Kwanzaa is fully underway as a week long holiday that runs from December 26th to January 1st. My foster daughter is black, I’m white (for the most part anyway) and for that reason alone, I believe it’s especially important that we celebrate. Kwanzaa is an intentionally cultural, and not religious, holiday created in the 1960s to celebrate what it means to be African as an African-American. Kwanzaa has since spread through the world and Africa diaspora.
My approach to celebrating Kwanzaa is much like my approach to celebrating my other daughter’s first Hanukkah just a few weeks ago. I’m not Jewish and I’m not black, but my foster and [almost] adopted daughters are. We’re going to honor relevant cultural holidays as a family and appreciate the opportunity to learn and explore our heritage.
Much has been written about transracial adoption and I’ve only scratched the surface as a new mom. Fortunately, my daughters are clueless babies at this point so I have some time to learn. In fact, that’s what baby’s 1st Kwanzaa celebration is for us–me learning about the holiday. That, and photos. Lots of cute photos.
I have no idea in what manner my daughter will identify with Kwanzaa as she gets older. I suspect, just as any other child developing their individual identity, her thoughts and feelings will shift from year to year. I look forward to watching her grow and embrace her African heritage.
The official website for Kwanzaa information is literally titled www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org. Given the specific avoidance of commercialization, I’m scrambling a bit to pull together the recommended decorations such as a green table cloth and woven mat. However, I like the idea of keeping the Kwanzaa symbols in mind throughout the year to gather and create decorations for the next. In the meantime, Joyous Kwanzaa!
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