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The Gospel and Trans-racial Adoption

by Dan Cruver Published Nov 4, 2011

Dennea Pierre did a great job summarizing her husband’s breakout session on the Gospel and trans-racial adoption. Vermon’s breakout session was the only one I was able to attend at our conference in Phoenix, and I am so glad I did. It was fantastic. Vermon Pierre is the lead pastor of Roosevelt Community Church, a diverse church in downtown Phoenix of White, Black, Asian, African, Native, and Hispanic brothers and sisters in Christ.

Here’s the summary of Vermon’s breakout session:

Some of the problems that happen when white parents adopt cross-ethnicity is the family emphasizing race too much or too little.

Families who talk too much about race

Saying we want our kids to be “black” doesn’t work. Black culture isn’t monolithic. There are subcultures within the black culture so we need to make sure that we do not expose our kids to our one idea of black culture.

Sometimes the family views their white culture as negative for their children and so they over compensate based on, often, stereotypical views of what it means to “be black.”

Families who talk too little about race

There is a problem with divorcing your child completely from their culture. Your kids ARE your children, but they were not always your child. They have a story and they came from somewhere.

The idea that your kids don’t notice that the way they look is different from everyone around them is ignorant. Especially with the black/white reality…the history of racial separation was not that long ago.

When your child from Korea gets adopted by your Idaho farming white family, she doesn’t just become an Idaho white girl, but your family also becomes Korean. This is what Christ did with us…he became human so we could become righteousness.

If you adopt a child of a different race then your child WILL have tension. The tension is not a bad thing. It is nieve and ignorant to ignore that tension and it missed out on an opportunity to point your child to the gospel.

When we become believers we are placed IN Christ. We are not lost in Christ….but we are placed INto Christ. We do not become born into a people that makes my ethnicity insignificant. In Christ, our identities are redeemed and redeemed in a way that unites us to other people.

Here are his 4 take away points:

Know the theology of adoption. Knowing that God has adopted us to a family changes the way we see race. Revelation 7 paints a picture of every nation crying out to God from every tribe. When John lcoks at the multitudes of people he doesn’t see one shade. He sees all sorts of different ethnicities. Ethnic designations remain in eternity, but all submitted under Christ.

We can help our children’s identity issues by having a robust theology of salvation and how that relates to adoption.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your children about race.

Your identity as a diverse family will be helped the more you are in diverse community.

Point out good historical role models from their racial/ethnic background AND their adoptive family background.

Give your kids a gospel love for other cultures. Give your children Multi-cultural competency. They are citizens of heaven and that heavenly race is diverse.

Read Dennae’s entire summary.

  • Rob T

    Great points!

  • Kara M

    So great! I so enjoyed Vermon’s session! I loved his point that your child not only becomes apart of your culture, but your family becomes apart of theirs. Becoming a Korean family.

  • Kara M

    So great! I so enjoyed Vermon’s session! I loved his point that your child not only becomes apart of your culture, but your family becomes apart of theirs. Becoming a Korean family.

  • Joeltlaing

    I’m so sorry I didn’t go to this breakout session. Great notes!

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