Thursday, April 2, 2009

Explaining Color

Brown Sugar gets it now. She realizes that she is dark and I am light. She compares our skin regularly. What she doesn't get is the fact that she has another mother. When she snuggles with me she adoringly looks into my eyes and says "I love you mommy".
But, this morning she had a quizzical look on her face when Lil' Cowboy said "Our birth mom lives in Africa". She goes around telling people that she is from Africa but I don't think she had really thought it through. "I have another mommy?" was the question she posed.

The social worker asked us, when we were going through this process, at what time would we tell the kids that they were adopted. We looked at her and kind of laughed...I mean, really. At some point the kids are going to look at their skin color and ours and see a vast difference. But, now I see the point. Because Brown Sugar has been ours since she was very little and has been surrounded by pregnant ladies who are giving birth to beautiful little babies she just assumes that she lived in my "tummy" as well. She hasn't taken any science courses to realize that the pigment of her skin was not given to her by me.

She asked what her other mommy's name was. We told her at which she quickly realized that this was her middle name. Smart three year old! I told her that her mommy in Africa loved her so much that she wanted Brown Sugar to come and live with us. She has no idea how hard life can be on the other side of the globe, but she will. Lil' Cowboy refers to his birth mother every-once-in-a-while. He thinks of her fondly but has grown attached to his new home and family. During his bout with chicken pox he would start to complain. At one point we reminded him that he had already lived through malaria and typhoid fever...far worse conditions! We proceeded to tell him how thankful he should be that we could give him Benedryl and that he could take bath after bath. This is a luxury that he would not have enjoyed in Africa. He ran out the door shouting "I'm thankful...I'm thankful".

Our church has been going through the Ken Ham video series "Answers in Genesis". We have heard Mr. Ham speak in person and even visited the Creation Museum he helped build. One of the issues that he discusses is racial prejudice. There would be none if we believe what God says about His creation. He created one man and one woman. We have all come from those two people. Brown Sugar is no different than I am except that she has beautiful dark skin and hair. I am blessed to have these two true African Americans living with me and loving me.


:o) Rachel said...

Beautiful post, Heather!!

amanda said...

Heather, we have adopted 5 children: 2 white, 1 biracial, and 2 black. Wow! What a blessing. When you love someone, you really don't see color at all.

SarahF said...

oh heather, how i love reading your posts. you write so beautifully on wonderful topics.

your friend, sarah fiodorova.

Missy said...

Levi's little lightbulb is beginning to flicker too. Not so much with the "other mommy" questions, more with the realization that he looks different from the rest of us. Now if he walks into the room and I happen to be looking at an adoption blog and he sees another family like us, he says "Mom, he looks like me, his hair is like mine, is he from Liberia too?" I can't explain what that does to my heart, it's an odd emotion. I'm sure you get it though.

I guess we've just always tried to talk about it so there wouldn't have to be a big know? I don't know if that's going to work out for us though, time will tell.