A Conversation About Race and Adoption with Kevin Hofmann

Last night I had the pleasure of interviewing Kevin Hofmann about his experiences growing up in a multicultural household. We talked about race, identity, and cultural expectations. It was a great discussion and we really hope you enjoy it as well.

Don’t see the video?

I’m working hard to makes great interviews with interesting people involved with our story. Please let me know what you thought of the interview in the comments, or by emailing dewittn@anasmiracle.com.

By the way, this our 100th post! I don’t know how significant that is, if at all, but either way it’s a milestone. 🙂

Live Tonight: Race and Adoption with Kevin Hofmann

I just wanted to remind everyone that tonight at 7pm EST I will be interviewing Kevin Hofmann about his book and experiences growing up in a mixed race household.

Kevin Hofmann is the biracial son of a white mother and black father. Kevin was immediately placed in a foster home and adopted by a white Lutheran minister, his white wife and their three white children. Rising from these struggles is an inspiring story of a transracial family who grew up and survived in one of the most racially volatile cities in America. Now married with two sons of his own, he hopes to help encourage transracial families by sharing his experiences through humor and naked honesty. You can read more from Kevin at My Mind on Paper, his blog.
We hope you can join us tonight on our Facebook Fan Page. http://bit.ly/AnasMiracleLive

Save the Date, June 29th 7pm EST: Discussion on Race and Adoption

A quick update today about our next event.

On Tuesday June 29th, Ana’s Miracle will be hosting a discussion on our Facebook Fan Page about interracial adoption and cultural expectations. We will be talking about growing up in a household of mixed cultures and tackling issues of identity. Joining us will be special guest Kevin Hofmann, author of Growing Up Black in White.

For more details and to RSVP go the our Facebook event or, in case you’re not on Facebook, our Eventbrite event.

What Obama’s Victory Meant to Me

Last night the world watched as Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States, and its first black president. For me it was a very emotional and special moment. I watched as a man who has inspired me, who I identify with and who I voted for was lifted into one of the most important positions in the country. What blew me away about this moment was the beauty of seeing all these people come together, united as one, to celebrate a man who gave them hope.

Being Hispanic and growing up in a white household, the issue of race was not important, but it was always there. Throughout my life I have been labeled as “Mexican” because of my skin or “White” because of where I grew up. The truth is I am neither and I am both at the same time. I am Latino, white, black, Asian, German, Jewish as well as a host of other races and cultures which is a reflection of the people I call friends and family. In Obama I see myself. Someone caught between racial identities but at the same time represents the very best parts of what it means to be American.

What struck me the most about last night was all the faces of the people in crowd. White, Black, Latino, young and old all came together to celebrate this historic moment. You could see the hope in their eyes and the admiration they had for our new president. People like Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey who are leaders in their own right last night were humbled to tears. Last night they were not famous celebrities, they were just one of the crowd.

This is where history is made. These are the moments we learned about in school. The moments that Obama himself talked about in his speech. Moments like when women got the right to vote or when Martin Luther King gave his “I have a dream” speech. This must have been what it was like to be inspired by JFK. To be a part of it, to experience it for oneself is truly remarkable.

I feel I have to say congratulations to John McCain for putting up a real fight. While I don’t agree with his politics, his devotion to America is unquestionable. His concession speech was classy, well spoken and sincere. Where was that John McCain during the campaign? Where was the John McCain from SNL? Last night he too rose above his parties politics and acknowledged the significance the moment with honor and respect.

To me this victory meant the realization of MLK’s dream and the dream of millions of Americans who gave everything to make this world a better place. It represents the American dream and the ideal that anything is possible if we work hard. Last night wasn’t about black or white, Republican or Democrat. It was about people coming together. People celebrating the possibility of change and the power of hope. It is a moment that represents the very best of America and a moment that I will not soon forget. Today I am proud to say I am an American.

Congratulations Barack Obama, our 44Th president of the United States of America.

Pidgin-holed, do we have to choose between race and upbringing?

While searching the web to see what other people were saying about Suzanne Berghaus I came across the The Transracial Korean Adoptee Nexus blog. The site’s focus is on Korean Adoption and Pan-Asian identity issues it also looked at other adoptee related news. The goal of the site is to “empower transracial adoptees to speak out and speak with each other.”

kadnexus makes a an excellent point in his post about the story.

Once again I find myself coming back to this idea of identity where transracial adoptees exist within their own space of identity. Just as many are torn between the duality of American/White culture (that they were raised on) and their birth country’s culture, it seems that trying to classify the nuanced situations ofadoptees as either immigrant or refugee is too complex.

We are still considered Asian by appearance, conform to various stereotypes of the already pervasive and systemic virus of over-achievement, yet we also have been raised within middle to affluent White Christian America-raised on many of the same values and logic that most Whites use to manipulate programs such as affirmative action, andracialize people of color. We are inherently taught how to socialize with mainstream white society, communicate with impeccable English, and are given the resources needed to survive. I realize that quite a few of us turned out “ok” but I think it was an interesting analysis that really considers the privileged status from which we come from as Asian Americanadoptees.

I think he makes a great point. Where do transracial adoptees fit in? While many of of benefit from our up brings at the same time it alienates us from our own people. My comment to him was that to white people I am Hispanic and to Hispanics I’m a gringo/white. Where does that leave me? With out a defined culture perhaps.

His response was that “America is all about pidgeon-holing people into picking sides (similarly for biracial people) we are made to feel as though we HAVE to choose sides to be legimitate individuals” I completely agree with this. Growing up I remember one of my friends of a mix racial background “picked” a side that people thought was wrong. She was given a lot of crap for not acknowledging her “black” heritage.

I guess why question is: Isn’t this what America is all about? What makes America great is that it has become this melting pot of culture. That we have all these different points of view and life experiences. Why should we be made to feel like this is a bad thing?

Kadnexus’ goal is to “empower adoptees to feel this space as their own-I think that our identity is unique.” I think is a great goal since a big part of being a transracial adoptee or biracial individual is picking sides.