Friday, March 12, 2010


Thank you to all of you who responded to my depressing rant (double entrendre intended). I am not usually so race sensitive, race concious--yes, race sensitive--no. I intend for this blog to be about my foster sons' journey, not's not always about me (through I have a t-shirt that states otherwise--no really I do!). And thank you for your blog recommendations! I will be checking them out. You know that old saying 'it would help if babies came with a manual'? Well it is doublely true when parenting tramatized kids, a manual would be really helpful! But, alas there is not one, so I read other people's blogs to learn tips, people who are also parenting tramautized kids, kids who already been tramautized in other situations, so as not to continually tramautize them in my home. If that makes any sense. And during my search I found a missing voice, the voice of black foster parents. Which doesn't mean that I can't learn from non black foster parents (can and do), but...

Now shhhhh I going to let you in on a little secret...all black people are not the same! Yep, it's true, just cause I am black does not mean I know about all things black--just ask FS#1. FS#1 disrupted his pre-adoptive placement in part because of race--so he says. Now I am and still friends with his former pre-adoptive family and was in and out of their house during FS#1 stay there. There were issues and race was one, but IMHO the major one, I think not. However, I do think that it was the easy one for him to complain about. And in his case some of the misunderstandings revolved around hair. FS#1 is vain about his hair and he currently wears it cornrow with braids. His former pre-adoptive parents weren't interested in learning how to take care of black hair, and turned over that responsibility to him. All of this worked okay until the pre-adoptive parents found out in order to save money FS#1 was having his hair done in the projects by a crack whore. And no, I am not just stereotyping here, this person was a crack whore but because of professional ethics I can't reveal how I know. His pre-adoptive parents hit the ceiling! Oh did I mention they found out because the crack whore accused FS#1 of stealing money and was trying to blackmail them into paying xxx amount of money or she would file police charges? So the pre-adoptive parents forbid FS#1 from going there to have his hair done, you know for safety reasons. However to FS#1 they were discriminating against him because of black hair and its not his fault that the only people who could do his hair for $10 are crack whores!

Now I bet you are wondering why I wondered down this memory lane and what it has to do with the depressing post, aren't you? Good question. Okay punch line of this story; imagine FS#1 surprise when I told him that 1) I don't do hair. Dear god I pay someone else to do MY hair and I DON'T KNOW HOW TO CORNROW! Braid, yes, cornrow, no. 2) his hair is his responsibility and no he can't pay a crack whore $10 to do his hair (oh and for point of reference, if FS#1 went to a salon he would have to pay $50-$90 in my little neck of the woods to have his hair braided; also FS#1 recieved a very generous allowance from me, 25% of his foster care stipend and I got extra money because of his special medical needs so he could pay to have his hair done professionally).

So you see, I need the help, advice and perspective of other black foster parents.

PS. FS#1 very cleverly found a way to have his hair done even cheaper, like for free. He realized some of his friends in high school were going to voctech school in cosmotology and they needed to log many hours of practice before they took their licensing test. Voila, match made in heaven!


  1. I'm cracking up right now. I'm not a black foster mom, but I'm the foster/adoptive mom of a black son. (Also I didn't think your previous post was depressing at all - it made perfect sense and I wish there were more black foster moms blogging too.) Hair's a big deal. Like you, we give him a generous allowance, and part of it is to be used for his hair. It's a great teaching tool - for example, he once spent his allowance on marijuana and had to go three weeks without a trip to the barber. Point made. We have the benefit of living very near the famous Legends in Los Angeles - he's tried getting his hair done for $5 at the apartments down the block, and thankfully the result couldn't compare. Between cuts he lets me touch up his lineup with a clippers - great bonding activity.

  2. If he is letting you touch up his hair than I have to say he is quite attached to you--congratulations! FS#1 and I have had those hair bonding moments; sport helments do quite a job on his braids and he asked me to fix the ends so he didn't have to go to school looking 'all jacked up'. Because of sports I didn't have the drug or alcohol issues with him in HS (college, well that is a whole different story). FS#1 is a vain about his body and athletic ability as he is about his hair and he didn't want anything to mess up his chances of being a state-level athlete. His other reason was race-related. He believed (and unfortunately rightly so) that as a black foster kid who wears his hair in braids and dresses like a thug, he would be a cop magnet. And yes, we have talked about his choice of hair and clothes style. Right now, for him, the uniform is working. Right, wrong or indifferent, people percieve him as tough and therefore don't mess with him. He believes if people knew he is a nice guy, they would percieve him to be vulnerable and weak and they would take advantage of him.