Montgomery County family talks about their experience with transracial adoption

In Black and White

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Crystal Douglas and her husband live in Montgomery County with their three daughters.

“We were not able to have our own biological children,” she said. “And all we wanted was one. But [God] blessed us with three.”

Sandra and LaKyah are biological sisters. They’re in sixth and seventh grade. Their baby sister, Riley, is 2.

“We’ve had her since birth. Her adoption went through back in October of 2019.”

Riley is a white toddler in a Black family.

“People ask if we’re babysitting her. We’ll say no, she’s ours,” Douglas said. “Sometimes they won’t say anything. They’ll just stare. Then they hear her say mommy or Jeffrey says ‘come on over here to mommy’ or ‘come here to daddy’ and they’ll kind of look like what’s going on?”

They even get questions at day care.

“We had a little girl come up and say ‘is that your child? Are you her mommy?’ Yes. ‘Why is she white and you’re Black?'”

The most recent data shows transracial adoptions have been growing for years. One survey of people who were adopted found 44% were adopted by parents of a different race. FOX8 asked Douglas how that has shaped their conversations.

“I think with LaKyah and Sandra, they don’t really have questions I guess because they’re older. But we have discussed when that time comes, will Riley automatically realize that she’s different? Is that a conversation we’re going to have to generate? Or if it’s something I wonder if she’s going to come to us about.”

Meanwhile, they share their life on YouTube.

“Sometimes I’m just talking about experiences. They’re not all happy. They’re not all good experiences. Then you see us doing challenges and pranks and how-to, just sharing with those that may want to see us this is who we are, there are no strings attached. There are no curtains up. What you see is what you get.”

They introduced Riley when her adoption was final. Douglas says they’ve talked here and there about their adoption journey.

“But we’ve never really just said hey she’s different but she’s ours.”

Their family is an example that race can’t dictate every conversation, but it also can’t be ignored.

“We’ve always tried to teach our older girls there’s no difference in color. There’s a difference in how we’re treated. There’s a difference in the response we get from others. But for us, we’re all the same. But we still have to teach the girls even though we understand it here, everybody on the outside doesn’t get that. So we have to address it,” she said.

And they address it with love. A love that in this family comes in every shade.

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