North Carolina therapist, Keia Jones-Baldwin, who happens to be black, was recently slapped with charges when she least expected it and for no reason. Her crime? She has adopted a white baby, who was suffering in NICU.
She was stuck on the roads with a flat tire and thus knocked on a local’s door expecting help. But, the reaction she got was the least anticipated one! He called the police and had her charged for stealing the car and the baby. However, this is not the first charge against the mother since she adopted the youngest member of her family.
She first met Princeton in July 2017, but what was supposed to be a short meet-up turned out to be permanent bonding. Born prematurely to a drug-addicted mother, the baby weighed just 1 pound and was under special care.
Keia recalls the day when she got the call from her supervisor, “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?’” She left without a second thought and immediately bonded with the baby. Jones-Baldwin professed, “I started going there every day.”
Once he was stable enough to leave the NICU, Jones-Baldwin family took him to stay with them for a short while. But, just like the mother, the older siblings Zariyah, 15, Karleigh, 16, and Ayden, 8, were also instantaneously in love with him. Jones-Baldwin and her husband Richardo Baldwin finally adopted him legally last month, on Aug. 29.
Since then, they have got enough stares and often been asked if she was Princeton’s nanny. Jones-Baldwin also had to face a question like, "Why didn't you let him stay with a family of his own race?"
Once on a family holiday in Tennessee, they wanted to do an "old-time, Western photo shoot" when her blended family attracted the attention of the photographer. Jones-Baldwin 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.'”
With a few minutes, authorities arrived, and she was forced to display the custodial document. She also had to prove that she had permission to travel with her son.
These incidents have not left any bitter feeling in her mind, but she wants to break down racial barriers with her page, Raising Cultures. She keeps sharing videos of her multicultural family, hoping to send out her key message: "I don't look at family as blood. I look at family as love. When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts. Love conquers all."