Last summer, before Teddy started full-time preschool, the teacher whose classroom he was assigned to made home visits. He (he! Teddy got one of the few male early education teacher in the district!) graciously carved time out of his schedule to meet with each of his future students’ families and brought along his aide. We were thrilled at the opportunity to chat and hear about his vision for the year…and what would compel someone to voluntarily hang out with 4-year-olds all day. I had lots of questions, but one thing we wanted to talk about was that Teddy was adopted. We’re an adoptive family.
It’s pretty obvious, since our kids are black and we’re white, but we had no idea how it would play out at school. I even wrote a blog post about it for another site. Would Teddy get peppered with questions about why his skin was dark and ours was light? Why he looked nothing like us? Would we? We were prepared for it, but we hadn’t really discussed with Teddy how to respond.
The teacher was unfazed. He didn’t anticipate it being a problem, but Teddy would be his first adopted student, so he didn’t really know what to expect.
We’re now three-quarters of the way through the school year, and all our concerns appear to be unfounded. I have no idea whether my other blog post was necessary, whether the other kids in Teddy’s class went home that first day and wondered aloud at the dinner table about our family and Teddy’s skin color. But Teddy has not reported being interrogated or singled out.
In a class of four white students and 16 black students, Teddy has befriended three of the four white children and a couple of the black children. Which means nothing except that children don’t care about color.
In an interesting twist, one day at pickup, Teddy pointed out to a black friend that his sister Lydia had dark skin like himself and the friend. The friend kind of cocked his head, as if to say, who cares? But evidently it was something Teddy had thought about.
I know Teddy will get questions as he continues in his school career, because I get them all the time from older children. But it seems we have some time before that happens.