Do you see me? – Ryan Trosen

I am a father.

I am a father to two amazing boys and we are on the way to adding more to our family.

I am a father.

I am a father by adoption.

I am a father.

I am a father of two African American boys.

I am a father.


In an episode last year in the NBC show “THIS IS US”, a family with three kids. Two boys and one girl. One of the boys was adopted when all three of them were born around the same time. One of the boys is black and the show follows in flashback mode from the 80’s to today watching them grow up in all of what it takes to be a family.


In the episode, the father, Jack, is fighting within himself to give all three of the kids what they need. Jack and Kate are talking back and forth and she looks at him and says,

“I want to be enough for him”.

I am going to be honest, and I know it might shock some people, but I wept. I wept because all of my feelings as a transracial father flowed out. Jack knew that as his father he would never be enough for his son. I knew that I can never be enough for my sons.

Do you see me?

I will never be enough for my boys. It has nothing to do with trying, in that same episode Jack and his son Randall are at a karate class for the black community. The Sensi shares with Randall that life will not always be fair or easy for him because of his skin color. That life will be hard, but this was a place where he would receive support and care.

I really want to be everything for my sons, I really want to be enough for my boys. But I know that I will never be enough. That is where I am different from other fathers. There are going to be things that I will not be able to teach my sons. But in my weakness, I can find strength in God and in my community.

I get it that fathers all the time feel like they do not have all the answers, I get it. This is different. Not being able to tell my son what it will be like to be a black teenager in this world. You see my last blog talked about standing up for people, laying down our lives. And the idea was when my son is treated differently solely based on the color of his skin, will someone play with him and stand with him. Or will he be standing alone?

So, Do you see me? I never get to be enough for my sons. Coming to peace with that is hard. Life as a father is hard. I am so thankful that God chose us for this life. Not everyone should adopt, and those that adopt, not everyone should be a transracial family. I would never take any of our life back. NEVER. This is us. Struggles and all.

Do you see me?



Ryan Trosen is the Connections Pastor at Restore, working with leadership development, assimilation, and preaching. Ryan provides consultation to bring churches into a healthy and growing state. Ryan and Sarah live in Marshalltown. Ryan has served in ministry for 15 years. He has a B.A in Pastoral Ministries from Vennard College and a Mdiv with a specialization in Church Health and Growth from Wesley Seminary.

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