Friday, February 26, 2010

on racism existing, and what the heck now

Part of this new world I'm entering in to is so foreign to me. In the world I'm used to, racism is something that happened in the 50s... not now. We all get along pretty well, and, with the exception of psychos, all races are treated fairly.

Know what? I'm finding out it's not true. Like I said a few days ago, we're hoping to adopt an African-American baby, and in preparation, I have immersed myself in reading "from the other side". Evidently, racism is alive and well, only usually more subtle and well-masked than the cross-burning days of the past.

Let me say this: I don't know what I'm talking about. I'm just trying to figure it out. So don't be frustrated with me or my ignorance... I'm not saying I'm a race expert all of the sudden. What I am saying is, if in the future I plan to be a multi-racial family, then I have to take a good look at what being black in America means. (Can I even say Black? Should it be capitalized?)

My online friend Kristen is the white mother of two black sons. Recently, they were rejected by a couple of small white kids, and Kristen wrote a really great blog entry (which is true of most of her blog entries) about racism and the problem of "just not talking about it". That's honestly been my approach thus far. I haven't talked to my kids about races, because I don't want to draw attention to our differences in a negative way. We buy all different tone baby dolls, and books about all races, but I've never really talked about it. What I learned this week was that not talking about is a big part of the problem... if we aren't supposed to talk about people's skin being black or brown, then that indicates that something is wrong with being black or brown.

I sat down with Toby last night and tried to open the conversation, about all of us having different skin colors... I feel like I probably did it wrong, and he's going to announce it loudly the next time he sees someone "brown". Then, I'm not sure what to do. But at least we're talking about it. Today I checked out a couple of kid's books about race, and skin color and friendship. So, we'll keep working on it.

Possibly, the baby that God lines us up with won't even be black. If that happens, I think I might be disappointed for a milli-second, like I was when Toby's ultrasound was a boy, and then I'll be excited and that moment will be over. Regardless, these are lessons I want to learn.

In fundraising news, no new donations today... we need between 1-2k more to be able to take the next step, which is submitting our application and beginning our homestudy! Thanks so much to all of you who have given- we are so thankful!


  1. Your entry and Kristen's are awesome. I think it's awesome that you're dealing with this now and doing so much research.

    I can remember so many times hearing preachers in the church say things like, "there are no colors in Heaven," and talking about being colorblind. And it always seems wrong. It seems to me that God made us all different because He likes variety. Our differences are to be celebrated - not ignored.

    I can't wait to see who God brings into your family!

  2. Sheesh - I wish I had the answers. I still feel totally clueless. At least we're trying, right?

    (So excited to watch your adoption journey unfold)

  3. Hi - this is my first time to post a comment (thanks to Tracie Loux for posting a link on fb!).
    I'm so glad you addressed this - my husband and I have pretty much decided that we want to adopt an African American baby boy (we are caucasion)! But I started thinking that I should do some research on what to expect, realizing that not everyone will be accepting and excited as we are about it. Thanks for being open and honest - I will look into that book also.

  4. I'm reading a ton right now.. I'll post some titles after I finish

  5. I think, and this is coming from someone with a bi-racial family that the emphasis that my children are different from your children can be damaging in the early years. And then on the other hand I knew some people who did not tell their adopted child that he was black until he was 10 and that is wayyyy too late.-G

  6. Very good stuff to think about.

    And, congrats on tipping $1,000 in funds raised!

  7. I would never have believed that racism was alive and well until I moved to the Great White North. It is shocking, but it is very much alive and very much goes both ways.


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