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Adoption Blog: Familia Means Family

Juggling Three Cultures

transracial adoption family

We are that family. You know, the one you see around town and you recognize immediately—well, if you live in a small town, that is. I suppose in a big city our family could pass inconspicuously through the checkout lanes of the nearest supermarket. But here, in our small world, we are famous.

I don’t mean everyone knows our names and our story, but there are probably few people here that have not at least seen us. You see, we live in a small town in the Southeast, and we look like a committee of the United Nations. I, Ecuadorian by birth, have the dark eyes and hair and the olive complexion of an average Hispanic woman. My husband, my beloved gringo, is Caucasian, pale as snow, with green eyes and brown hair. (Well, it used to be brown. It’s now in competition with his skin tone. He will tell you this has happened over the last 10 years. Ironically, this is the length of time we have been married.) Our children are both African-American. They are 5 and 3, a girl and a boy, drama and mischief, in that particular order. And we are bilingual—or at least my children and I are. My husband defends himself in Spanish pretty well. He says he knows enough to “get himself in trouble.”

So, when you see us coming, you will see many shades of skin color and hear a couple of languages. While I try to spark in my children a love for my Ecuadorian ancestry, a pride in their Black ethnicity, and a working understanding and appreciation for my husband’s Southern white culture, I’m also working to teach them to speak two languages fluently. The way we juggle three cultures tends to confuse the daylights out of some of our small-town neighbors, which can be entertaining.

Sound exhausting? It can be. But it is so much fun, and we look forward to sharing more about our family’s story in the weeks and months ahead.

Related Posts on AdoptiveFamiliesCircle


You are very welcome Gaby,

I speak Dutch, my husband speaks Greek and the kids some Greek and a little Dutch. I admit we find it challenging to speak anything other than English at home but we travel to Greece to visit my in-laws usually once a year which helps.

Thanks for the compliment.  She is definitely the princess in the family smile


By Ellenore Angelidis on Sunday, June 05, 2011 at 8:33 am.

We are that family in a big way but it is because we are gringos with two young adult biological children and two 3 year old Bolivian daughters by adoption.  So everyone notices us because we live in Bolivia and we speak English and Spanish.  If we don’t get comments we get stares but it is always interesting how positive people are (more so than the judge).  At school I am known as the ‘mamá de las gemelas’ (mother of the twins) rather than the gringa so that is nice.

By Tracey on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 1:42 am.

Hi, Tracey!

Your family sounds a lot like mine (minus the biological children, of course). One of the post I will post in the next few months is about the interaction we have with people when we go back to Ecuador. The questions, stares, and comments are different from the ones we get here. I’m sure you relate.
Nice to meet you and I hope you keep popping in sharing your experience so we can compare smile

By Gaby on Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 2:15 am.

Hello everyone included in this blog. I do hope you can help me in my search for resources for an adoptive family in need! Do you know of any articles or books that are available in Spanish on adoption? I received a call from a case worker who has a Latino adoptive family that does not see the importance in telling their son he is adopted. There adoptive son was also a relative.
Any suggestions as to where I could get ANY resource, articles, links that are available in Spanish would be wonderful!

By Parent2Parent on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm.

Hi, Parent2Parent. What a tough situation!

Here are two articles I found quickly to get started with the dialogue. Both discuss the importance of telling children about their adoption. I hope this helps some.

By Gaby on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm.


Two classic Adoptive Families resources on explaining adoption to young children, “Talking to Your 3- to 5-Year-Old About Adoption” and “Talking to Your 6- to 8-Year-Old About Adoption,” have been translated into Spanish and are available to download on the main AF website.

“Como Hablar con Tu Hijo de Tres a Cinco Anos sobre la Adopcion”:

“Como Hablar con Tu Hijo de Seis a Ocho Anos sobre la Adopcion”:

Hope these are helpful!

By Eve on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm.

Thank you, Thank you! I apologize for the delay in responding! I wasn’t aware I could get a notification when someone has responded to a post. The good news, I am confident that this family is still in need of support as well as many to follow. I will save these articles and pass them back to the agency who called as well. Thank you again for your willingness to support families!

By Parent2Parent on Monday, October 03, 2011 at 8:39 pm.

Hi Gaby!

I was searching around for blogs about interracial adoptions and came across your blog here. I’m so excited!

I am white, my husband is Mexican, and we will be finalizing our adoption of a 2 year old girl and her 5 year old brother (both African-American) in July. They are actually part of my family through marriage and we have been fostering them for 6 months. My sister fostered them before us.

My husband and I have been married for almost 13 years now, with no luck of having children naturally (I have PCOS), but we have now been blessed with these two little ones. The lifestyle change from no kids to two kids has been a bit of a struggle, but we’re working through it. Please check out my website if you ever get a chance. I just began blogging about our family not too long ago.

Thank you for sharing your story!

By CrystallineTulip on Monday, June 09, 2014 at 2:09 pm.
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