I had a long long talk with his adoption caseworker and she's great - articulate and very familiar with him. She gave me some valuable information, and I'm going to stop writing the details of what I learn, because this seems like it might actually develop into a long term relationship, and I don't want to violate his privacy or expose him to my friends and family with information he might not choose to share. But the information confirmed the gut sense we have about him, and our feeling that nobody on the planet has ever been more deserving of adoption. And also more ready! For a 15 year-old, he seems to have given it quite a bit of thought and to have an express goal of finding a family. And she reiterated that he's totally psyched that we're interested in him, which I just love, especially in such a reserved and thoughtful person.
I've also been getting some feedback from peripheral people about the race issue - some of our friends have an opinion about transracial adoption that they want to share. It comes up, because one of the first questions people tend to ask is "What ethnicity is he?" I was genuinely surprised at how blatant people are about their curiosity and misgivings about transracial adoption, but I guess I shouldn't have been. I asked the social worker if T has had an opportunity to express his thoughts about being adopted by a white family. She laughed and said, "Oh yes, of course I asked him!" She said that after he met us, she also said to him, "They're white - whaddya think?" And apparently he said "Yeah I know. That's cool." The social worker said that the older kids tend to be quite pragmatic on this issue. I'm pleased he was given the opportunity to define his feelings about it on his own terms before and after he met us. That's kind of all we needed to know. I'm doing some reading about transracial adoption, books written by parents and adoptees who've been there. I don't have specific concerns about it really - I want to do the best I can to provide any kid in our life with the opportunity to define his identity as he wishes and give him access to the people and stories that can help him do that. But this situation is so complex and fragile on so many fronts that I just figure our cultural differences are one more part of the equation that we'll navigate. (My current plan is to make gentle fun of our whiteness if we get over the initial hump of getting to know each other, so that our nasal voices and jerky dancing and lack of acumen with southern cooking become a joke between the three of us. We'll see how that goes.)