When we started our foster care journey 17 years ago-Caucasian folks didn’t adopt African American kids. At least not in Little Rock, Arkansas, home of the Central High integration crisis. Multi-ethnic families were few and far between and the looks I would get when fostering an African American child were sometimes comical.
Things have changed. And things haven’t changed at all. The state is ordered ‘not look at race’ when determining the right family for a child, DHS even encourages interracial adoptions, and Jeff and I have a daughter who is African American. I find myself so encouraged by the change in attitudes until some out-of-the-blue prejudicial statement shocks me back into reality.
Today, Jan took the girls (Serenity and Niya) to dance class. When E and I went to the studio later to watch for awhile and to pick Serenity up, Jan leaned over and whispered to me that she had something to tell me. She said that as she sat watching the girls dance, a young father and an older woman who was obviously the grandmother of one of the blond-haired blue-eyed girls in Sis’s class sat down beside her. As the grandmother watched, she commented to her son “all the girls are doing great, except those two black ones, who are just doing their own thing.” I guess I should be grateful she didn’t say “colored”! (Hey, I’ve got to find some humor in it!) Jan sat there right next to this woman with her heart heavy, but her mouth shut.
I’m sure this woman got the shock of her life when the two of us left the studio- with the two “black” girls in tow!
Wow. How I long for the day when my daughter, her friend, and all African American and bi-racial children are seen as equal in value to their lighter skinned counterparts. How I long for the day when my daughter won’t be judged by the color of her skin, but the beauty, the vibrance, the sheer joy and compassion that ARE who she is! What will it take for people to value each and every child the way the Creator intended?
Here’s a reminder :)
7 year old birthday girl! July 2010