I have been quiet on here recently, but that is because we have been busy with fundraiser garage sales and have some very good news to share soon! But today, I need to address a very difficult and controversial topic; race.
Recent events have stirred up emotions and have shown people’s true colors. The trial of Paula Deen, Zimmerman, they have brought out the worst in people. These past few days as I read my news feed on Facebook I see fellow adoptive parents crying out for justice and concern for their children. That one day it could be them mourning the unjust loss of their child. And then I see those who aren’t raising children of color say justice was served. These events have also allowed me to see people’s true colors and a side of them I hadn’t seen before. You see, as a mom to an African American boy you can’t tell me racism doesn’t exist, especially when saying “a thug is dead”. That right there is covert racism. To say an African American teenager who was wearing a hoodie (a very typical teenage outfit) is a thug is racially profiling him. You can’t say there isn’t racial profiling and it is just over reactions. Sadly, racial profiling does exist and we haven’t come as far as people like to think we have. While yes, being a mom to my precious boy has made me more aware of covert and subtle racism, it was always there. I just didn’t notice it as much and take a stand. And for that I am sorry. I was in my bubble. Thinking that we have come so far and it is more the extremist who are the racist ones. Through personal experiences, I have seen firsthand and witnessed subtle racism against my son.
Here are some things I have had to hear from people who claim they aren’t racist:
“Your son’s voice is so cute. I love his little black accent.”
“Look at his muscles and his stomach sticking out. He could be on the cover for National Geographic.”
“You should adopt from China next. Then you’ll have one of everything in your family.”
And these are just a few things that have been said to me. And all of these were said from people who claim they are not racist and don’t see color. But they do. Its subtle, or covert, racism. It is there, and it needs to stop. As parents we have had to have difficult discussions with family and friends. Explain to them how things they say are racist. How they are the people our kids are supposed to feel safest with and instead they will hear comments that diminish them based on the color of their skin. We have been doing now for over two years, and to be honest, it is just draining! It is frustrating and exhausting to explain over and over how what they say is racist, how it will hurt our child. You hit a point where you just can’t do it anymore and you have to reevaluate your relationships.
And unfortunately, this also applies to criticism over our choice of adoption and building our family. We have been questioned and judged repeatedly, in passive ways, that people aren’t in agreement with our adoptions. We have been told by more than one person that we should be adopting children in America, and from foster care. That having an open adoption is not the right thing to do, that adopting an orphan from Africa is wrong. And again, these things can’t be said around my kids. I don’t want them to think that they are any less deserving of love and a family because they were adopted from another country or have an open relationship with their birth mom. So, here it is, my public announcement that we will not be tolerating racist comments or jokes, or comments putting down how our family came to be. While we can’t protect our kids from everything and the outside world, we can choose who are around them on a daily basis. We can control our “village”. We have had tough discussions with people in the past and chose to not have them be part of our village and we will continue to do so. Our children are their happiness are what matter most to us, they are everything to us, and we will make sure they know they are loved by us and those who surround them. They will know they are safe from discrimination and ridicule in these four walls of our home, and any home we enter. And I do hope that one day I won’t have to worry that my children will be harmed because of the color of their skin and the jacket they chose to wear that day.