KERNERSVILLE, N.C. – Keia Jones-Baldwin’s family doesn’t look like everyone else.
“It’s not about color. It’s just about these children needing love and support,” said Keia, who along with her husband foster children of all races. “Where ever the needs is.”
The couple are African-American, they have one biological child and three adopted children. Two are multiracial and one is Caucasian.
Because of the combination of different races, it’s not easy for the family to go out in public.
“[People] use to think our son was kidnapped or they would ask ‘are you babysitting?’” Keia said. “We’ve gotten questions from their teachers … and people come right up to us and ask ‘are [the kids] ok?’”
Keia and her husband, who is an officer with the Greensboro Police Department, says people even call police thinking the family has kidnapped a child.
“We’ve had to show the paperwork to the police,” Keia said.
Because of privacy laws, the couple can’t share a lot about their foster children to eyeing strangers in public until they are officially adopted.
“There is not a lot of things that we can say other than we are fine. It’s OK. And that’s not good enough for some people,” Keia said.
At first, Keia thought the public suspicions and questions were just part of an African-American foster family helping Caucasian children until she spoke with Caucasian foster couples helping African-American children.
“With the tables reversed, they don’t deal with this. People think they are just adopting or foster and that’s when I said we need to start sharing our story and having a conversation,” Keia said.
The couple started the facebook page “Raising Cultures” to share their story with the hope of telling the public that love doesn’t know color.
More than 3,000 Piedmont-Triad children are in the foster care program and Keia knows they all need love.
The couple has never set a preference on the race of children who are placed with them.
“I take the children that God has intended me to take,” Keia said. “And we’ve ended up with the ones God want us to have.”