“Life has gotten in the way of my Adoption Reading Challenge this month. Although, I have read 179 out of 350 pages of Jaiya John’s memoir, Black Baby White Hands: A View From the Crib, I have failed to complete it. I tried to overcome the obstacle of reading while in a darkened hospital room, watching a sick relative sleep, by bringing along a book light, but those places are so jacked full of oxygen and warm air, I’d fall asleep 50 words in. Then, I tried to read last week while my husband was away on business, my babysitter was on spring break, and both my girls were home with the flu, but apparently when the girls watch Caillou for the 70th time in a day, I am meant to watch along.
Life; it sucked the life out of me, and my reading mojo. So, I am breaking up my response to reading Black Baby, White Hands into two parts. Honestly, I could break my thoughts about this young man’s journey, up into a hundred parts. This book is chock-full of thought provoking poetry, mind-rattling storytelling, and such raw and honest self reflection that, I had to re-read several parts, to gain the full meaning of Jaiya John’s words.
Jaiya John’s book retells his story of being an African American child adopted by a white family, with powerful images, and unforgettable pain and insight into himself, his family, his community, and the historical impact that race in America, had on his soul. Jaiya John was placed for adoption by his mother, Mary, at birth in the late 1960’s. Jaiya spent most of his first year of life in a foster family and then was adopted by the Potters, a white, middle class family from Los Alamos, New Mexico. Jaiya John was the first transracial adoptee in New Mexico.”