When working with adopted persons one thing I have learned is: Never assume. Don’t assume that you know what their story is.
I know a grandmother. Her daughter adopted a lovely baby from somewhere in Africa (I am sure she told me, but the truth is, that fact was lost when she continued talking and my emotions took over). It was a truly lovely story. He was found under a banana tree on a plantation. And it saved his life. A lovely story. Really.
And then came the subtle racism. That wasn’t subtle. Now, this grandmother knew that my siblings are people of color. SHE KNEW. My sister was right there. Yet she talked of integrating this baby into “our culture”. As though he was inherently not a part of the life he was adopted into as a child. She made it clear through her words that she saw this grandchild, whose rescue she was a part of, was not as much a grandchild as the daughters birth children.
Now, maybe I was the only one to notice. But I doubt it. I would bet money that in time, that child will know that his grandmother thinks of him as less. She may rectify her behavior, but it is 60+ years ingrained. She once told my mother that is was just a joke that my brother may lighten up as he aged.
I don’t know. I hope I am wrong. I hope she sees her privilege and keeps it at bay, and that she makes every effort to bond with this child. He is a gift.