It started with a simple comment on Facebook. I had shared an interview between a brother and sister on race. This was from The Takeaway on NPR. My friend suggested I should be on it. I pitched the idea that I would like to talk to my twins’ mother about race in the context of our adoption. In a day I heard back from the show’s producers. We had a pre-interview of sorts that lasted 45 minutes and I was excited, anxious and scared about how the actual recording would go.
The emails went back and forth. Finally this week, we had the green light from all parties. I was to go the recording studio nearest me. Mommy B (my daughters’ other mother) was to go to the one in her city. The show’s producer Dana Roberson would join us from the studio in NYC.
On Thursday I took the train from my city. I went over possible things I could raise in this conversation on race between two unlikely participants. In hindsight, I should have written them down. Getting off the train, I walked about 20 minutes before I spied the WHYY studio. I paused to take a picture, took a deep breath and walked in. Less than five minutes later, I was seated in a room with intimidating sound proofed glass windows. The sound engineer sat across from me in another room. When I mentioned I was a huge fan of NPR and WHYY, another engineer Al Banks (shout out here) managed to find some trinkets for me to take home.
I sat, sipping on the cold water, waiting to hear from the other two. At 1:10, we were on. I remember staring at the table I was seated. I realized my mind was blank and all those thoughts I had on the way to the studio had vanished without a trace. Dana’s voice was warm, encouraging as she guided us through the conversation. I rambled, at one point actually stating I did not know why I brought a particular topic up. The conversation was uncomfortable at times (as it should be). Towards the end, both of us mothers were asked about the message we wanted to pass on to our children. I listened to her and realized there was nothing new I had to add. For a moment, I teared up, my eyes stung, I felt overcome.
I walked out and reached the station without realizing how I made it there. The train ride back was a blur. While I wait to find out when the segment will air, here are some questions I have.
Would you talk about race? With whom?
Do you think we should be talking about race?
Do you have experience being raised as part of a multi-racial/multi-ethnic/multicultural family? Will you be willing to write for me at the Parent Voice?