Commentary...Love Can Bring Us Together...Maria Snellings | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

Commentary...Love Can Bring Us Together...Maria Snellings

Play associated audio

Mankind has been divided for centuries because of race, nationality and culture but as commentator Maria Snellings notes, there’s one very human emotion that can help us transcend our differences.

Snellings, an aspiring screenwriter, is a rising senior at D.C.’s Edmund Burke High School.

These commentaries by D.C. area teens are part of a collaboration between WAMU 88.5's Youth Voices program, Youth Radio and the Latin American Youth Center.

You can find out more about the project at WWW.WAMU.ORG SCRIPT:

On a recent Saturday morning at Eastern Market, I ran into a classmate, who greeted me and then asked in a whisper, “What are you doing with all these white people?”

I nearly laughed at her boldness.

“They are my family,” I answered.

With pride, I added that my mom’s side was visiting from Texas and I was tasked with showing them around Washington. But, I get why our family reunion must have looked so strange to her. A group of white people with two token people of color?

My brother and I met when I was three. He and I aren’t related by blood but we come from the same orphanage in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Our mom says it took me a while to warm up to her. She thinks it’s because she was the fourth woman who was introduced to me as “Mom.”

My birth mother loved me but was too sick to take care of a child.

So off I went to an aunt. But she was too poor to take care of me, so I was sent on to the orphanage.

There, a woman I called “Mom”, looked after me until I was adopted by a loving woman I now call “Mom," a white American from Texas.

Trans-racial adoptions have caught more than just my classmate’s attention.

In the 1980s, social worker Estela Andujo followed 60 Mexican-American orphans who had been adopted by either Mexican-American or Anglo families.

She found that children raised by white families did not identify with the Mexican-American community but those raised by Latino families did.

More recently, an article in Latina Magazine presented the commonly held idea that adopting Latino children is “less traumatic for them when they can be matched with a Latino family.”

My experience, regardless of whether I was raised by a white, black or Latino family, was traumatic simply because I had been introduced to four different mothers.

Being told someone is your mom when you think you already know who your mom is, is disconcerting, especially for a child.

Every time I found comfort with each of my first three mothers, I was passed on.

It’s undeniable that being adopted and raised within another culture or race affects a child’s perception of herself and the way she connects with her heritage. But who’s to say the result is negative, especially when the outcome is love.

I’m Maria Snellings.

NPR

Mafia Wife, Getaway Driver, Stunt Woman: From The Underworld To Hollywood

Georgia Durante's career as a stunt driver has led to roles in car commercials and movies. But before the bright lights of Hollywood, the former model was speeding away from a dark past.
NPR

Syrup Induces Pumpkin-Spiced Fever Dreams

Hugh Merwin, an editor at Grub Street, bought a 63-ounce jug of pumpkin spice syrup and put it in just about everything he ate for four days. As he tells NPR's Scott Simon, it did not go well.
NPR

Man Caught At White House Is An Army Veteran

Omar J. Gonzales, the 42-year-old man who the Secret Service says ran onto the White House grounds and entered a door Friday night, is an Army veteran who served in Iraq.
NPR

Drivers, Passengers Say Uber App Doesn't Always Yield Best Routes

People love Uber, but they often complain the Uber app's built-in navigation doesn't give its drivers the best directions. The company says the app helps drivers and passengers travel efficiently.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.