The first time the Perkins family met their son Josiah, the day was filled with hugs, soccer, and lots of happy tears. Alex, Katy, and their son Devin welcomed Josiah into their home in 2019, and although life as a family of four can be hard work sometimes, the fun that they have together and the love that they share for one another always outweighs those difficulties.
“We were lucky enough to be able to finalize Josiah’s adoption on National Adoption Day in 2019,” Alex explained. “The outpouring of love and support for that kiddo was amazing.”
The Perkins family is one of many who have made the decision to adopt transracially. When adopting a child of color as a white family, it’s important to be educated on and have continued discussions regarding culture and race, understanding that racism and racial inequality are realities that all people of color in the United States face. Taking steps toward anti-racism and helping children of color stay connected to their culture are essential parts of becoming a multiracial family through adoption.
“We do have different skin colors,” Katy explained, “and it’s something we acknowledge...this is our child, and he’s part of us! Our other child does look like us, but we love them both unconditionally."
Alex explains that the family has worked hard to diversify the literature in their home in order to make it more inclusive and representative of their family.
“There are some really fantastic kids’ books for both adoptive families and for adoptive biracial families,” Alex said. “The books that you read at night actually do sink in and matter.”
The Perkins family also explained the importance of having different types of supports in place when adopting from foster care. For them, MARE’s mentor program has been a great resource.
“There’s a family that actually lives close by that’s a similar makeup as us with one older, biological child and another child adopted from foster care,” Katy said. “We’re great friends with them now!”
Throughout their post-adoption experience, the Perkins family explains that they have learned a lot, including how to best support a child with speech delays and managing the “big emotions” that are often presented when communicating as a family.
“I will say, having an adopted kid has really helped us think about what our definitions are for success for our children,” Alex said. “It’s more about love, happiness, knowing yourself, and being able to support yourself.”
“For a while, we thought we were a family of three,” Katy explained. “And while it is a challenging road, there’s really a lot of joy in seeing the kids play together and be great brothers. That’s an opportunity that as a family of three, we never would’ve had.”
After the pandemic, Alex, Katy, Devin, and Josiah look forward to traveling together as a family of four. Devin specifically looks forward to visiting his grandparents when the family is vaccinated and exploring the state of Rhode Island. Josiah looks forward to getting outside and going snowboarding!