When I was a little girl my grandmother tried to work on my posture using the tried and true method of making me walk around the living room rigid with a book balanced precariously upon my head. In truth, it had little to no effect on my overall posture. However, it did have the effect of making me think about posture from then on.

Believe me when I tell you that posture has a great deal to do with Transracial adoption. Put the book down – I’m not talking about that kind of posture, but your learning posture. Ask yourself the following questions:

– Do you enjoy new experiences?
– Do you like learning about other cultures and ethnicities?
– How are you at being the minority in a group setting?
– Are you okay with not understanding and being flexible enough just to go with something?

For most of us, if we answered honestly, there is some trepidation, uncomfortableness, or even fear when it comes to these types of learning situations. But how you respond to these situations is what defines your posture. Think about it. If you have adopted a child of a different culture or ethnicity, you as a parent must strive to instill a positive racial identity in that child – because it is different than yours. How you deal and grow in your own racial identity may be very different from your child’s. You must adapt a healthy, positive learning posture to enable your child to grow and develop into a healthy adult.

In practical terms this means you must submit yourself to what may be uncomfortable to you. Personally for me this has meant to become the minority so that my adopted child can be in the majority. My child often feels in the minority in our family, so I seek out opportunities for her to be with people who look like her, come from the same culture, and deal with the same issues she deals with on a day to day basis. While this could look like many different things they can include school, church, culture clubs, afterschool opportunities, travel, and perhaps most importantly family friends. What this means for us as parents, is that we may feel a stretch as we may have never been in situations where we are the minority, or where we feel we must learn something new in order to adapt. When I have felt the stretch in the past I have reminded myself that my child feels this stretch every day, and I can serve and honor her ability to stretch, but letting myself be uncomfortable for a time. The bonus is that I have grown from being stretched, have acquired new ideas, new abilities, new understanding, and ultimately many new and wonderful friends in the process.

So – how is your posture today? Are you pursuing a healthy learning posture in order to serve your child, but ultimately to grow yourself? While I may never attain perfect posture, I understand now that learning posture is a lifelong goal, something I must check regularly and work on repeatedly. After I have worked on my learning posture for awhile, sometimes I long for the simplicity of that precarious book again.