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Episode 34

Fatherhood for Transracial Adoptee Kevin Hofmann

Kevin Hofmann, Author of Growing Up Black and White

You’re listening to together by AGCI. I’m Dayn Arnold.

You may recall an episode we did last year called The Transracial Adoptee Experience with Gina Fimbel and Tiffany Henness from Be the Bridge. Be the Bridge has a vision for people and organizations to build awareness and respond to racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world. Our conversation with Gina and Tiffany has pushed us to pursue more firsthand accounts, to hear directly from adoptees themselves. A few weeks ago, we contacted our friends at Be the Bridge to see if they could connect us with people who can help us continue our journey of understanding and reconciliation. When it comes to the transracial adoptee experience. Today, we’re going to hear from a speaker, author and trainer who talks about diversity inclusion, race, and culture. He is the author of the book growing up black in white, and I’m super excited to hear more from him. Kevin Hoffman, welcome to the podcast. Hey, thanks for having me on. Yeah, I’m, I’m truly excited to hear your perspective just because your life experience has been radically different from my own, but also like you can represent at least one facet of the trans racial experience. And, um, I guess maybe the first thing that I want to hear a little bit more about is like, what is the kind of work that you’re doing right now?

Like, what is, I mean, I mentioned it quickly, but what, what does that actually look like? Yeah. So what that looks like is I go into schools, organizations, um, and I talk about, you know, the, the elephant in the room, race and racism. And so, yeah, and it’s, it’s interesting. So I am the result of an affair between a white woman and black man, um, in the late sixties in Detroit. And so I was born two weeks after the riots, the 67 riots in Detroit, which came about because the races couldn’t get along. And so there was just this explosion that we see about every 20 or 30 years. And so I was born into that environment where literally Detroit was still on fire when I was born. And, you know, for obvious reasons, my, my white mother’s white husband, uh, insisted, she gave me up for adoption. So I was immediately placed and adopted by white minister, his wife and I have, and they have three biological children. I’m the youngest in that family. Um, and so that’s really kind of the, you know, ground zero for me, but then that began this journey through life. And it’s come to a point now at 53 where my life’s work is becoming, trying to reconcile the races that I made up. And so, yeah, so that’s what I do.

And so the tagline I always use is, you know, I try go in and help coach organizations to create an environment where the people with the black lives matter t-shirt and the people with the make America great. Again, hats can coexist and that’s not always easy. So what is, I’m sure it’s not a three-step plan to make that happen, but like, what are, how do you start that kind of dialogue with people? Or maybe what’s the beginning of that. I’m not going to ask you to do the whole thing cause I’m sure it’s it’s. Yeah. So with schools, the beginning portion is, you know, I explained that when I was growing up, we initially lived in a black neighborhood. Um, and then my dad gets a promotion. We moved to a white neighborhood. It’s still in Detroit. Um, and I was the only person of color in that neighborhood. And so I could to this day, and I figured this out, uh, seven or eight years old, I would go house by house and I could tell you to this day, okay, the house directly across the street from us, that was a safe place for me as a person of color. The house to the left was not the store down the street that accused me of stealing at age eight. That was no longer a safe place for me.

And so the message for schools is, so how do you become the safe Harbor where not only you and the majority can feel comfortable being who they are, but the minorities can as well. Um, and that’s the really big push is just creating that awareness that we all have biases and we’ve got to address them. And we’ve got to create space for those voices that are rarely heard. What did it, what did it look like for you to, I guess, begin to process what your life experience has been and what are some positive takes that you can pull from that? Because that’s not easy. Like that’s gotta be a lot of therapy or self, like really searching deep within until I get to that point. What, what did that look? What did the beginning of that process look like for you? So it began with writing this book growing up black and white. Um, and initially I wrote it because I was like, wow, we have such an unusual family. Like not everyone grows up like this. Um, so back in 2009, I just started to write it. Um, I didn’t know, it was a blessing at the time. And then I got laid off from my full-time job. So, and I had been working on a book for like, I don’t know, it was at least a year. Okay. Well, after I got laid off within six months, the book was done.

Um, and so initially I thought, I just want to give a roadmap to those trans racial parents out there, so they can kind of figure out how to raise a kid like me because my parents didn’t have any role models. Um, and so, but then that just began to evolve. And, you know, my wife said this after I finished the book that you could probably reach a larger population than just the adoption community. And I didn’t realize I should have listened to her because I was 10 years behind that. Um, but yeah, and then one of the reasons I wrote the book was because I wanted my experience of a person of color growing up in America. I wanted that to be heard. And so I knew when I was writing the book, I had to write it in a way not to offend, but to draw people in. So when I go into organizations and schools, I go in very consciously knowing I have to give a lot of me for them to trust me. So I tell the story of, you know, my mother going to her sister to get money for an abortion. Um, cause she didn’t want to have me, um, because I need to build that trust because we got a lot of hard work to do and it’s just not easy.

Um, and so that’s kind of been the evolution of me, you know, growing up black and white that are like, yeah, it seems like it would be, um, to start having those conversations with the people that need to hear it the most. Like, what’s that like, that’s a fine line. It’s like the frustrating thing is when I hold trainings, they don’t come. And so that’s really hard. So this last year I just decided, you know, I’m going to just push it out there. So I’ve been on over 50 podcasts and just trying to get the message out there. Um, because I think every time, and this goes back to in the eighties, when we used to do it was called diversity management. Yeah. And you know, we would, they would do all corporate would have all these seminars that they would send people to and it was not pulled off well. And so people kind of are gun shy about trainings like that. So yeah, in, there are some that, that don’t think what I have to say is a value. So my main push when I go present, like I said, it’s just to tell stories from my point of view that I think all of us can relate with. So a big part of the book is just me recounting this wonderful life I had growing up in this amazing, you know, in, in a really nice neighborhood in Detroit.

Um, I mean, yeah, really nice neighborhood, a nice people in the neighborhood. Um, and so that was a positive experience. You’d asked me that earlier, where would the positives, you know, my parents moving from a white community when I was three to a black neighborhood when I was eight. So that all throughout my life that I can remember from three to 18, I was in Detroit, around kids that looked like me. And that was life changing. Yeah. That, that must’ve been a really, uh, I wonder if that was a big, long decision for them or if it was easy. Cause they were like, yeah, that’s going to be best for Kevin. I, it was, I think it was a hard decision. Um, but it was necessity, uh, when I was 11 months old. So I was immediate at three months old. I was adopted, taken back to my white parents house in Dearborn, Michigan, which is a suburb of Detroit, very white suburb at that time. Um, and at 11 months old, we woke up to a cross burning on our front yard, in our front yard. Um, we stayed in that community for three more years, even after the church, tried to fire my father because he had adopted this child of color.

Even after the women in the church would refer to me as the snotty nose, black kid in the nursery or the women would always come up to my mom and constantly ask her, well, who do you think who grow up in date? And what they really wanted, what they were really saying was, Lord, please don’t let this Savage grow up and date my daughter. And so after living in that for three years, my parents made the decision, a conscious decision. That one, that community is going to change us before we change it. And it’s time to go and we need to find a place where we can all kind of, you know, where everyone can be comfortable. And that was a struggle throughout our life. When I was comfortable in my white brothers and sisters, weren’t always comfortable and vice versa. What was that like for you? Um, because you’re different than the rest of your family. And so you feel like you’re, you’re not necessarily a part of that, but you’re not entirely the same as the rest of the people around you. Like, so I, um, my wife and I did missions overseas for awhile and part of that training was learning about third culture kids. And so third culture kids are the ones who, you know, their, their, their family, uh, does missions internationally.

And so their, their parents’ home country is not really their home country because they grew up in Indonesia or Thailand or wherever it is. But they also are not fully there either. Like they can’t be Indonesian or Thai or whatever. And so they live in this kind of like in between place. Does that, does that resonate with you at all? Does that sound kind of like a thing? Yeah, so I mean, so when I was three years old, we moved to this black neighborhood and I remember my best friend in that neighborhood. This guy named Derek Herbert, he was five or six years older than me lived right across the street. Uh, and he was like the Dawn of the neighborhood. Everyone took, you know, he led all the kids in the neighborhood. And I remember early on and putting his arm around me and telling all the other black kids don’t touch it. And that meant the world to me because I was always paranoid about, well, where am I going to fit in? Will I be able to fit in with the black? And that became so important to me because I remember at an early age being in the black community, I had found my tribe, I had found home. And so, yeah, it was important to be a part of that community.

And I, yeah, like I said, my biggest fear, you know, I went to a grade school that was like 95% black. And my biggest fear in there was that one of those kids would say, you’re a fraud. You’re not like us. And so I spent a lot of time really watching kids because I wanted to assimilate into black culture. Um, and so yeah, there was a lot of mental energy spent doing that because I was so afraid because I knew the white community wouldn’t accept me as white. And so at seven or eight, I remember thinking, okay, here’s my really only shot was to connect with the black community. And that extreme has a lot to do with Detroit because it was so polarized by race. And even today there are white neighborhoods and black neighborhoods, but very few in are in a racial and diverse neighborhoods. You’ve kind of talked us through a little bit of your younger childhood. This is like at a hundred miles an hour, but like you’re young, you’re young years. And then the years where you transitioned as a family from living in a predominantly white neighborhood to a predominantly black neighborhood. And then, and then we go back to white neighborhood. Oh, did you okay? That’s right. Yeah. Okay. And so what, what was that experience like? Yeah.

So at eight years old, we moved from the black neighborhood to the white neighborhood, but I was fortunate because the schools that I were going to were still predominantly white. So I will joke and say, I was, I was kind of black by day at school and then white on nights and weekends. Um, but I had these amazing relationships. You know, my best friend to this day is this tall white kid that lived directly across the street from me and this white neighborhood. Um, and when I went and moved into that neighborhood at eight, the first time we all, and there was a lot of kids, a lot of boys in the neighborhood, all white boys. And yeah, I, my hope was that I would just go in here and just kind of Noah would notice I was black. And I remember the first time we got in for a game of tag that came up, one of the older kids now, the new neighbor, the new Dawn of this neighborhood, it was having a conversation and you referred to a black person as colored. And then he realized, oh my God, there’s a colored guy sitting right next to me. I can’t talk like that. So then he stopped and drew all the attention to me and said, oh, no offense.

And I was more offended than he stopped and made sure everyone saw that the only black kid in the room could be offended, which then just others. Me. Right. And so, so yeah, I learned early at seven or eight that yeah. Race was going to be a big thing. And I was fortunate that I could, I could go to my black friends and share my frustrations with that. And simply I just wanted them to say, yeah, that might be true if I just said, as something as simple as you know, in my new neighborhood, this white lady down the street is horrible to me. She treats me really bad. And I think it’s cause I’m black and all I wanted is to be hurt. So when my black friends would go, yeah, man, you might be right. That’s all I needed. And I was so thankful that I had that where I didn’t have to argue the fact that someone was hurting. Yeah. Uh, as, as a child, I think for any of us, but certainly for yourself to have someone validate what has been an internal monologue for probably years by then. Yeah. For someone to be like, yeah, I think you’re probably right about that. That must’ve been significant. I mean, the fact that you remember it clearly is it is. Yeah. And then to then evolve. And so I’m in this white neighborhood for, I think it was about two years.

My best friend is Mike across the street, tall white kid, but we never talked about race. And so I remember having this conversation in my head that that is such a big part of me and how come I can’t share that with my best friend, but I also knew too, you could risk this friendship if you bring that up. And so at age 10, I remember saying, but I can’t, I can no longer hide that. Like there’s so much that I have to get out and I want to be able to share that with my best friend. And so I remember really contemplating about that and then finally saying, okay, I’m going to do it. And then going to him and saying something similar, where are you at? You know, that lady at the corner store, you know, she accused me of stealing. And I think that had everything to do with race. And Mike did the same thing where he was like, yeah, man, I think you’re right. Let’s go play some basketball. And that’s all I needed. That’s all we ever need is just someone to validate what we’re thinking. That’s so amazing that you were able to have what could have been two different sides of the same coin. Exactly. But you had the same experience on both sides like that. Uh, I, I, I pray that more people in your life experience have those kinds of experiences. That’s pretty remarkable actually.

So I guess maybe coming off of that, like maybe for parents that have, you know, a child of another race in their home, what, what are some things that, um, you can encourage those kids to say? Or like, how can they maybe confront is the wrong word, but like how can they talk with their friends about those kinds of things that are, that are, that are deeply important or have like, you know, that’s like at the core of who they are, their identity. Yeah. How do they start to have those conversations or make people feel comfortable enough to be able to have those. Yeah. And that’s the thing, so, and here’s w so this is interesting where, yeah, there were environments where I knew, I couldn’t like, and I talk about this a lot. When I go into schools, is, are you creating environment where all kids can be who they are? And so that, wasn’t always the case for me. So I knew, and I shared with a little of that earlier, which was, I knew where I was comfortable. So I knew there were spaces where I could go and just relax. But I also knew there were spaces that I couldn’t go and just relax.

Um, and then in those spaces, I was always hoping that somebody would say, talk about the elephant in the room, because I just wanted to let the air out when you asked me that question, my honest answer is it takes someone outside of that person to come and say to let me know that it’s safe. Um, and then again, one of the other big lessons we teach when I go into schools is don’t have these deep, deep conversations about race and racism between people who aren’t in relationship. It’s just, it’s few times to have it otherwise, quite honestly. And that’s why Facebook is such a mess because you’ve got strangers are arguing who will never see each other again, and you have no vested interest in the person. And so that’s one of the biggest lessons that I teach is just, yeah. If you’re not in relationship with it, don’t go there. So yeah, if I were to go back, I would say, I wish more people would have come up and said, and just simply ask, man, I know, you know, what’s your experience like in this predominantly white environment? That’s good.

I think that there’s a lot of, there’s a lot of well-meaning white folks who are just so gun shy about it because they like, they’re like, man, I feel like, I feel like I should have these conversations, but I don’t want to offend, I don’t want to, you know, clearly I’m speaking from my own experience. Right. I don’t want to, like, I don’t want to bring up something that could be potentially painful for someone if that’s not what they’re ready for in that moment. Yeah. And sometimes it’s just being that honest, like I think people are afraid of being that vulnerable, but I think that’s, what’s needed. Like, I think if you had just said that I have a hard time seeing someone being offended by that or not responding positively to that. Yeah. All right. I’ll keep that in mind. And also keep in mind too, that people of color talk about this stuff all the time. So we’re used to talking about it. We’re comfortable talking about it. Me and my family, we joke about it all the time. Um, we don’t have the hang ups that a lot of white people do about race quite honestly. So it, it does it become this big, like we’re anxious talk about it because we want to kind of share our thoughts and feelings about it. And so, yeah, it’s not, we don’t consider it as taboo as other people, quite honestly.

Is there any sort of like, um, uh, fatigue of talking about that kind of stuff that comes up, like, especially over this last year, when everything was more vocal and visible than, you know, than it has been in the, the at least a few years leading up to that and like, does it become enough that, you know, people of color are just kind of like, oh my goodness, like I can’t have another conversation with someone about this right now. It is a great question because in thinking about it, I am only fatigued when people that I’m not in relationship with, come up and ask questions. Like, you know, there’s a new guy at work and he sees me. And the first time I talked to him, he comes up and says, you know, and wants to get into that conversation. I don’t know. You will have to have that conversation, so that can be tiring or as a person of color, you will often be asked questions to speak for the entire race. Sure. That can be exhausting. Um, so I think that just to talk about personal relationships and experiences between people. Totally.

I think that that’s something that is for me, as I have kind of looked at the intensity of the last year, especially it has been, it feels like a lot of the conversation has become not only polarized by subject, but like polarized in, you’re either a hundred percent in this camp. And you only look like this, or you’re a hundred percent in this camp and you only look like this and forgetting that there’s like a spectrum. It’s like a gradient of viewpoints. And, um, there’s actually a YouTube video that I saw that was, um, transracial, adoptees, where they’re, they’re in a gymnasium and the gym is only relevant in that, like they all start on the center line and then someone asks a question about like what their experience was and they go, they walk to either side of that line of like, you know, I feel super comfortable with this thing. I feel not comfortable at all with this. Or like, I have a good relationship with my folks. I do not have a good, but it was really eyeopening. I mean, it seems like I should know these things, but I think sometimes we categorize people were so quick to like label and then we can, I can figure out what to do with you when I’ve labeled you.

But to see that there is a broad spectrum of understandings and experiences within what seems like a single category, I think is really key to like empathy for other people. Exactly. Yeah. And that’s really what it comes down to is just compassionate logic. Yeah. There’s so many, you know, I get asked a lot of questions. The answers could be, just be compassionate and if it makes sense. Okay. So you get asked a lot of questions. What are the questions you don’t get asked enough that you wish you got asked more? What was your, what’s your experience? Like, how did you experience that? You know, how did you see that? Um, and yeah, that is the biggest thing. Like the, the biggest roadblock in race and racism is the fact that for me, is when I share my experience of how I experienced this world and especially this country, you will often get people who will, they will dismiss what you’ve said. So if I say, yeah, I think, you know, I get paranoid when there’s a police car behind me, because if he pulls me over, I don’t know what’s going to happen. And then, you know, then someone, so I’m sharing you that I’m fearful of this. And then someone will say, well, no, that’s not true. That doesn’t happen. Or no, that’s just blown out of proportion and it dismisses.

So I’m being vulnerable with you and telling you how I feel and what you want to do is tell me why I shouldn’t feel that way. And so it’s important to ask other people and not to assume that your experience is everybody’s experience. Yeah, that’s really good. I did want to talk. And I mentioned to you, um, you know, a couple of days ago we talked some about fatherhood and what that looks like, um, because when, when this episode is going to come out, it will be right around father’s day. And I’m really curious about like your, your understanding of your own identity as a son and as a father within your particular context, like, how has that informed your, the way that you parent your boys? Like, I think you’ve got a couple of boys. Is that right? Yes. Two boys. How old are they? 25 and 20. Okay. Yeah. So they’re both grown adults. Yeah. What was, what was that like parenting, knowing that you’re probably parenting in a different way than your parents did simply because the context is different. Yeah, it was. So I married a black woman, so we have two black boys and yeah, it was so she had knowledge of things I never had. So we talk about that a lot.

Like, so the black community will go over the rules with their kids, what to do and being pulled over by a police officer, you know, hands on the wheel 10 and two. Yes or no, sir. Don’t make any sudden movements, no study, sudden reaches. I tell my kids, all the windows down lights on in the car if it’s at night so they can see it in the car. Um, and so, yeah, so those conversations, I always had to have it with my white parents. Um, yeah. And I became a really, because of what I didn’t get with my parents, you know, I was more determined to have those conversations with my son. And so, like I said, so you could ask him, we talked, we’ve talked about race ever since they can remember. Um, and like I said, we joke about it, laugh about it. Um, joke about the differences in cultures between white and black. Um, they joke with their white grandparents about it. Um, but yeah, raising them, I had to raise them and yeah, in a far different way than I did my parents, how they raised it. Yeah. That, that would take, uh, a good level of intentionality to really think about like, what is the best way to raise my kids in the context that they live in. Yeah. And it became, so it’s pretty much so how do we keep them safe?

And so we had to explain to them early, when you go into a store, the hoodies get, take off the hoodie. You know, if you buy something, keep the receipt, don’t pick up anything unless you’re going to buy it. Um, and we live in a predominantly white neighborhood. So we had to tell our sons. So when you go into those stores with your white friends, they’re going to be allowed to do things that you’re not allowed to. And we, it’s just the rules. We’ve got to give you those rules. So, you know, you remain safe. How does, like, in your experience, what, how does that feel to feel like you have to give those kinds of rules for your kids? You know, it’s kind of like, well, we tell our kids don’t play in the street. You know, don’t play in a busy street, don’t touch the stove because it’s hot. It’s just, it just becomes part of the fabric of who you are. So you warn them against things that may put them in danger. Um, this, this is a hard kind of topic for transracial parents, especially I do a lot of training with transracial parents and the thought of, you know, pulling away your child’s innocence really is hard for some parents, but I just look at it like, well, if I have to put, give my child some extra rules to assure that they’re safe, then that’s an easy trade-off. Yeah.

I have one question. That’s that I’m honestly just curious about like what, so you had to parent your children differently simply because the family context was different, but has that changed as well? Because of the, like the year that we’re in the age that we’re in the decades that they were raised in, did that change as well for you? Do you think, I mean, you weren’t a parent when you were a child, but like, do you feel like that approach had to be different? Oh yeah. Yeah. And it, this, this shocks a lot of people when I say this, but as far as race, I think it was harder for my kids growing up than it was for me. Um, it had a lot to do with, you know, I grew up in a black neighborhood. I was around people. We all looked alike, so it’s just human nature for the minority to get picked on by the majority. So I didn’t get that stuff when I was growing up because I was part of the majority, but my kids going through school were treated horribly because they were kids of color. Um, and so we’ve had to have those hard conversations with them, you know, when they’re called the N word. Uh, and that happened many, many times with them. And those would, those are conversations I never had with my parents. We didn’t talk about race and adoption when I was growing up. Yeah.

It had a lot to do with family dynamics. And the time that I grew up, I mean, we families in the seventies and eighties, weren’t sitting down and talking about their feelings. Well, I think too, the, the understandings of, I mean, I don’t have this experience personally, but knowing, hearing conversations from adult adoptees, the, the understanding of what the needs are of adoptive children has also, hopefully it’s expanded in the right direction. But, um, it has changed a lot. Yeah. Yeah. When I was adopted, they basically just said, good luck. Bring him back if he doesn’t work out. And that was it. No post adoptive care nominee. It’s good. When you can, when you can kind of look back on, on how certain things were done and understand like particularly identity and, and feeling like if you don’t have solid footing in what your identity is, where do you find that and how do you go about doing that? And then for white parents, especially to even realize like this, this is a thing that they’re going to have to deal with, or that they’re going to have to work through that you’re not going to have to. Yeah. And it can be so overwhelming. I was working with the group of kids at one of the high schools I’m working with.

And so what they’re doing, and these are great kids out in New Jersey and what they’re doing is going through the school curriculum and looking at the books that have been assigned and they want to change them to be more culturally inclusive. And, and then we, so we were talking about that, but then one of the kids said, well, what about history? Shouldn’t we asked to change how that’s being taught. And the kids said, man, that just seems like overwhelming. And I was like, yeah. But look at history, like history is taught from one point of view. And, you know, in schools always talk about, they want to challenge kids to be, you know, to be critical thinkers. But really, we only give them one side of the argument. So we get to see the story of white settlers who came here and took over this land and then resay, they discovered it like, it’s just has a slant to it. And so yeah, when you look at it, cha having to go back and change all that. So that voices like mine, or, you know, people who are Hispanic can be heard and as a child of color coming up in school, you don’t really get taught that people like you have done something to help build this country besides slavery. Yeah.

It seems like too, like in that kind of in that world, the, the, the reaction to that is, well, this is revisionist history, but it’s like, no, the first version was revisionist and now we’re starting to flesh it out and we’re starting to see, this is so much more of a bigger picture than like a set of facts that, you know, happened, but history is written by the victors. So it’s yeah, exactly. You know? Yeah. That’s what I told the kids yesterday. I said, so I wrote my book, it’s my memoir. So of course I’m going to come out looking good. Well, I’m so grateful to have your bit of perspective on this. I’ve got one more question. So we, we, we put out, uh, a little message on Instagram. There were some folks that knew that we were going to be talking with some transracial adoptees. And so they gave us a handful of questions and I have one, you have mostly answered it already, but I wanted to ask you one more time to see if you can kind of give us like a really solid consolidated list of, well, maybe not a list, but like a good response to this. Um, the question is, how do I speak to my older black boys about how they will be perceived in their communities and by the police? So it’s interesting.

I, I used to play video games with my sons and I stopped playing because I’m Uber competitive. And so are they, but I remember we played this game called Mario cart where you drive these small things on a race track. And then I be playing with them out of the blue. You know, one of the characters would throw his card, tortoise shell and send me flying off the track because my kids purposely kept the rules from it. So what I try and teach families and kids is just give me the rules so I can play the game. And the rules are simply, yeah, you may be treated differently. That doesn’t mean you’re less than, and things were going to work hopefully to make things better. But this is just how it is just like, you know, you can’t touch the stove because it’s hot. I’m limiting your freedoms. Yes. But I’m doing it to keep you safe. And as a parent, that’s what I have to do. So I got to tell you these things that apply specifically to you, because selfishly, I want you to come home to me. I don’t want to be the next, you know, I don’t want to be the next Travon Martin’s father. I can’t go through that. I won’t go through that. So I got to tell you these things to hopefully assure that you do come home and as long as they know the rules, they can play.

Yeah. Um, side note, my, my, uh, children love Mario. Okay. So I totally get the competitive nature and I already knew how to play, but my wife didn’t and they definitely did not. Yeah, exactly. Oh, I forgot to tell you. No, you did. I do have one more question, um, that we’ve asked a handful of the adult adoptees that we’ve been talking with more recently. That is, um, what advice would you give to adoptees growing up in this world? Like young adoptees, maybe they’ve just come to their new home. Um, but what, what advice would you give to them kind of right now that we are more powerful than we think we are. A lot of adoptees have quite honestly gone through some junk early in life. That’s why we became adoptees and a majority of the instances. So understand that your average person doesn’t go through close to what you’ve gone through early in life. And what that means. There’s a great book out there by Paul tough. And it talks about, uh, kids and the development of kids. And he says, you know, the real difference between how kids are successful or if kids will be successful, is those that have grit. And that grit comes from unfortunately, you know, tough life experiences. So if adoptees could just understand the power that you have inside you right now, most people couldn’t have withstood what you have gone through early in life.

They couldn’t withstand that through a lifetime. So we’ve got to get in our heads that we’re not less than that. We’re actually a whole lot better than we think we are. That’s great. That’s perfect. I know that that’s going to be exactly what so many parents and kids need to hear and yeah, man, I’m just so appreciative of your time, your expertise, and just to hear what your perspective is, and I’m super grateful to have had a conversation with you. So thanks so much for, uh, for hanging out with me for 45 minutes. Yeah. I enjoyed it. Thanks a lot. Yeah. Thanks a lot, Kevin, that was speaker trainer and author of the book growing up black and white Kevin Hoffman. Thanks for listening to together by AGCI as always, if you liked what you heard, please rate or review us wherever you listen to podcasts. If you’d like to read or watch even more stories, check out our website, all God’s, reach out to us and let us know what you think on Instagram at all. God’s children international or email us at together and all God’s We look forward to sharing another story of hope. The next time we’re together. We’ll talk to you soon.