On questions & racism

My babies don’t have my eyes or my smile. We don’t share the same skin tones or hair color. We don’t match. At. All.

“Woah! She looks NOTHING like you. How did that happen?” Has been said to me at the grocery store more times than I care to remember.

Or “where did you get her from” when someone knows she was adopted.

Our family is a family in many ways, just like yours. We laugh together and play together. We watch movies and eat pizza on Fridays and flip pancakes on Saturdays. Sure we say some words in Japanese, others in Spanish, most in English, but we aren’t that different.

With these current events we’ve been asked,

“How can we do better to love and support your family?”

“How can we raise our kids to love and respect all people?”

“Where do I even start?”

First and foremost, we are learning too. We are grieved for our Black brothers and sisters who have been at an alarming rate murdered at the hands of those sworn to protect them.

And I’ve been asking a lot of questions of myself as we wait to be matched in our 3rd adoption, especially since we are open to any race and gender.

“Am I equipped to raise a black son or daughter?”

“Are we really doing all we can to cultivate relationships with people who don’t look or talk like us?”

“What makes me qualified/am I doing the work to parent women of color and meet their needs?”

We are paralyzed by the realities that our next child may be Black and we have no idea what we are doing, are not qualified at all, and frankly scared to fall in love that may be taken from us because of systemic racism. But, we are determined to explore ourselves and how our biases have undergirded systemic racism.

I do not have all the answers. Not even close. I mostly have a lot of questions. What I do know is that I am grateful for those of you asking the tough questions, doing the hard work and leaning in with us.

When all of this is happening, it feels so impossible to change the systemic racism in our nation.  And I have spent many hours thinking of how to do so but the funny thing is, even if I did figure that out, how would that be accomplished?  Unfortunately, I can’t.  But what I can do is be committed to not being paralyzed by the opinions, social media, and the news and take a hard look at myself.  Listen before I speak.  Ask questions.  Engage to the point where I am uncomfortable.  Be consistent.  Be kind.  

I have these two beautiful girls who aren’t like me, on the outside.  When I look at them I think of the world that I want to pass off to them.  And when I think of that world, in no way does it look like what we have now.  A place where there is a hierarchy of humanity based upon your skin color.  It starts with me, as a mom and a person, mirror what gospel for my girls.  We didn’t spend 6 years and ask you all to help us adopt three times to bring home girls to this world.  So let’s change it, together.  

I am asking for your help.  I am a white girl from South Dakota.  I’ve had privilege all my life.  This isn’t political but rather moral.  We are better than this.  So, I am asking for you to help me see my blinds spots.  I promise to listen, I promise to be kind, and I promise that I am committed to true change.  

For the sake of the world and for the sake of my world (Jon, Addey, Lottie, and Baby #3)