful mama too and your daughter is a healthy, happy, beautiful young lady.
Debbie Maley June 15, 2012 at 03:05 AM
Gee, Melissa, you have a groupie. Even though all he does is complain about what you have to say, he sure knows when you post something. I think that is called stalking isn't it. I am envisioning a bitter old man who sits at home with nothing else to do because he is so lonely and thinks he can try and me everybody else miserable so therefore I think he is he ignorant one. Keep up the great job Melissa. Wish there were more people in this world like you!
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 03:07 AM
Debbie...takes a lot to make you mad. I guess he has a way about him. Ignoring anything else he says. He does not deserve the time.
Debbie Maley June 15, 2012 at 03:08 AM
Well put Deb!
Carmen F. June 15, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Melissa , this Alfred should know that when your son is older he won't be choosing if he is white or black, instead he will be choosing between having the people in his dreams speak English or German : )
Derek Steinmetz June 15, 2012 at 12:59 PM
Thank you for the great post, Melissa! My wife and I are planning to adopt out of the foster care system in the next couple of years. Any suggestions or tips before we get started?
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 01:01 PM
I should have said that the bad people are not the foster parents, but the people they have to deal with to help the kids.
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 01:03 PM
LOL. Yes Carmen. You are right. My son thinks he IS German. He can be whatever he wants to be and my family is German (partially) so he is what he is. :)
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Derek-I can add you to a private Facebook group if you want. It is a safe place for foster parents to vent, talk, help each other, etc. My only real suggestion is just give it your all and know that you are the child's advocate through the system. There is bad in that system, but there is good too..lots of it.
Alfred June 15, 2012 at 01:13 PM
So much for alternative view points. Please keep us posted as your expert parenting skills mature as does your son. You seem very defensive which is revealing.
Melissa P. June 15, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Alfred You have a right to your opinion, but you have no right to attack me as you have time and time again. I never said I was an expert parent, but I am a good parent. No one can tell me otherwise. I know I am a good parent. I would honestly prefer you DO SOMETHING about the issues at hand rather than to attack others who are trying to make a difference or bring awareness to a subject.
Satori June 15, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Don't let Alfred get under your skin Melissa. He's a crotchety, pissed at the world adult troll and not worth the aggravation.
Alfred June 15, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Offering my opinion on a subject you brought up as a blog is not attacking. Your insecurities as a parent show through with every post. 'but I am a good parent. No one can tell me otherwise. I know I am a good parent.'-Wow is all i can say, narcissist much?
Melissa P. June 16, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Alfred- Being confident in how I parent does not make me a bad person or full of myself. Stop trying to bring me down. You want to quote what I said.. then here... "I would honestly prefer you DO SOMETHING about the issues at hand rather than to attack others who are trying to make a difference or bring awareness to a subject." Find something else to do as I think Satori said it best... "He's a crotchety, pissed at the world adult troll and not worth the aggravation."
Lyle Ruble June 17, 2012 at 07:52 PM
@Melissa P. & Debbie Maley....Don't let people like Alfred get under your skin. He and a few others want to cause problems whenever they have an opportunity. Just be aware there are a number of us who understand what your doing and fully support you. Every child deserves a caring and loving home.
Melissa P. June 17, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Lyle-Much appreciated
Jose' June 18, 2012 at 02:05 AM
Happy Fathers Day! Oh never mind.....
Melissa P. June 18, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Thanks. I do both roles so I appreciate it!


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