What adopting a white baby taught one Black family

"When Princeton came into our lives, he came into our hearts. Love conquers all."


Keia Jones-Baldwin never expected to be changing diapers again.

Though the North Carolina-based therapist and her husband, Richardo Baldwin, were planning to adopt another child, they were only considering older kids.

But then, a little boy named Princeton came into their life. Born premature to a drug-addicted mother in July 2017, the baby weighed just 1 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?’” Jones-Baldwin told TODAY Parents.

Dad Richardo Baldwin, far left, and mom Keia Jones-Baldwin, far right, are pictured with their children.KJBaldwin Photography and Kings 21 Media

Without hesitating, the 36-year-old grabbed her keys.

“I bonded with him so quickly,” Jones-Baldwin revealed. “I started going there every day.”

When Princeton was healthy enough to leave the NICU, he moved in with the Jones-Baldwin family. Older siblings Zariyah, 15, Karleigh, 16, and Ayden, 8, were instantly smitten.

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What was supposed to be a three-month stay has turned into a permanent one. Jones-Baldwin and her husband adopted Princeton.

What makes this story somewhat unusual is that Princeton is white, while his parents are Black.

“We get a lot of stares,” Jones-Baldwin 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?'"

Keia Jones-Baldwin and Richardo Baldwin adopted Princeton from foster care in late August. His older siblings are smitten with him.KJBaldwin Photography and Kings 21 Media

On two occasions, people have called the police to report a kidnapping.

“We were vacationing in Tennessee and we went to do an old time, Western photo shoot,” Jones-Baldwin told TODAY Parents. “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.’”

Authorities arrived minutes later. Jones-Baldwin had to produce a letter showing that the baby was in her custody and she had permission to travel with him.

Last month, Jones-Baldwin pulled over outside a man's house because she had 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."

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But Jones-Baldwin isn't bitter. Instead, she's trying to break down racial barriers with her Facebook page, Raising Cultures, where she regularly shares videos and photos of her blended, multiracial family.

She's also loving her new life with Princeton. Jones-Baldwin described the little boy as "hilarious" and said he can't get enough 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.”

This story was originally published in 2019 and has been updated.