Monday, March 17, 2008

"Black Magic"

Okay, I am just going to prepare you now. Though the title doesn't sound it, this is going to be one heavy blog post :)

Last night we didn't have evening church service due to our Passion play (more to come on this in another post) . So, Zack and I spent a Sunday evening at home, doing basically nothing. It felt strange, really strange. Anyway, we were watching television, catching up on all the latest breakdowns of the brackets for the NCAA tourney, it was pretty fun. After that was all over, I saw that a program I had been interested in seeing was coming on ESPN. The program is called "Black Magic". It is a two part series (last night and tonight) that tells the story of the injustice that characterized the Civil Rights Movement in America, as told through the eyes of basketball players and coaches who attended Historical Black Colleges and Universities. Even if you are not a sports fan, it is a really great documentary.

I have always been interested in the Civil Rights Movement and the times and events that surrounded that part of American history. The accounts of those who experienced the effects of such extreme prejudice and racism simply because of a superficial difference never ceases to amaze and horrify me. I can not wrap my mind around it, nor can I adequately explain how I feel about it. But now, these events and the notion of prejudice and racism has taken on a completely different meaning for me. I sat last night watching the program, and I felt both afraid and anxious for our son. Yes, times have changed. Yes, segregation no longer exists, and black people have all the same legal rights as anyone else in our country (even though research and statistics don't really show the evidence of that...sorry my sociology background is kicking in:). However, to say that the consequences and effects of that kind of racism are all behind us is just not realistic, unfortunately. The repercussions of that kind of hate just doesn't go away because of laws..... and this is what I fear for our son. I don't think I am over exaggerating or being dramatic for feeling this way. Though most everyone has been very supportive of our adoption, there have been some comments made and some looks given to us that have clearly shown disapproval. And I can't help but think (and in some instances know) that it is because our child will be black. I am sure there will be some more looks once he gets here as well. Unfortunately, this is life in a fallen world.

It is not like I haven't thought about this whole race issue before now, or as if Zack and I didn't consider racial issues when we decided to adopt from Ethiopia- we did, and eventually came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter! The alternative is that these children may never have a home! In our hearts, we could not justify our decision to not adopt certain children simply based on their skin color. We could not imagine saying to a child, "Sorry, we didn't want to adopt you because you are (whatever color)." I am sorry if this sounds harsh. I know that not everyone is called to adopt, and I am not trying to offend anyone. This is just how we felt God speak to us.

I think now it is just becoming more of a reality, as the time draws closer for Caleb to be with us. To think that our son will grow up and will have to face some of these issues... I can't bear to think that Caleb may be hurt someday because of the hate that someone has in their heart....over skin color? Please hear me- never for one second do we regret our decision to adopt a child of another race. We know God called us to adopt this special child from Ethiopia, and he has affirmed and reminded us of this calling over and over again throughout this process. It has been amazing to see all the glory he has received throughout this process, and we are so honored to have been able to be a part! And I know that he will continue to receive glory as Caleb joins us forever sometime in the next few months :) We can't wait.

Though I know that we all have and know of so many prayer needs, if you think of our adoption, (and any adoption, for that matter) would you please remember to pray for this specific issue? Please pray for wisdom for Zack and I as we deal with any racial issues that may arise. Please pray for Caleb, that even now he will know he is loved deeply by Zack and I, his family and friends, and by his Heavenly Father, and that no matter what people may say or how they may look at him, his value is not determined by any external feature, but by God's love for him. I am so thankful for that amazing love.


vinceandalisa said...

I COMPLETELY understand your thoughts!! We've received some 'looks' ourselves...but those 'looks' just grow the roots of my love for our soon-to-be child even deeper into my heart/soul. The books that we're reading about transracial adoption are providing some excellent insight for how we can help our child embrace his/her identity when the stuggles arise. God has given each of our families the gift of mercy, and though it can get messy, He's given it to us to's truly an honor to get messy for Jesus :)
Many Bleesings! Alisa

shawn and tisha said...

I know what you mean. This is such a point of prayer for all of us....

K.P. said...

I hear you! I work for an African-American man and he is very nice, well-dressed, always professional and smart. The other day he was out with a white pastor friend of ours and they were at a store that shall remain unamed (sounds like "hams" but starts with "s"). My boss/friend was standing at the end of the check-out while our pastor friend was paying for his stuff. My boss was talking on his cell and the cashier looks at the pastor and says "I think he's trying to steal your credit card number. He's been watching you the whole time." Our pastor friend says, "I think it'll be ok...he's WITH me!" Racism is not gone.

As Tisha said...this is an issue of prayer for all of us.


PS: YOU'RE TAGGED! I want to know more about Rebecca!! Visit for instructions. :) Blame Kristin...she started it. :)

Anonymous said...

I love this post and have the same fears. I too have experienced people turning their up their noses when they hear that I am adopting from Ethiopia. It is sad to think that racism is still so prevalent, and it is hard to know how to raise our children to rise above the negativity.

Carpenters said...

We thought about the same things when we decided to adopt from Ethiopia. We live in a predominantly white town (although right next door to a very diverse college town) and we had to seriously consider the reactions of others in our towns. So far, I can say that we have received nothing but overwhelming support from friends, neighbors, and strangers. We are rather conspicuous, but especially with Josiah being so outgoing, we get mostly smiles and waves. (Josiah smiles, waves, and says hi a lot, especially to any and all other children.) I have been pleasantly surprised.

With Love,