My Diverse Home 10 Ways to Incorporate your Child's Heritage into your Home
I am blessed to have a diverse family. I remember when my nephew said to me, “Aunt Kathy, you sure do have a lot of brown people in your family.” I do, and I am so thankful for it! We have been blessed by adoption with Caucasian children, Latino children and for a few years, a bi-racial daughter. All have brought great joy (and a few challenges) to our lives. Diversity is something to be celebrated. This world would be so boring if we were all the same.
When merging cultures and ethnicities, it is important to continue the celebration after the adoption papers are signed. We have tried to celebrate our children’s heritage in a casual, ongoing way. Maybe you can incorporate some of these ideas, too.
- Embrace your child’s heritage/culture. Learn about the history, the politics, the people, the food.
- Make sure your home contains items from your child’s culture. We have blankets, pot holders, and a special nativity set that we purchased during our adoption process. These items have been integrated into our home and are a beautiful reminder of boys’ heritage.
- Include food from your child’s culture into your regular menu planning. When we were in Guatemala, we fell in love with Ducal Black Beans. I am so thankful that we can find them at our local grocery store. We often have a traditional breakfast of corn tortillas, Ducal beans, eggs, and plantains. YUM!
- Return trips – This year our family is hoping to take a mission trip to Guatemala to visit the orphanage where our boys lived before joining our family. We plan on giving back to this beautiful country.
Surround yourself with other families that share your child’s heritage. Invite them to your home. Ask questions. Include them in your life.
- Find mentors for your children that can culturally relate. Several Latino men have invested in my older boys’ life.
- Books, pictures, etc… Have as many printed pieces of material that celebrate your child’s heritage around your home.
- Talk about your time in the country/culture. We often talk about our time in Guatemala. We lived there almost a year during our adoption process. Just last night, one of my children said he fondly remembered the “chicken” buses in Guatemala. We all got a good laugh as we pictured the old school buses full of people flying down the Guatemalan highway.
- Allow your child to grieve the loss of his/her first family/culture. It is not always easy to leave a country/situation that you have always known, good or bad.
- Honor the differences. I work hard to honor my children’s heritage on a daily basis. My latino boys are Latino Americans now, but I NEVER want them to not be Latino!! When I had my beautiful bi-racial beauty, I celebrated her beautiful skin, that HAIR, and her roots. I never would want her to be any other way. Different is beautiful. Celebrate that!
You can read more about raising my diverse family here.