Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Random Ponderings About Race

As I have researched various aspects of adoption, transracial adoption has seemed to be a hot-button issue. There are many opinions and some "research" about the topic. I have also learned that many people involved in the adoption triad (birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptees) are offended by things that others may not realize are offensive.

One such offensive remark is saying that children are "colorblind." Many people believe that no one can be truly "colorblind" in regards to not noticing the differences in skin color. I read an article that suggested that while kids may not be "colorblind," they very well could be "colormute." They can obviously see the difference in color of skin, but it may not be of concern enough to talk about it. I really like that.

When we first considered transracial adoption, I thought it only prudent to ask Lexi's opinion. I asked her, "Would it matter to you if your brother or sister didn't have the same color skin as you?" I then named off several of her friends who have different skin colors. Her response was, "I don't care. They can have purple or pink skin."

Even knowing that the skin color is not a deciding factor for us, questions still loom in my head. So I pray that God calms my concerns and guides our decisions.

So, last night we went to the bank. There were two tellers at the drive-thru. The one who was helping us was Caucasian and the other teller was Hispanic. Lexi asked me, "What is her name."

I assumed she meant our teller, so I told her, "Her name is Stacy."

She replied, "OK."

A few minutes later she asked again, "What is her name?"

I replied again, "Her name is Stacy."

"No. What is the white girl's name?"

I was a little surprised by the way she asked that question, because I don't think we have ever referred to people as White, but I told her again, "Her name is Stacy."

She got more adamant and said, "No. Her! The white girl."

I turned to see that she was pointing at the Hispanic teller. I said, "Honey, why did you call her the White girl."

She replied rather matter-of-factly, "Because she is wearing a white shirt."

In that moment, I had the answer that I needed about my concerns with transracial adoption. My daughter will no doubt see differences between people, because we indeed are all different. I just know that her main concern will not be the color of a person's skin or the type of hair. She may notice differences in clothes, cars, hairstyles, or shoes. The next child who enters our family will be taught to embrace any differences they may have and celebrate the love that we can all share.

My child may not be colorblind or colormute, but she will be raised to know that people of all shapes, sizes, and colors have the same human potential. We are all part of the human race.