race issues.

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.

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4 responses to “race issues.

  1. Race is such a bizarre thing. I mean it’s color. It’s not even necessary a cultural thing although many times it is. I wonder why it is such a strange thing to us? Don’t get me wrong I struggle with stereotypes as well even though I don’t want to. I guess we can only pray that we see people as Jesus did and then it can spread to the people around us.

  2. i think about these things too….. Having a Chinese daughter when the world hates China is hard. But it is not about me it is about her and what she will face in her future. As a white parent I find a lot of these transracial families are composed of white parents with different colored children. I have never seen a black couple with an adopted white child……….hmmmm……..All we can do is what jesus did….he crossed cultural and racial barriers with gentiles and samaritans and women and lepers, etc…it is not always about color……..plant the seed in our children that jesus loves the little children…red,yellow, black, and white they are precious in his sight…even in that childhood song we have already labeled…..I honestly don’t think a bunch of white moms ranting and raving about racism to the world is going to change anything…though it is a good start………but what these white moms can do is water and give light to the seed planted……i don’t want to raise colorblind kids..but i do want to raise children who see the difference but are not affected by it….that somewhere in their brain, labels and stereotypes and judgments don’t come spilling out because of what they see on the cover of a person…..more than anything I wanting to raise self confident kids….confidence in their source of family and love and who they are as God’s children…more confident than i ever was…..sometimes i believe we christians want change on the big grand scale…which is so easy to talk about…..but it is the small unnoticed grace that changes the world…..

    keri

  3. I can relate to so much of what you are saying. Fortunately, so far, we haven’t encountered much overt racism, but the covert stuff is always there. As my husband says, it’s all good until your son wants to date someone’s daughter. For now, the stereotypes exist in subtle ways. I get tired of people commenting on how my son will be an NBA player or a rapper. Um, maybe he will be a doctor, or youth pastor . . . I hate people boxing him in.

    As to the last comment, I wouldn’t say anyone is ranting or raving. I really appreciate this post, and reading what Heidi had to say. You guys are earnestly sharing your hearts on this subject, and I believe you are effecting change and confronting real, ugly issues with your eyes wide open. Thanks for sharing and being vulnerable, Jamie.

  4. i am going through the same thoughts as you know that we are adopting from ethiopia. it is almost like i see things through a completely different lense now.

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