Transracial Adoption with Brittany Salmon

by | Jun 11, 2024


Transracial Adoption

Brittany Salmon is a scholar and author of It Takes More than Love: A Christian Guide to Navigating the Complexities of Cross-Cultural Adoption (Moody, 2022). She is also the adoptive mother to three children who do not share her ethnicity, so her teaching on transracial adoption is not simply academic. She has spent many hours listening to birth mothers and adult adoptees whose experience has shaped her thinking on transracial adoption. She stopped by to talk with Austin about pitfalls Christians should avoid as we try to do the good work of caring for widows and orphans (James 1:27). She also offers helpful insight in how to care for transracial adoptive families, so we hope you will listen and share this episode so we can all support multi-racial families.

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Episode Transcript

Austin Suter (00:03.046) Austin Suter once again joined today by Brittany Salmon. How are you, sister? Brittany Salmon (00:07.79) Great, great. Thanks for having me today. Austin Suter (00:10.694) Absolutely. Brittany Salmon is an author, wife, mother, professor, and Bible teacher. She has an MA in Intercultural Studies from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, an MA in Teaching from NC State University, and a doctorate from Southeastern Seminary. Her daytime job, apart from chasing all her tiny humans, is teaching cross -cultural communication and engagement and leading mentoring and other instructors in her department. She also loves to write and teach. How to take next steps in… applying theology to everyday life. And for our purposes this morning, she’s the author of this excellent new book, It Takes More Than Love, A Christian Guide to Navigating the Complexities of Cross -Cultural Adoption. Thank you so much for this book, sister. It is excellent. Brittany Salmon (00:52.494) Thank you so much, that’s so kind of you to say. Austin Suter (00:54.886) I’ve read it twice now. I highly recommend it. We’ll be giving copies away in our social media, and we’ll link to it in the show notes. So listeners, take note of that. So Brittany, can you just tell us what drove you to write this book and maybe share something of your personal experience with adoption? Brittany Salmon (01:10.158) Absolutely so. My husband and I whenever we started actually we were dating. I had a hard conversation with him when we were about to get engaged to say hey, there’s a good chance I’ve known from an early age that I won’t be able to conceive children and I’m fine with that, but I wanted to make sure he was OK with that as well. And so as we talked about family planning, one of the main things we talked about with adoption. It’s just what we thought we would always do. He had never thought about it before, but it was always kind of plan A for our family. For me personally, I had already made the choice that I didn’t want to do any sort of medical interventions and that that would just be our plan A for growing our family. Lo and behold, a few years into our marriage, we were surprised with biological twins. Had a surprise pregnancy, surprised they were twins. It was a very surprising time all the way around. But we still felt like God had placed on both of our hearts over the years as we had learned and read and walked with friends and family. Um, that we wanted to pursue adoption for our family as well. And so we adopted our son Jude through what we call domestic infant. Transracial open adoption, which simply means we adopted him in the U S domestic infant. Um, we’ve had him from infancy. Um, it’s an open relationship. Me and we have immediate contact with his first family. We don’t have a mediator mediating that. Um, And then it’s transracial meaning he’s a different ethnicity than us. And so we started off with a transracial open adoption and that just kind of broke our whole world into pieces in the best of ways. And so I want to say that that was in the best of ways. And at the time I was doing writing for other Christian organizations, excuse me, and really wrestling with our, what it looks like to be a transracial adoptive family in certain communities, especially Christian communities, predominantly white communities. even in the multicultural spaces that we were living in, what does it look like to parent well? And I could not find a resource. I could not find a book. I could not find a lot of even like good articles or blogs. There just wasn’t a lot out there. And fast forward, you know, about eight years later, Moody Publishers reached out and said, hey, you’ve done a lot of writing for us on race and family and faith. Would you be willing to write this book on transracial adoption? Brittany Salmon (03:35.406) And so I said yes, but with one caveat that I include adopt a voices. I also wanted birth mom voices, but we just couldn’t at the time. I couldn’t get any that would fit well with a book. And so we ended up with just adopt a voices in between. And that’s kind of how it takes more of the love came to pass. Austin Suter (03:55.494) Well, thank you so much for doing the work. I’m sure that wasn’t easy writing because the topic of transracial adoption is complicated, probably more so than most of our listeners might realize because Christians are called to care for the widow and orphan. But can you explain how that mandate might look different for different people in different situations? Brittany Salmon (04:15.054) Sure. So caring for the orphan and widow is, you know, one of those things. It’s a broad, it’s a broad net. It’s a really broad net. And so for our family, we felt very called to open adoptions. We felt called to making sure that first families are seen, heard, loved, respected, honored, that they weren’t just erased from our kids’ stories. For other people not involved in adoption and foster care, they still need to be involved in caring for orphans and widows that can look differently. It could be look for caring for an elderly neighbor. It can look like I’m going to support parents and families who’ve actually had their children removed from their homes for time being who are working towards restoration. People can man we need a plethora of people who are empty nesters who are willing to come alongside men and women who’ve had their parental rights either severed temporarily but are on the path to permanently being severed and are willing to mentor them. love them, meet them where they’re at, walk with them towards the goal of reconciliation and restoration with their kids. And so really use our holy imagination. There are a thousand ways we can support orphans and widows in our culture. And part of that’s family preservation. Part of that’s prevention. There’s CASA. There is safe families. There are a number of organizations out there that are working towards advocating for children and families to stay together. And so we just happen to be the family that says, hey, when there is voluntary family separation for a number of reasons, we wanna be there to support those children, be families for them, but also be willing to step in and say, hey, we’re also going to love and care and respect and honor and hold space for redemption to happen for their first families as well. Austin Suter (06:05.222) So what are the complicating factors that make transracial adoption especially difficult? Brittany Salmon (06:11.406) So many, but it’s a complex thing. I mean, if you even just considering race relations in the United States in 2024, when we’re talking, take transracial adoption of it. It’s a pretty complicated topic. It’s a complicated topic for the church. It’s a complicated, complicated topic for society. Then you add the layer of transracial adoption of an art and sense. It’s we are white Americans. I’m actually Hungarian American, but for the purpose of this conversation, we are white Americans caring for children of different ethnicities than ours. And one of the things that we need to be really mindful of is as we’ve listened to adult transracial adoptees, as we’ve done research on this, racial identity development is an incredibly important factor in our kids’ lives. And so we want to make sure that children are being raised in a home. where their God -given ethnicity and culture is celebrated and not erased. And that can be complex because I am not a Black woman and I have a Black child, so I don’t have all of the skills and the lived experience to say, oh yeah, I’ve walked through this or I know what it’s like to be a Black American woman in 2024. I don’t. And so I have to rely on other resources, whether that’s friends, community, family members, whether it’s… books and resources like it takes more than love. If it’s a lot of listening to podcasts and learning, there’s a number of different resources out and available for trans racial adopted families these days. But it’s just an element that we really have to take seriously our children’s racial identity needs in order to parent them well. And I think as Christians, we have to do this seriously because we are taking, it’s an honor and a privilege to celebrate. our children’s God -given ethnic heritage. That’s a privilege and an honor, and it’s something that we really can miss out on if we choose to ignore it. Austin Suter (08:15.782) What harm do we risk if we rush into transracial adoption too speedily? Brittany Salmon (08:23.598) You know, I think families and I want to be careful here because that was actually that is it. Historically from the 2000 probably 8 to 2016 we have about an eight year span where churches really pushed hey. We’re calling care for orphan and widows. Everybody’s called to adoption. Everyone’s called foster care. I mean, I have. I have said things like that myself. And things that I’ve had to repent of in the past. And so I want to be careful here because I know that there are families who did rush in and go, I rushed into that. So on the front end of what I want to say is you can’t know what you didn’t know. And there is no time like the present to shift and use kind of that conviction as a catalyst for change rather than letting it keep us down in shame. So I want to say that in the front end before I answer that question. If you’re a parent out there and you said I rushed into this, I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Great. Welcome to the club. Almost all of us that we can’t know it all when we come into adoption and this is a safe space to learn. But I think there are some. Serious harms that can be done when families rush into adoption, specifically transracial adoption, and then don’t change and then don’t grow. We are listening to a generation of transracial adoptees and I’m not going to speak on their behalf. But if we take the time to listen to their stories and lament with them and grieve what was lost, you’ll see adults who are now really wrestling and grappling with, okay, what does it look like to be an Asian American? What does it look like to be a Hispanic American? What does it look like to be a Korean American who was adopted by oftentimes white people, but it can be any ethnicity. What does it look like to be an African American adopted by a different ethnicity? And wrestling with. putting together their piece of their racial identity. And I will say the world makes a lot of claims on that. But as Christians, we know that this is part of God’s good design for their life is to fully embrace their ethnic identity. And because that’s who God made them to be. What happened was sin broke that relationship. Because of sin and brokenness, they lost that first heritage and that direct connection to the first heritage. Brittany Salmon (10:43.15) by now having transracial adoptive parents. And so we step in not saying, well, it’s gone. We step in and say, hey, we’re gonna help right the wrong as best we can. Acknowledging our flaws, acknowledging that we’re not gonna get it right, but we’re gonna help do this because we believe that God made you, for my kids, God made you African -American. And we’re not trying to erase that. We’re not trying to ignore that. We’re trying to equip you to develop as a, whole human in your 20s and you know, will still wrestle and that is OK, but be able to have as many access points and touch points available to fully embrace the ethnic heritage that God gave them. Austin Suter (11:27.75) I mean, just given the risks you’re talking about and the harm that we’re hearing from folks who have experienced this kind of adoption, do you think Christians should avoid transracial adoption altogether? Brittany Salmon (11:39.63) No, I don’t. I don’t think that at all. What I do believe though is if Christians are going to pursue transracial adoption, they need to pursue it with their eyes fully opened and their hands open to say, hey, what do I need to change about my life in order to parent this child well, which is what every parent does. You know, even through, I have friends and family members who have biological children and their children are eight, nine years old and they realize their child wrestles with dyslexia or they realize their child. has another need and they start changing their life to meet that need. And even in this situation, so we have five children and we pair all five of our children differently. I’m looking at their different giftings, the way the Lord wired them. I’m looking at their strengths, their weaknesses, and I’m catering my parent. I’m differentiating my parenting to my unique children the way the Lord designed them. And so for transracial adoptive families, it’s no different. It’s just glaringly obvious that this is one area that we really need to spend time learning, relearning. I mean, you’re never going to learn it and be done. I’m still learning. I’m still learning a decade in and going, all right, if I need to shift this here, I’m going to read this book here. I’m going to listen to this voice here. And I’m going to figure out what are some things we need to shift and change as we grow with our kids. Austin Suter (13:04.55) You have a specific admonition in this book against pursuing transracial adoption if you hold to a colorblind view of race. Can you explain what you meant by that? Brittany Salmon (13:15.054) 100%. So this is something that can be controversial and I’m not trying to be. I want to say this very clearly. I believe full heartedly that people can grow and people can change and you can adjust your parenting strategies and skills. But for people who really do believe just love a kid, that’s enough. You just love them. You give them a roof over their head. It doesn’t matter what their skin color is. I would say maybe transracial adoptions not for you. Just like if somebody said, hey, I don’t want to be trauma -informed. I’d say, maybe foster care is not for you. Because trauma is a real thing that all children in foster care and adoption have experienced. And so just like I would tell somebody, hey, if you want to practice trauma -informed parenting, this space might not be for you. I would say the same to transracial adoptive families. And hey, if you’re considering this, And you are not willing to take seriously the needs of your child when it comes to racial identity development. If you’re not willing to celebrate that God made them Asian American, God made them Korean American, African American, you’re not willing to learn about their first culture and do any of that. I would say this is not the space for you. Austin Suter (14:35.27) Yeah, it’s a. Brittany Salmon (14:35.47) The risks are too high. The risks are too high. Austin Suter (14:38.214) Yeah. Yeah. I appreciated the way you articulated that in the book. It’s a serious warning, but I think it’s one we need to take seriously. Another specific warning you give comes from Philippians 2. Do nothing out of rivalry or vain conceit. How in the world is that a risk for potential adoptive families? Brittany Salmon (14:55.566) Okay, so there is something within adoption spaces for those who are unfamiliar. It’s called the savior mentality. And the savior mentality is simply where we go into a space and rather than. So this happens actually the concept originated for missions work for overseas missions work is going over into another country. And again, I. I love missions work. I’ve been a number of short term mission strips and have supported missionaries on the field and I am. pro missions work. I want to say that clearly, but it originated from often oftentimes Western middle class to affluent churches going overseas and almost doing instead of really partnering with local missions missionaries, they’d go over there and they tried to save them. They’d say, all right, you know, they don’t have water and so we’re going to build a well and then we’re going to feel good about ourselves and we’re going to leave. And then they would come back decades later and realize, okay, this was not actually to the community. There’s a number of reasons why, and they just call it a savior mentality of people coming over, doing something good for somebody else to feel good about themselves, and then leaving. I don’t, again, I don’t think all missions work as this. I know a lot of short -term missionaries do this. I know there’s a lot of pushback. I’m not trying to be controversial here, but we also know that that sort of mentality exists. In adoption spaces, there, we’re now hearing from, again, Praise God for adult adoptees who are willing to share some of the hard parts of their stories. And they’re talking about being parented by families who say, you know, we did this really good thing for you. We saved you from this type of lifestyle. We saved you from this sort of heartache. You should be grateful. And so there’s a savior mentality that has crept into adoptive spaces where parents really take the narrative of, I just want to save this child, or I just want to save these kids, or. But they’re putting themselves, I think, unintentionally, oftentimes trying to do a good thing at the center of the story, the hero in the story. And I think when we have a hero mentality or a savior mentality in adoption space, it’s really dangerous. And I think Philippians 2 is such a phenomenal passage that we are to do nothing, not even the good things out of vain conceit. We don’t center ourselves at all. Brittany Salmon (17:15.694) We’re to pour on our lives for others and come alongside them. But I think, um, in adoption spaces where we have. Hero victim mentality, then the bio family is the villain. And I just think when we have hero, victim and villain, that’s an unhealthy place to be where instead we’re all equal at the foot of the cross here. We’re all broken. We’re all centers. None of us have all of our lives together. None of us are free from the brokenness and sin nature that. this world has. And so we just say, hey, we’re equal for the prophets. I feel like the Lord has called our family to enter into adoption spaces. Not as the center, not as the hero, but because we believe every child should have access to a safe and loving home where they can fully thrive. I believe that people can change, that there is no one too far from God’s redeeming power. So I believe that over our kids first families as well. And so when we have that perspective, it removes us as saviors, it removes us as the heroes, and it just puts us as a fellow believer in Christ going, what am I here to do to help? How do I live on a mission here without putting me as the hero, but putting Christ as the hero of our stories? Austin Suter (18:33.478) Do you think there are things that maybe churches or Christian communities do in unintentionally building into the Savior idea in how we celebrate adoptive parents? Brittany Salmon (18:46.862) Yes, yes, and I think a lot of it’s unintentional. I think a lot of churches and Christian spaces. Look from the outside and I think again when we are. We are removed from adoption and foster care when we are not intertwined with these families and it’s like, oh, this is this other thing. It’s easy to create narratives that are untrue. It’s also easy to be like, alright, we’re going to stand up all adoptive families and. celebrate them for the hard work they’re doing in hard spaces. And we just want to applause them and support them and love on them. And every time that happens in a church service, I felt really uncomfortable. Cause what I think is, I wonder what my, I’ve sat in a church service with one of our kids’ birth mom before. I wondered what she would feel in this moment. I wonder what my teenage and adult adoptees feel like, well, they’re getting applauded for raising me. It must have been so tough. Like what, what is that? And so I just think it’s an attempt to celebrate. It’s an attempt to support. Um, I think we do elevate. I mean, I’ve, I’ve been thanked a dozen times when we go into new churches, we’ve moved recently and we were missing churches. It would not be uncommon for someone to say, thank you for the work you’re doing. And I’m always like, do you think every parent who walks through your doors? Um, and I, and again, I appreciate the heart behind it, but I do think it sets us up to platform ourselves. It sets us up to have a savior or hero narrative. That’s just not healthy. Austin Suter (20:20.39) I want to pivot here because we talked about the challenges and perhaps the reasons not to pursue it in circumstances, but I’m wondering if you could speak from your experience on the joys and blessings that come when transracial adoption is pursued carefully, imperfectly, but well. Brittany Salmon (20:36.718) Yeah, you know, one of the things I tell perspective adoptive parents who are doing the work, I’ll I could I do sessions with them sometimes that different adoption agencies is the thing I say is this is I know it can be you can be fearful on one side of it. I’m like, what if I don’t do it right? What if I make a mistake? What if there’s a lot of what ifs and especially for people who who think through things and like the research stuff, there’s a lot of things to be afraid of. But on this side of it, man, what a gift. What a gift for me to get to learn intentionally about a multitude of other ethnicities. What a gift to get to see God, God’s good and unique expression of different cultures, of different languages, of different foods and celebrations and holidays. And it’s just been such a cool, cool thing to learn about these things. I’ve loved it. And then to figure out how to incorporate it into our homes in a natural way. Yeah, it’s a challenge and yeah, I’m not going to say it’s perfect. We do it perfectly. We don’t. But it’s a joy to do. It’s such a joy to do. And man, our kids are awesome. I love, I love getting to parent the kids that God has brought to our house. It’s been such a joy. And so although we are a transracial adoptive family, into the outside world, we stand out to us. We’re just family. And family shows up for one another. And family learns about each other’s history. And family learns about the hard parts of our stories. I mean, we walk through hard things together. And that’s what family is. And so although a lot of times in the work I do, I highlight the potholes that we should be avoiding. I want to also highlight what a joy it is to avoid those potholes together. What a joy it is. If you come into our house, we love our kids. Dinner time is crazy and hectic and chaotic. man, it’s a lot of fun. And we hope that people who come to our home see this is, this is hard, but man, it’s holy. And there’s something special going on here. And it’s not again, Ben and I, it’s not, it’s not my husband and I, it’s not just, it’s not our parenting. It’s that whenever you were caring for orphans and widows, whenever you’re loving your neighbor as yourself, I love the passage in scripture in the gospels where, you know, the lawyer, the expert, Brittany Salmon (22:58.51) to Jesus and says, all right, who’s my neighbor? And then Jesus tells a story that gets American, but he says at the end of that, he says, you know, you do this, you love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind, and you love your neighbor as yourself, do this and live. And we have found that as we do this, we found life and life abundantly when you, when you are partnering with God to help right a wrong and restore, bring a pieces of restoration, not perfect, not perfection. The glimpses of restoration, the sight of glory, man, it’s a sweet life. It really is. Austin Suter (23:35.942) What are some things you’ve done to make sure that your home is multicultural in ways that serve your son? Brittany Salmon (23:42.702) Yeah, so we have so we have three children who are adopted. So we have Jude. Who’s African American? We have Eva, who’s African American. She’s an infant and then we have Zeke who promotes a lot of white people think he’s white, but of course are Hispanic brothers and sisters go. Wait, is he is he Hispanic? He’s Hispanic and Native American. And so one of the things that we have done is alright. We started off small. You know, it wasn’t one of those things where we just jumped into the diving pool. I wish we had. But for us, we’re like, OK, we can start off when they were little with books and toys. And I remember our first Christmas when I looked around and going. This is all like white people celebration, so we had like white activity, white angels and going, all right, this is not going to reflect our children. And so we quickly realized our holiday decor needed to be spruced up a bit. But then as we slowly started just doing like the like the things in our home, that first level stuff, the books, the toys, the things, the artwork. The cookbooks, the things like that, we started doing, all right, let’s kind of diversify our community as well. Praise God, we went into adoption already with connections and friendships that were multicultural. That was such a gift to our family. And in every season of life, our kids weren’t our first people of color at our gender table. And I tell a lot of times perspective, adoptive families, if you’re adopting transracially. Your kids can’t be your first minorities at your dinner table. You really need to be developing those relationships on the front end. But we started making sure that the places that we did like, places we spent money, the extracurriculars where our kids played sports. You know, there’s a number of things that you can choose intentionally to say, all right, we’re going to make sure our kids are not constantly in spaces where they’re the only ones who look like them. There are times when they are. in spaces for a number of reasons where that’s required. One of our kids is going to be in a school for a half day school for children with dyslexia. And he’s going to be one of the few minorities there. And that’s something we’ve had to agree really over the last year, but all right, but what is the support? He needs to learn how to read. So for a short time period, this is where he’s going to go. But we have all these other things in place. Brittany Salmon (26:02.222) where he is still not the only person who looks like him in our family on a regular basis, at around our dinner table, in the extracurricular church services, things like that. We want to make sure we’re in spaces where they can see racial mirrors and they can see people who look like them. That can go from the doctors you choose, the, you know, where do you buy your health insurance from? I mean, all these different things, where we spend our money and time. We get to choose that. And so I always encourage traditional adoptive families to get creative with their babysitters, your extracurriculars, be mindful of your school choices, your church choices. But even aside from those, it goes bigger than that. It’s a much bigger scale than that. Austin Suter (26:51.014) As you’re talking about this, I’m just thinking there are some things that every Christian is called to do. We’re called to love our neighbors. There are also good things that only some Christians are called to, like I’m thinking the call to pastoral ministry. Can you help me locate transracial adoption on that spectrum? Brittany Salmon (27:08.302) Yeah, I think we’re currently the season where we’re correcting that narrative. Like I said before, where everyone should adopt if you have a pulse. And you have an extra bedroom, maybe you should adopt or foster care. Brittany Salmon (27:25.006) That’s just not the case. And my some of the things that we talk to talk through with families and hey, do you have a heart for this? Do you have a heart for not just children having access to a safe and loving home? But do you have a heart for if you’re in foster care, family restoration? If you don’t have a heart for family restoration, you should probably not be involved in foster care. Do you have a heart for birth mothers and women who choose? Women who choose to place their children for adoption. Do you have a heart for them to also receive redemption and goodness and mercy and hope just like you do for their children? If the answer is no, well, maybe adoption is not for you because I think in order to adopt whether it’s a child of the same race or a different ethnicity, you have to develop a love for their first family. For transnational adoption, are you willing? Are you willing to? learn about another culture and kind of weave those rhythms and into your home. If the answer is no, then maybe translational adoption is not for you. And so on that spectrum of what qualifies you, I think it’s what is the Lord equipped you to do and what are the areas you’re willing to grow in and change and make some changes if you’re considering it now to people like me. We have people all the time saying, hey, we’ve always considered adoption. We love the idea of that or foster care. Um, and I said, do the work now, start seeing, put your toes in the water now before a child comes into your home and start seeing, am I cut out for this? Am I equipped for this? Start supporting adoptive families and foster families in your circle and, um, your sphere of influence and say, Hey, can I, can I sit down and pick your brain? What, what do you, what do you do? What does this look like for you? And start supporting them and seeing kind of getting at more. real life look at what they’re doing. It’s like, is this good for me too? And so I don’t have a strict criteria, but I do think those questions that I asked are some pretty healthy questions. Say, am I cut out for this? And at the end of the day, it’s okay if it’s a no. That does not mean that you’re not called to serve orphan as a widow’s. It just might mean that this is not a good season for it. Or it might be a permanent no. My husband and I met in seminary. Brittany Salmon (29:48.782) I wanted to do overseas missions work. That was my, I thought this is what the Lord’s called me to do. I met my husband and he was like, no, no, that I, we are not doing the overseas missions work. He had spent a few seasons overseas and just said, I don’t feel like that’s where God’s calling my life. And ultimately I was like, man, I really want to do this. But if God’s calling me to him and he’s not calling to that, then this is not for me. And that’s okay. Cause I can still do missions work here. In my local community, I can support missionaries abroad. And so we figured out creative ways to do that differently. And I just want to say that doesn’t make you, people who adopt aren’t like varsity Christians. They’re just Christians. And so I, I, for people to be like, well, I really feel like this is what God’s called me to do. And if not, then how am I supposed to express that? I’m like, hey, you’re not called to adopt. You’re called to love your neighbor as yourself. And you’re called to, we’re called to love orphans and widows. There are a thousand ways we can express that and do that in our own. local communities that don’t require adopting a child or fostering children. Austin Suter (30:54.566) I love that answer. Last question, how would you encourage all of our listeners to care for and especially pray for transracial adoptive families? Brittany Salmon (31:08.142) This is going to sound really cliche. But believe adoptive families believe trans racial adoptive families when they say hey, this is hard or my kids expressing this sort of trauma or need or when an adoptive family comes up to a Sunday school teachers as hey. And those two coloring books you gave by Asian American child a white doll. Would you be willing to do this differently or would you be willing to look for maybe more culturally diverse? coloring sheets or curriculum or things like that, believe them and trust them. In order to come alongside them, we’re going to have to see the hard things that they wrestle with with eyes wide open and not on defensive posture. And so I think for churches and for individuals going, hey, how can I help? I say, ask, every family is different. I’ve never met a doctor family who needs the same thing. And when we adopt our children, and bring them home and people are like, hey, can we set up a meal train for you? I’m like, actually a meal train is really not helpful to me. I love to cook. It’s actually a kind of, I really enjoy doing. So meal train is not really helpful for me, but other things are. And so there’s different families have different dynamics and different needs. And I think it’s just being honest, but then when you’re met with an honest answer, take the threat, their word and figure out ways you can meet them where they’re at. Austin Suter (32:28.294) Great answer. Thank you so much for that. Thank you for this book. Wonder if you’d be willing to pray with us for our listeners, for transracial adoptive families, just for the things we’ve been talking about, and most of all, for wisdom. Brittany Salmon (32:39.374) Absolutely, absolutely love that. Austin Suter (32:41.702) All right, go ahead, you open and I’ll close. Brittany Salmon (32:46.958) Okay, God, thank you so much for today. Thank you for this conversation. God, I pray for the hearts of those listening specifically for those who are in transracial adoptive families or transracial foster care families. God, I pray that you’ll bless the work of their hands. God, I pray that you will provide for them in the unique ways that only you can do. God, I pray for community and for churches. and for neighbors to come alongside them who see them, who see their specific needs and who will help them walk this road out well. God, I pray for those who are listening who might feel called to adoption, but they’re really unsure. God, I pray that you will give them wisdom and how to proceed and open up their eyes and give them opportunities to learn. God, I pray for those who are just listening, who just want to learn, who know that adoption and foster care is not for their family or not for their season. God, I pray that you would give them eyes to see and ears to hear. God, I pray that you would give them opportunities to love their neighbor as their self and to take care of orphans and widows in unique ways that only they can do. God, I pray specifically for our Christian culture in this time and place. God, I pray for growth when it comes to transracial adoption. God, I pray for the. Adult adoptees and birth moms who are in our congregation who are also need to be a part of these conversations. God, I pray that you will open up doors for them and open up our hearts to listen and receive their words with gratitude and humble hearts. God, I thank you for the time and space to dial up today. I thank you for Austin and the work he’s doing. God, I pray you continue to bless him and bless his listeners. God, we just love you, Lord. We pray that in all that we’ve said today that you’d be honored and all glory to you. In Jesus name, I pray. Austin Suter (34:40.806) Amen. Father, thank you for Brittany. Thank you for the mind and the heart that you’ve given her and Ben to open up their home and their life in this way. I thank you for the wisdom expressed in this book and the humility even to sit and listen to adoptees, to birth moms, and to tailor her advice to best care for others rather than to elevate ourselves. And we pray that would be the priority for your people. who are considering adoption, who have adopted, who might have adopted and realized they need to adjust how they’re doing things. Lord, I pray for wisdom, I pray for humility, I pray for guidance by your Spirit and your word. Lord, we want to care for widows and orphans, and we want to do so in a way that is not primarily about us. And we pray that you give us the wisdom to do that. In Jesus’ name, amen. Brittany Salmon (35:32.846) Mm. Austin Suter (35:34.566) Friends, It Takes More Than Love by Brittany Selman is a book I hope you read, not only if you’re considering transracial adoption, but I think everyone can benefit from this for loving neighbors who are not like them, for loving multicultural families. It’s just a book that will open up a lot of categories for you. So I hope you get it. I hope you read it. And check our social media, because we will be giving some copies away. So Brittany, thank you so much for writing it. And thank you for coming on the show. Brittany Salmon (35:59.854) Hey, thanks for having me. It’s a joy to be here. Austin Suter (36:02.95) And thank you for listening. Grace and peace.

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  • United? We Pray

    United? We Pray is a ministry to help Christians pray and think about racial strife. We want to encourage Christians amid the strife to rely upon God in prayer. So our prayers can be informed, we strive to learn and write about race, racism and its effects, and theology. We aim to be biblical, beneficial, and clear in all our efforts. While we’re burdened for all racial strife, we focus on racial strife between Christians because of the unique privilege and stewardship God has given his people: to bear witness to Him and to love all people, especially one another (Gal. 6:10).

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