Racial profiling….or just plain old prejudice?

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

Published in: on September 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm  Comments (6)  

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  1. You are so right! When I took my then 2 year old fosterson (who later became my forever son) to lunch one day he was experiencing a normal two year old tantrum. Every two year old I have had has these! The lady sitting across us says, “Oh he’s mean, I can see it in his eyes. He’s Hispanic; they are mean.” I was shocked and could not believe what I had heard! Words came to my mother before I could even process what had been said. She very sternly told this woman, “He is mean; but not becuase he is Hispanic. He is mean becuase he suffered physical abuse at the hands of white people!” I can’t remember anything after that. I think my mind just kept playing that statement over and over again. People can be very rude and insensitive; not to mention totally off base in their thoughts.

    • Jennifer! That is crazy!! I just can’t imagine letting words like that flow out of your mouth. Thank the Lord the value of these precious kids isn’t found in people who are so (for lack of a better word) ignorant!

  2. i was standing by our 2 fosterdaughters, who are black, and my white stepdaughter at a little water playplace. somebody went and reported that there were 2 unsupervised children (the foster daughters), b/c they figured i was just with my stepdaughter…. it was an honest mistake and they felt sheepish.. i was glad people cared, but it was kind of funny/awkward…..

    but i think moreso, with my fostergirls in tow, God presents more opportunities to share the Gospel and as well as His heart for orphans (social-orphans included)

  3. I remember when Obama was elected president, watching all of the African American people crying. We hadn’t had Zach long at the time, and that really impacted me, what they have gone through over the years. It hit me like a ton of bricks, that there was a time that we would have suffered so much persecution for being his parents, if we were able to at all. I can’t even imagine that. I love him, and Talan too, just as much as if I’d had them, and I never see their color.

    Zachariah is beautiful, and he gets comments everywhere we go from all races…everyone thinks he is cute…but then, people that know we have adopted both boys say often that Christian looks just like us. That is hard for us to hear, b/c we don’t care if they look like us at all, but we don’t like Zach being singled out. Luckily, my close friends tell me often that they think Zach looks like the girls, or has my smile….I love hearing that too!

    I think your daughter is beautiful, inside and out, and even though society has come along way, it has alot longer to go. Luckily, I think our area is more open-minded than other parts of Arkansas. I think doing just what you and others are doing, is a great step to opening up other’s eyes. As hard as it would have been, I imagine just a few words from Jan to that lady would have been a good teaching lesson for her. Sometimes people really are just ignorant with their prejudice…they think that way b/c that is how they have always been taught to think.

  4. What do you think about people foster parenting who have no intention of adopting? Do you think there’s a need for people to do this as well?

    • Absolutely! There is a huge need. That is what we started out doing- never intending to adopt. Through foster care, you have the opportunity to invest in the life of a hurting child- and that investment can make a huge difference whether it is a few weeks, a few months or longer. 🙂

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