This is a picture of my Mimi with her son, her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren.  Looking at this picture brings a smile to my face because I see my grandmother surrounded by her offspring and 3 of them are black.  I'm guessing she would have never thought as a young woman growing up that she would have a son that would grow up and then he would have a daughter and she would grow up and adopt babies that were black.  Never in her wildest dreams!

I remember when I told her that we were adopting a child.  Her reaction was probably quite common for a woman of her age.  She was very concerned.  She told me that she knew a woman, whose daughter had adopted a baby that was black and that baby was addicted to drugs when he was born.  Of course she thought all babies that were adopted and were black would be born addicted to drugs.  She then went on to tell how bad that child was now and it was probably because he was adopted.  Y'all I'm serious she told me this whole story.  I just smiled through the phone and thanked her for her concern.  I mean what else can you say to your 75 year old grandma that probably has never met anyone that has adopted in her entire life and has no idea why I would ever want to do that.

Fast forward to Deacon's birth and we get one of the funniest comments I've ever heard from my grandma.  My dad called her to tell her the exciting news that Deacon was born and she says to him on the phone … ya'll I can't make this up … get ready …. she asked my dad …. “is he still black?”.  Yes she asked that.  As if she was holding on hope that there was a big mix up and surely she wasn't going to have a black great-grandchild.  I'm sure she prayed for months that God would not bring a black great-grandchild into her life!

Fast forward 6 years and my Mimi is in love with my children.  She loves them all so much and doesn't seem to care if any of them have darker skin than her.  This Christmas she was at my house and I can't explain to you how much she loved on my sweet baby girl Story.  They connected and Story wanted to sit by Mimi all the time and she even asked Mimi if she could come stay with her at her house for 5 weeks next summer!  When I talk to my Mimi on the phone she still talks about Story wanting to come stay with her.  It does my heart good to know that my Mimi went from not understanding adoption, and worried about a black baby to genuinely loving my babies who joined our family through adoption!

I hear stories all the time about people hesitant about adopting a child of a different race because of their grandparents and how they would view this child.  My heart breaks at hearing that.  I tell everyone the exact same thing …. this is YOUR kid and not theirs.  You must follow what God asks of YOU and not what your grandparents want of you.  You are accountable to God for YOUR actions and not for THEIRS.  I'm beyond grateful that my Mimi got to see my family grow in ways that she could have never imagined.  I believe that each generation has the ability to change the one in front of them, and that's exactly what my kids are doing for their Mimi.  I'm betting that she thinks differently about adoption now!

Jamie Ivey