Ever since we adopted Deacon I have become more aware of race issues. I notice when we are in a place that is multi-cultural. I notice when there are black people around. I notice when I see children that are clearly biracial. I notice these things, and there have been very few times that I’ve ever felt uncomfortable because of our family. In fact sometimes I wonder if we even look different.
I must say that since we’ve started the adoption of our two children from Haiti I think about these things much more often. I think about how “different” our family will look. We won’t be the “norm” anymore. We will be looked at and stared at. I am really okay with the looks and stares. I welcome any time to talk about adoption, my kids, and Haiti. I love to give a positive look and spin on adoption. I love to break stereotypes. I love to explain our relationship with birth parents.
What will be new to me is the look of disgust. The negative looks because of our two Haitian children. I am not prepared for people not approving of our family and our children. I am not prepared for my black children to be treated differently than my white child and even differently than my child that is half black. (FYI – I view all three of them black, but I know that when Amos and Story come home they will be “more” black in some peoples eyes. Not sure why, but believe me it will happen.) I am not prepared for adults to not let their white kids play with my black kids. I am not prepared for people to look down on our family because half of our family is black.
One thing I’m sure of is that I don’t want to pass any of this on to my children. I don’t want my children to grow up thinking any race is better than any other. I think it is our obligation to teach our children that all people were created in the image of God. Not one of us is better. None of us. If I am completely honest with myself and with you, there are many stereotypes in my mind that I have to daily battle with. I chose not to believe them, but they creep up every once in a while and I have to battle them with the TRUTH of God and his love for all people.
Tonight I read an entry on Heidi’s blog and it was so good. It resonated with my soul and I’m suggesting that you set aside 10 minutes (it’s kinda long) sometime this week to read it and just let it sit in. What can we do to help the race issues in our neighborhood, city, county, state and country?
I pray that our children can be used by God to break the molds. To break stereotypes and to change people’s hearts.