Tuesday, January 11, 2011
More Thoughts on Color ...
You'll want to read the previous post HERE.
We did lots of research when we were in the adoption process of our first daughter. Knowing she would have a different ethnic background than we did, we had a huge passion for learning all we could. Some things we learned from reading books, going to adoption-prep classes and on-line info. Other things we learned ..... well, in various ways.
I recall the time we were told by a member of our extended family ... "well, at least it's not like you're gonna live 'near' the grandparents and rub their noses in it". This reference was made concerning our daughter would likely be African American. It still hurts. I think it should. It would be wrong for me to harbor bitterness, but I must not be out-of-touch with the reality that probably others thought such things and weren't as bold to say them. On a brighter note I am so thankful for grandparents that have loved our daughters well. They didn't make the choice to adopt ... but they have made the choice to love our children ... and I think in doing so their hearts have grown bigger.
Parents raising children in families of multiple ethnicity face many factors that most families don't. They face the fears of whether their kids will be treated equally, have the same opportunities, be welcomed in whatever community they live in. A mom who has both a white daughter and a black daughter wonders if one will have limited prospects for a mate. If you don't think that's true ... TALK to families raising diverse families ... it's real. What about the issue of inter-racial marriage? Some people "accept" a white family adopting a black child, but if one of their white children would choose to marry a black mate, there's a line that has been crossed they can't accept. That too is REAL and going on. I've seen how such prejudice can wreck an entire family unit. Ken Ham has some interesting material on this topic. Even if you don't agree with him totally theologically ... I think it's thought-provoking to consider what he has to say.
Sometimes a mom who is raising a child that looks different than she does will wonder where her child will feel he/she "fits in" someday when he/she leaves the nest. That mom is a LOVING mom ... to stop and consider that reality. This is when it's all the more critical for HOME to be a save haven ... where such things are talked about openly and dialogue is encouraged. My daughter is working on some school work next to me while I write this article. I asked her what her husband will look like someday. She said, "How am I supposed to know???". Cracked me up, because usually she has an answer for everything! She went on to say she doesn't care ... if he's light, or brown, or black or even RED (with excitement)! I asked her ... then what 'is' important .... her answer ... "if he knows God". Amen, sister!! I pray the same for my sons ... that they will chose young women who love the Lord with all their heart and won't lean on merely man's wisdom or prejudice to make the most important decisions in life.
I was asked more than once (after our first adoption) if I think it's the "black" in my daughter that causes her to be naughty. Brace yourself ... this was from another adoptive mom!!! ... whom I dearly love. Friends, these crazy ways of thinking are real and out there.
Others have received comments along the lines of ... "How will you understand your baby when they start talking someday?" (this would be a Caucasian family adopting a child from China ... assuming language is born into them and they'd automatically start speaking Chinese at age 2, even though they were with their adoptive family since infancy!). Again, this is real folks. We really need to become more educated.
I'm thankful for my diverse family and the things I've gotten to learn along the way ... even if some are painful. I think of heaven and what it's going to be like for every tribe, tongue and nation to be TOGETHER worshiping the Lord. It's hard to even comprehend such a wonderful place. There is no place in heaven for prejudice. There should be no place on earth for it either, yet we live in a fallen world.
I'd love to hear your experiences. Feel free to leave them in the comments section! Fellow mommas raising diverse families ... may you be encouraged to press on! As you love your children well, they will be prepared to go out and soar and do great things. Yes, there will be some pain, but in this life we are promised that. Keep your eyes set on eternity ... and hold your loved ones close and remind them just how precious they are ... they are EXACTLY as God designed them to be.