Choosing to adopt a child outside your racial group is taking a risk. It's opening your family up to skepticism, stares and tough conversations. We knew that and I dare say most every transracial family would agree that yes, they thought about this before they jumped through, over and around every hoop to bring their child home.
This is the alternative.
Go ahead, look.
See, those walls line with broken bottles, those were Etienne's home.
My baby Zeke shared space with hundreds of other kids.
And there are 210 million kids without homes today. Do critics really, really wanna say that I am messing my kids up by raising them in a white household? I have indeed heard that before and to those that believe this, I would invite them into our home. Spend some time with a child that doesn't know love and see if at the end of the day, color was still that important. Good gracious. Family is family.
I also know that I had better embrace, talk about, acknowledge and celebrate my children's black skin. To say that we are "color blind" is probably one of the most detrimental statements people can make. And let me give my reasons why this phrase makes me wanna vomit:
- It is obvious to my children and anyone with vision that their skin is black and mine is not.
- Avoiding talking about anything can send a message that you aren't comfortable or don't accept it. Here's a professional weighing in on this having this talk
- By avoiding the subject, children don't learn what to say, how to say it or, most importantly, how their family feels about it. As soon as my boys leave my nest, whether it is for Sunday school or the playground, they are going to (and already have many times) be asked about why their mama is white. They need to be prepared to handle questions.
- It's a lie. I am not color blind at all. I see my boys skin and hair and the whites of their eyes differently than I see Molly or Blake's. And I need to see them as they are because they require different care to maintain their health. And I love that. I want that.
I am sure that you have comments. Kylie, no doubt, you may want to weigh in on this. I am grateful and in debt to MLK. I know progress regarding race still needs to be made, but that isn't what this post is about. I'm talking the nitty-gritty, real life stuff. How do you talk to your kids about race? Does your extended family get uncomfortable? What do your kids say in the grocery store line?