Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Own Naivety

I’m sitting here in front of the computer at a loss for words.  It seems that reality has really hit me.  As a new momma, I don’t make time for a lot of things…tv being one of them.  My DVR has become hopelessly backed up, with many of my favorite shows still in the queue from months ago.  It’s just the way of life.  My son comes first.  I would rather be spending time with him than watching tv.  What this also means is that I’m largely cutoff from the news and current events. 

I’m sitting here reading some of my favorite blogs and I’m reading the story of Trayvon and finally connecting the dots.  Just because Ben is with a white family does not give him the protection of being white.  Everywhere we go people tell me how cute my son is and what an angel he is.  At what point will we stop getting the smiles and start getting the stares of suspicion?  I feel like I’ve had blinders on, mostly due to my naivety.  My skin color has afforded me the luxury of a life void of discrimination.  What if, 15 years from now, my son’s face is on the news…just like Trayvon?  My hands are shaking as I write this because it’s honestly, something I’ve never considered and I feel so foolish.  My heart is breaking at the thought that my son, at some point in his life, will be judged first and foremost by the color of his skin. 

I’m linking to a blog post that is disturbing to me on many levels.  http://johnson-mccormick.com/2012/03/and-you-wonder-why-i-dress-my-boys-the-way-i-do/  Part of me doesn’t want to perpetuate the cycle of discrimination by trying to make my sweet little black boy “as white as he can be” and yet part of me knows there is truth in what she’s saying.  For now, I get to enjoy the promise of our future as a family without the burden of discrimination.  And yet, I sit here wondering when it will be our turn to defend our son.

We were getting ice cream the other night and there was a white family a few cars down from us who couldn’t keep their eyes off us.  Yes folks, I know we’re an interracial family…thanks for noticing.  I’m able to not give it much thought because (1) those people and their ignorance are not worthy of my time and (2) Ben is oblivious to what is going on.  There will be a point in time where the stares are no longer acceptable and my momma bear instinct will want to come out and protect Ben.  I guess it just never occurred to me that he will have to grow up without his white momma by his side and he will solely be judge on the fact that he’s a black man. 

Maybe in the years to come progress will be made.  But, after reading about Trayvon my heart is heavy.  I want to protect my angel from all of life’s hardships but knowing that he will face a discrimination so fierce, so life changing is something I can only hope to guide him through, as it’s something I’ve never faced myself.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Picket Fence

“Once, a long time ago, I had a white picket fence, but it fell down. And while I didn’t choose the crazy-colored one that was erected in its place, I had grown to love it. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that you can never ever go wrong with vibrant color.”

This fantastic quote is from one of my favorite bloggers…Kelle Hampton.  Her blog is beautiful, funny and poignant and I’m terribly excited for her book to come out in April.  I feel connected to this quote.  I read it weeks ago and it’s been sitting in the back of my mind, reminding me that the white picket fence might fall down, but what is replaced is much more beautiful.  Our adoption journey started out as devastating and has turned into the most beautiful blessing of my life. I still struggle, at times, with not conceiving a child but when I look at my son, it fades into the back of my mind.  He’s mine…just as if he came from my body!  The love I have for him is so overwhelming it makes me wonder if I could ever love another child the way that I love him. 

Although I desperately wanted the white picket fence outside my door, the Lord knew better.  My faith is strong because I have witnessed firsthand what following His lead will bring.  It has brought abounding joy to our family, greater than anything I could have imagined.

Embrace the colored-fence!  It’s a beautiful thing.