The couple had no idea that they would become adoptive parents to a precious baby boy when they were their age.
Keia Jones Baldwin, a North Carolina-based psychotherapist, and Richardo Baldwin planned to adopt another child in their family of five. They were interested in adopting older children to join their happy family.
Then, a surprise blessing came in the form a baby boy.
In 2017, Princeton was born prematurely to an ‘irresponsible’ mother. He weighed just one pound.
“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?’” Keia told TODAY Parents.
Keia, 36 years old, agreed to the offer and flew off to meet the baby.
“I bonded with him so quickly,” Keia recalled. “I started going there every day.”
Princeton was able leave the NICU after a few months and moved in with his foster parents, the Baldwins. Keia’s children, Zariyah, 15, Karleigh, 16, and Ayden, 8, were instantly charmed by the new bundle of joy in their family.
Princeton was initially to stay with the Baldwins three months. This plan was scrapped because Princeton’s temporary family became his permanent family when they adopted him last week.
This is a common story about adoptions. However, Princeton is white and his adoptive parents are both black. This was a problem for the family. They were accused of making a lot more baseless accusations because they were different in their skin color.
“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?’”
She was even reported twice to police for kidnapping.
“We were vacationing in Tennessee and we went to do an old time, Western photo shoot,” Keia said. “The girl behind the camera would disappear and then come back. 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.’”
The police arrived shortly after Keia showed them a letter that proved that Princeton was in her custody and that she was legally allowed to travel with him.
The other incident occurred last month when Keia had to pull over outside a man’s house because of a flat tire.
“I knocked on his door to explain why I was on his grass,” she said. “He called the police and said I stole my car and the baby.”
Keia chose to not be bitter despite these terrible and unfair experiences. Through Raising Cultures, her Facebook page, Keia is trying to spread awareness and break down racial prejudices. She regularly posts photos and videos of her multiracial family.
The new adoptive parents are also loving every minute with Princeton, describing him as “hilarious” and one who can’t get enough of butterfly kisses.
“I don’t look at family as blood. I look at family as love,” she said. “When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts. Love conquers all.”
While we live in a world of technological advancements, it’s sad to know that other people still have primitive views about race.
Hopefully, with the help of stories like this and the thousands of individuals making an effort change these wrong views, people would learn to see beyond a person’s skin color and instead see them for what they essentially are – human.
Update: Here’s new family photos from this inspiring family.
If you want to follow this family’s amazing and inspiring adventure please follow them here: Raising Cultures