I don’t know the answers. I am saddened that all people don’t find the thrill of beauty in the variations of colors and textures of the human race. I am heartbroken for our future son or daughter. Yes, I am referencing what is happening in Ferguson, MO. I don’t feel qualified to comment on specifics, but I do feel like this needs to be discussed. To me, the different skin tones, eye colors, hair textures, and facial features are much more interesting, and the vastness of our beauty is breathtaking…the way we all are. I feel, like many others, that we need to appreciate cultural and race differences while pausing before stereotyping based on what our eyes see.
I have ignorance about race. I am sure I have many misconceptions. My perspective can’t possibly be someone else’s perspective when I only have the opportunity to carry around this body. What awareness has taught me is that my perspective in this female, white body is not what others know, and vice versa.
I’ll admit, this is actually my second draft of this post. I first called it, “The Repulsive Reality of Race” but I really just don’t feel that way, even when the world is telling us a different story. What Katie Mohr, a white mom of brown boys, writes here, has been echoed in many other writings I have come across. The basic message that, although many people will tell us racism doesn’t exist if we don’t make race – or differences – a “big deal,” the more experienced people will tell us it does exist; we have to recognize the differences; and there is no playbook or process to overcoming these obstacles entirely.
The common thought that “love will conquer all” (I hear this often these days, especially in reference to our adoption) is, in my opinion, a way to hide in our tunnel vision, our white perspective. I would love nothing more than to just throw a big pile of love on the problem and watch it disappear. Don’t get me wrong, love will always be the biggest part of the formula, but – I specifically – have a responsibility now to use my brain and awareness to delve deeper.
Thoughts on Raising a Child of a Different Race (what I have been thinking so far…)
1. I will not assume I know how he/she is feeling when regarding race differences.
2. I will try my best to find mentors of the same race for regular connection since my perspective is limited.
3. I will instill confidence in his/her God-given skin, hair, eye-color, and – of course – personality.
4. I will acknowledge our many similarities.
5. I also will acknowledge differences without the sting of judgement.
6. Even though we know there are differences, we will often forget them because we are just….we…a family.
7. I will communicate all I know about this child’s life prior to America in an age appropriate manner.
8. We will honor our child’s first heritage in our home.
9. We will celebrate our awesome, unique, and colorful family.
10. I will keep learning.