When it comes to adoption, the focus is supposed to be about matching up a pair of capable and loving parents with a child who needs a family. Unfortunately, there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding adoption that can be hurtful to some families. Keia Jones-Baldwin is a mother and therapist from North Carolina. She and her husband, Richardo Baldwin, have four children together. While Keia, Richardo and their children are all African American, their adopted son Princeton is white. The family opened up about how others respond to their family when they are out in public, according to Today.
Keia recalled the day she was called by her foster care supervisor to meet a newborn baby named Princeton. He was born in 2017 of a drug-addicted mother and needed a home. She quickly bonded with the little boy and decided to bring him into her family as a foster child. Just last week, she and her husband were able to officially adopt him.
While the Jones-Baldwin family couldn’t be more in love with Princeton and grateful that he is in their life, their experience has been a little different than many others who have adopted. Not everyone agrees that a little white boy should live with an all black family. As a result, they have had to learn how to deal with stares, cruel comments, and disapproving glances.
“We get a lot of stares,” Jones-Baldwin said. “I’m frequently asked if I’m Princeton’s babysitter…. I get, ‘Why didn’t you let him stay with a family of his own race?'”
Unfortunately, stares are not the worst thing the Jones-Baldwins have had to deal with. They have had the police called on them two separate times because strangers thought they kidnapped the baby.
Keia told the story of one time the police were called in.
Parenting while black. https://t.co/glhrTZ7W8l— @diversityexecutiveacademy (@divexecacademy) September 8, 2019
“We were vacationing in Tennessee and we went to do an old time, Western photo shoot. The girl behind the camera would disappear and then come back. Finally she asked, ‘Is that your baby?’ I told her he was. Then she said, ‘I just took picture of this baby with his family two weeks ago.'”
After the incident, she had to provide paperwork that proved Princeton was her child.
While many would be angry about these types of experiences, Keia chooses love, the thing that brought her and Princeton together. She hopes her family and others like hers will be able to help break down racial barriers.
“Love conquers all,” she said.