Our E was mocked because he is black.
His friends told him kids from Africa are toilets.
They said because he's adopted his real mom didn't want him.
I hung up the phone and puked. Then I cried and I prayed for my son. After that, I put on my best face and headed to get my kiddos. The principal and his teacher told me that he "handled it well." By the time he went back to class, he only mentioned to his teacher that a couple of other kids had been good friends to him when he was sad (thank you, God, for this). Sweet boy.
But his daddy and I both know how he internalizes everything. After school he came up to me and pushed his head hard against my stomach, his form of affection. Everyone climbed into the car, all chattering at once and no one listening. I asked E if he wanted to talk about what happened. He started to cry and told his siblings about his bad day.
Ezekiel cried. Blake yelled that he wanted to beat the kids up. Molly hugged him and told him how much we wanted him even before he came home.
We decided that we would sit in the van, in the school parking lot, and we would pray for those kids. So we did. E said he had already forgiven them. We talked about how God love those kids too. And that we have to forgive because God forgives us. E's so awesome sometimes. Then everyone cried some more together. Molly and Blake both prayed again for how thankful they were for their brothers. Followed by McDonald's for ice cream. I can't even believe how the four of them handled this. All of them lost a little of their innocence today. Those bullies, they hurt all four of my babies with their words.
Sigh. To be honest, it was hard for me not to show how pissed off I was. Now I am just sad. These classmates, they've heard my adoption speech. They've all had E help them tie their shoes and hold the door open. And still, this. We knew that someday our black boys would face racism. I think that I had convinced myself that our family's presence, our feel-good adoption month speeches and our frankness at discussing our various shades of color would somehow avert my boys from the sin of the world.
Really, a parent can only protect their child for so long. It sucks to see your baby hurting. It sucks even more when it is because of discrimination. And it reiterates my belief that being "color blind" is stupid. I won't fool any of my children into thinking that race doesn't matter. Because, unfortunately, as we were reminded today, our family's love is indifferent to skin color, but the world's is not.
The only remedy here is God. Those parents and their children, we can try to remold their stereotypes; kill 'em with kindness. Ryan, Molly, Blake and I can tell our boys over and over and over again how much we want him. We can take E to a black barber shop, we can move into an all African town, we can read every book written on trans racial families. Yet until Etienne and all of his little classmates know their worth-that Christ died for them- then I don't know that much will change. Come Lord Jesus, come.