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Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children – A Book Review

July 16, 2015

Following is a book review on Come Rain or Come Shine: A White Parent’s Guide to Adopting and Parenting Black Children by Rachel Garlinghouse; article written by Miriam Project Intern, Katie Marvel. We offer this and several other adoption books in our Lending Library.

Are you considering adopting transracially? In Come Rain or Come Shine, author Rachel Garlinghouse writes a fun-to-read guide that walks through the joys and challenges of adopting, with an emphasis on transracial adoption—white parents adopting black children. Each of her twelve chapters provides guidance for every step in the pre- and post- adoption process. At the end of each chapter, she provides “Questions from the Trenches” (her own personal FAQ), discussion questions, practical applications, tons of resources for parents and kids, and a short, true story relevant to each chapter.
Garlinghouse first addresses preparing to adopt a child from another race. She encourages her readers to ask themselves not only whether they are accepting of transracial adoption, but whether their families, friends, and communities are supportive. She explains the many challenges for adoptive parents and the child if this is not the case. She also discusses how waiting in adoption can be bittersweet, and then the journey of attaching with the child when he or she arrives.
The author paints a picture of what raising a black child as white parents can look like. There is no hiding a transracial adoption, and questions, whether or not they are welcome, will come from family, friends, and strangers. Garlinghouse explains the best ways to address them. She also explains black hair and skin care. To many white parents, black hair can be a mystery, but Garlinghouse explains the basics, as well as how to ask someone who knows more for help if needed.
A child adopted transracially will need particular help working through his or her adoption, and Garlinghouse says a parent’s role in this is key. She writes about topics such as racism and adoptism and how to confront them. She also outlines good responses for prying people, as well as how to walk through those responses with the adopted child. Garlinghouse includes an age-appropriate guide for how to tell a child about his or her adoption—or story—and incorporate discussions about race. Finally, she gives suggestions for how to support a child and his or her racial identity, as well as what growing a family further through adoption might look like.
Overall, this book is a must-read for parents looking to adopt transracially, and the content is beneficial to those looking to adopt within their race as well. Every bit of information is practical and helpful to a parent who wants to raise a child to be confident in his or her racial and family identity.

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