A St. Louis couple is opening up about the challenges that come with raising Black adopted children.
Meyer and Lindsay Walter, who are white, adopted siblings Kevin and Zakayra, who enjoy reading and watching Harry Potter. The couple, who have seen some of their story reflected on the NBC series “This Is Us,” has had to become self-aware of what it means to raise Black children.
“We know we don’t know and we need a lot of help and we need a lot of answers,” Lindsay says to KSDK 5 On Your Side Tuesday, March 13.
“They need to be educated because there are some things, some areas, some issues, that are from a different culture you haven’t experienced and you don’t know how that child is going to experience that, and you have to get information from people that have that experience,” says Rossi Summer, director of operations for the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in St. Louis.
While Lindsay says she and her husband won’t ever understand what it’s like to be Black, they do the best they can, even though not everyone in their lives understands how the lives of Black children are different than white ones.
For one, the couple doesn’t let their 8- and 9-year-old play with guns, taking into account how 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed in Cleveland in 2014 after playing with a toy gun.
Realizing the dangers that Black youth face, Lindsay said she recognizes just how important it is to uplift her children in their blackness.
“To help them value their race and their cultural heritage. To be a strong Black woman when Zakayra grows up, or a strong Black man when Kevin grows up.” she said. “As white people. So how to help them learn that not just from us because we can’t teach them that, but from friends, and colleagues, and mentors, books. Lots of books.”