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During National Adoption Awareness Month, we will introduce you to numerous guests, highlighting many parts of the adoption journey. Today’s video comes RG Adoption Consultant, Rachel Patten and her children. Rachel asks her son and daughter, who she adopted transracially, what “mirroring” and “representation” is! These little ones are quick to answer what each term means and how their parents have implemented examples of it in their lives. Rachel has found ways for her children to see their culture and skin color represented in their day-to-day life—something that is so important if you’re a part of a transracial family. 

By Rachel Patten

The number one thing I’ve learned after adopting transracially, is that representation matters! If I could teach one thing to families that are adopting outside of their race it would be that.

It’s so important to have positive role models that mirror your children so they can see relate and see themselves in that person and what/who they can become. It’s a “seeing is believing” sort of mindset.

Both of my children love to go to the Barber Shop/Salon where the majority of the barbers/beauticians are black as well as the clientele. It’s where I, as a white mother learn important information on hair and skin care. I ask questions and listen, as I am not the expert.

During the holidays, I fill our house with Black nativities, Santas, nutcrackers, ballerinas, wrapping paper, etc. that mirror my children’s African American heritage to allow them that relatability.

Throughout the year we seek out cultural activities, exhibits, we travel to places where we as parents are the minority and have bookshelves of books with little boys and girls that look just like our children.

I’m still learning, every single day, and I look to and listen to Black voices for their expertise and experience to pass on to my children.


Rachel Patten is an RG Adoption Consultant and mother of two through transracial adoption. You can read her full bio here.