The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race

Robyn Wells believed she went into the adoption of her Ethiopian son with eyes wide open. She and her husband Timothy, a police officer and Army veteran, who served two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, brought Ben home when he was four years old. The Wells are white and live in Champaign, Illinois, a multi-cultural Big Ten university town and have gone to some effort to create a diverse environment for their son and three biological daughters. Wells knew that raising a black son wouldn’t always be easy. “I figured I’d have to explain some name-calling, have hard talks about language, navigate the waters when somebody’s parent won’t let my son take their daughter to prom,” she says. “But what I have been surprised by is this: At no point in the process of considering transracial adoption did I think I would have to teach my son how to stay alive.”

The Realities of Raising a Kid of a Different Race

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