Keia Jones-Baldwin and her husband Richardro, an African American couple, have recently adopted their fourth child, 2-year old Princeton who is white. Keia recently shared her experiences as a mom that has adopted a baby of a different race, including the times when the police were called, and she was accused of kidnapping!
Last month, Keia was driving around with Princeton when she had to pull over outside a house due to flat tire. She knocked on the door so she could explain to the man why she was stuck in his property. But then, the man “called the police and said I stole my car and the baby,” Keia told Today.
Keia said that even prior to that, police were also called on her while their family was on vacation in Tennessee. They were doing an “old time, Western photo shoot” when the photographer got rather weirded out.
“The girl behind the camera would disappear and then come back,” Keia said. “Finally she asked, ‘Is that your baby?’ I told her he was. Then she said, ‘I just took picture of this baby with his family two weeks ago.’”
Authorities came after a few minutes and demanded her to show custodial documents as well as a letter proving she had permission to travel with him.
But instead of being bitter, she tried to use her experiences to inspire others through her Facebook page, Raising Cultures.
“We get a lot of stares,” Keia said. “I’m frequently asked if I’m Princeton’s babysitter… I get, ‘Why didn’t you let him stay with a family of his own race?’”
Moreover, Keia stated that she didn’t initially plan on adopting a white boy and she actually prefers to adopt older kids. But when she knew Princeton, who was then a 1-pound baby born to a drug-addicted mother, she “bonded with him so quickly.”
“My foster care supervisor called and said, ‘Is there any way you can go to the hospital and do skin-to-skin with a baby?’”
Princeton was supposed to stay with her family for only three months when he was healthy enough to leave the NICU. But last month, Keia and Richardro had already finalized his adoption. Princeton has now permanently moved in with their family and instantly got older siblings 15-year old Zariyah, 16-year old Karleigh, and 8-year old Ayden.
“I don’t look at family as blood,” Keia said. “I look at family as love. When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts.”