Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Events of late from the conspicuous families point of view


From the moment we adopted a black child, we were no longer a "white" family. Although not a black family, but still not the traditional white family. There were many things we had to learn such as skin and hair care...and then as they get older we deal with racism. Sure, Kyle and I have had to deal with racism since the kids were home. We have been shoved off street corners, called names, had my children followed around stores (very OBVIOUSLY), deal with "looks"...some trying to hide their stares and some...well....doing everything they can to make sure we understand they do not approve of our family make up. We are not the only ones who have experienced these type of issues. Lori has blogged about one of hers here. Although, as you can see, none of these has caused us physical harm, it is still more than we would have experienced if our children would of had the same hue as us.

We also have different issues to deal with. While stories such as "Follow the Drinking Gourd" and "The Safe House" are excellent stories, and ones I would not hesitate to read to children that are white..I have hesitated over our time as homeschoolers to read these stories. Not because I don't want them to know, but as soon as they "get it" they lose just a bit more of their innocence. While my 2 youngest could really care less at this time about what color anyone is, Katharine is very aware of her race and her "racial" surroundings. As I started to read these stories it didn't click at first (which was OK with mama) but I will never forget the 1st time we watched the movie Ruby Bridges. She was in 1st grade, just like Katharine at the time. As we watched the movie and watched the horrible things that happened to this little girl as her family fought for their rights...she asked me why she was the only one in her class...and of course I told her as gently as I could. It clicked. I saw her look at her own hands....her own beautiful God given hands....she turned them upside down, and then right side up...and she just looked at me. All I could tell her was that is was not right and not fair. As much as I would love to say this is all in the past, it is not. We still hear racial jokes and comments. Most of the time I think people think its funny to make these jokes and that there is no harm done. On the contrary...when you have the history that blacks in this country have, a joke, no matter how harmless to the white counterpart, is offensive to the black person...or the mother in the said conspicuous family. While at the same time people can say that my children don't have that history as they were adopted from Haiti and it was not their family that was affected...think about it. When we go to wal-mart and the woman follows my daughter around so close behind her back that they could share the same pair of pants...do you think she is looking at her as a foreign born child adopted from afar? No...all she sees is skin color...black....and then lumps all the stereotypes along with it.


.....to be continued ....



1 comment:

mama said...

I understand where you are coming from. Issues of race are very hard for me to talk to with my little ones, so I can only imagine how you must feel. All we can really do is tell them that they are perfectly made by a heavenly father that intentd for them to be born black. I tell them that thier race is not a mistake, it is a gift. I try to take them to the bible and show them when and how differnt races came to be. Your babies are beautiful and perfect and your family is perfect and made posible through God's grace and love.