We talked with Phil Marcelo about his family of four, which represents three different races. Phil lives in Illinois with his wife, Karen, and their two children, Nathan and Maggie.
ParentConnect: Your family represents a lot of different races.
Phil: We do! I'm Filipino, Karen is Danish, Nathan is Danish-Filipino, and Maggie is African American. At Christmas our tree holds decorations from both Denmark and the Philippines, and we incorporate African-American elements to honor Maggie's culture. It's a unique and beautiful mixture.
ParentConnect: Do you make an effort to celebrate the different cultures?
Phil: We read to each of our children and have expanded our library to include books that represent a number of different ethnicities, showing differences but also showing similarities. We've included books about adoption and how there are different kinds of families. As they get older, our goal is to expose them to a number of different cultures, not just Filipino, Danish, or African American. They're learning Spanish through school. We hope to integrate that as a second language for the children, and as a third language for Karen (who speaks Danish) and me (I speak Tagalog).
ParentConnect: What motivated you guys to adopt your daughter? Have you always wanted to or was that a newer decision?
Phil: We were sitting side by side in church before the service began, both flipping through the bulletin and, simultaneously, came across a pink sheet of paper stating, "WANTED: Loving Homes for Children." It was an insert announcing an adoption information meeting at a local church scheduled for the following Thursday night. We'd begun going through fertility treatments and had miscarried a couple times. We both looked at each other and whispered, "We've got to go to this!"1