Op-ed pick: The challenges of interracial adoption

One of our producers, Meggan Ellingboe, passed along this op-ed from The New York Times and sent me this note:

I found this to be a refreshing op-ed written by an adoptive parent; Frank Ligtvoet surprised me with his self–aware essay about being a supportive parent to his two children who happen to be African-American. Ligtvoet brings to light the struggle people like me–those adopted by parents of another race–consciously or unconsciously navigate around identity.

What does it mean to be raised with expectations to be part one group while society expects you to firmly identify as your physical self? How do you keep track of two identities or reconcile them? Where do you find acceptance?

Here’s an excerpt from Frank Ligtvoet’s column about raising a child of a different race from your own:

Our daughter once threw a tantrum on a crowded street on the way to school, and the only way to move forward involved dragging. It was not a pretty sight, and a black woman who had witnessed the scene came up and, bypassing my partner, who was doing the dragging, addressed our child: “Is this your father? Is this your father?” She was claiming our daughter as part of the black community.

You can read the whole op-ed here.

  • Keith

    I think this is much ado about nothing. Where does the line cross between a “perfomance-enhancing drug” and simple nutritional suppliments (vitamins and the like)? What if it were discovered that some of this genetically modified food being grown somehow enhanced performance. Would certain food be banned? It still comes down to ability. I could take all the steroids and performance-enhancers you could give me and I still would not be able to hit a 90 MPH pitch out of the park nor ride hundreds of miles over 2 weeks through the Alps.

    • JasonB

      I see your point, and agree somewhat. But I see it as a progression that I would not want to get started. Next thing you know there would be a sort of drug competition to see who could manufacture the best drugs, who could have just the right drug taking regiment.

      If there is a scale from, as you say, vitamins and supplements to injecting one’s behind with a synthesized hormone, I’d feel comfortable designating that “line cross” somewhere before the latter.

      • David

        Hopefully this will all result in a “drug” education for the whole of humanity. What is it that we are actually striving for in our endeavors?

  • Steve the Cynic

    If people kept sports in perspective, rather than holding the delusion that they actually matter, this would not be a problem.

    • JasonB

      Sports do matter. Regardless of the mindless couch potato who just wants to watch football and drink beer, goal oriented athletic pursuits require a discipline of the mind that is beyond most people’s understanding. A coach in high school who challenged me to do the most push-ups I could said “Do as many as you absolutely, possibly can, then do one more”. It taught me that will was the most important factor, that your mind often gives up before your body does.

      Sports excellence is about the will to achieve rather than just flexing one’s brute physical attributes. I have found it to be as mentally challenging as any intellectual pursuit.

      And in keeping with the ‘question’ drugs have no place in this.

      • Steve the Cynic

        Right. That’s what sports are for. But something is out of whack when, in pursuit of glory and/or riches, an athlete thinks it’s necessary to dope. And what’s out of whack, I think, is the way people glorify top performers.

        • JasonB

          “Out of whack” is accurate. It would be different if they would actually emulate an athlete’s efforts rather than just put him/her on a pedestal and wear their jersey number.

          If drugs take over sports then instead of saying ‘what a great effort’ we’ll be saying ‘I wonder what he’s/she’s taking?’

          • Ann M

            Wouldn’t it be more fun to go out and run or participate in a sport yourself rather than sit and watch people spending their lives taking steroids and trying to make a lot of money?

  • JasonB

    If so, then what would we be honoring when an athlete does well? Would the Olympics award medals for ‘best enhancement of performance’?

  • david

    Legal as in federal or state law? I sort of would think they would have more important things to worry about. But then like the sports themselves i seem to remember a bunch of congressmen getting all worked up over steroids in baseball a while back when in hindsight i know they had much much more important things they should have been doing.

    Really it’s up to the individual sport’s rules committee.

  • Ann M

    Yes, maybe they should do that. Sports are so dull. They should add a few sumo wrestlers to the football teams. Have athletes wear jet packs so that they can fly around. Get them some bionic parts so they can be superpeople. I might even watch sports for an hour once in a while if they did that..

    • kevins

      I love the sumo/football image…what a hoot!

  • kennedy

    You mean, should we allow/encourage people to destroy their own bodies for our entertainment? No.

  • GregX

    yes –
    I wanna see 300 pound gorillas hammering 12 pound bikes up the Alpe du Huez at 90 KPH.
    while I go into a diabetic coma from salty snacks, sugary beverages and complete lack of exercise.

  • Jim G

    No, using performance-enhancing drugs is cheating. It’s not science fiction to imagine DNA manipulation happening sometime in the future. That also would be cheating. We should rely only on our God-given bodies to compete at the best of our unaided ability.

  • Wally

    Sports evolve, especially in the equipment: better shoes, better bikes, better vaulting poles, better baseball gloves, etc. These allow athletes to run faster, ride farther, jump higher, catch better. But still, it’s the principal of humans, competing against other humans, or the clock, or the tape measure. To allow such drugs would mock the accomplishments of those who have excelled with discipline, perseverance, skill, training, and some good genes.

  • David

    How about minds that utilize vitamins, herbs, tea, coffee, thc and lsd (entheogens and nootropics in general)? Countless have won awards in EVERY field of study and endevor.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I’m waiting for the extreme libertarian and anarchist fringe to point out that the difference between vitamins and caffeine and steroids and amphetamines is merely one of degree, and to argue that if people want to mess up their bodies with the hard stuff in pursuit of athletic glory, they should be free to.

    • David

      Yes, and how about minds that utilize vitamins, herbs, tea, coffee, thc and lsd (entheogens and nootropics in general)? Countless have won awards in EVERY field of study and endevor.

  • Dan

    No Way! There are a lot of murders too, should we legalize murder as well!

  • Roy Wehking

    No. If that is what you want, then have a separate sports category for those participants and make it clear., that is what you are viewing.