Love is not Black and White

Date: February 10, 2017 Author: Communications Contract Staff Coordinator Categories: Events | Guest Blogger

Originally published for Adoption Awareness Month, November 2015

An adoption story in honour of Black History Month by Cindy and Darryl

Family PictureWe had one daughter and knew that we had room in our lives for more children. Although the journey was long, our family was completed when twins Isaac and Izzy joined our family through adoption.

When we and our daughter Sarah first met Isaac and Izzy, they were just two years old. They were in Canada on visitors’ visas from an Orphanage in Malawi, Africa. It was instant love, and we applied for an international adoption immediately. The journey was long, emotionally and financially draining. It took three and a half years to finalize the adoption.

With big smiles on our faces, we report that we have not looked back since the day the boys arrived in Canada to see snow for the first time. Izzy and Issac are active, funny, and talented in sports and arts. They are everything ‘busy boys’ should be.

Family trip back to Malawi.

Even though we have always talked openly about the adoption journey and tried to help the boys understand their birth culture and information about their birth family, we knew that they needed to return to Malawi to really understand their roots.

Originally published for Adoption Awareness Month, November 2015

Eleven years after leaving their country of birth, we arrived back in Africa for a whirlwind trip of meeting birth family members and the caregivers of the Orphanage that had taken care of the boys when they were there. We explained that Malawi is really the “heart” of Africa and the boys were immersed into their cultural roots in every way. Everyone in their home village was very kind and loving towards us. Isaac and Izzy discovered they had twelve siblings and that they were uncles. They learned that there were three other sets of twins in the family!

Before we left for Malawi the boys educated their school on the “Home of Hope” orphanage and did a fundraising campaign to purchase cows for the 500 other orphan’s to have daily milk.  The support from other students & staff was amazing.

Upon return in a school presentation about the trip Izzy proudly reported to classmates “there are other people like us”.

We remember what an eye-opening experience it was for the whole family to be immersed in African culture and gain a deep understanding of what Izzy and Issac face every day. For us, new knowledge leads to a deeper understanding of the importance of cultural identity for our sons.

Being an interracial family has its challenges.

The first time we went out as a family to the park, we wondered why everyone was staring. It is these feelings of isolation that we are now learning to navigate. Often we get asked, “How much was it to buy your kids?” There is not enough awareness and education out there. How do you get information to people? Support groups would help in talking about the questions we are asked and help to understand where the questions come from and how to respond to them.

People are uneducated, support groups allow for families and children to talk about situations and learn how to address the feelings of their children.

Izzy and Isaac are members of the ACO Youth Network. Within minutes of meeting at a recent gathering, the boys were sharing their story and identifying ways that they wanted to help educate people by sharing their unique experience in their journey to family.

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