Friday, August 17, 2007

Color-Blindness is in the Eye of the Beholder

So, I've been obsessed with reading blogs lately. Some of you reading this now can probably relate. Somehow (I don't even remember how anymore), I found a blog written by a TRA - a trans-racial adoptee - and now I can't stop reading them. It's been fascinating and frightening and enlightening and a million other things that I just can't describe.

When we started this adoption process, we decided that race "didn't matter" to us. We felt led to adopt a deaf child - a child who might not easily find another family and who probably wouldn't have a chance for a great life in their home country. We wanted a child who was relatively young, but we didn't care about race or gender.

What I've come to realize is that the only reason that I'm able to take this color-blind position is because I'm white. I see little direct evidence of racism and what I do see is easy for me to write off as ignorance. It's easy for me to be color-blind. However, my black son won't have that luxury. Race may not "matter" to us, but it will matter to him - it will be a part of who he is - a part of how he experiences life. No amount of love and wishing will make that fact go away. So, what does that mean? How do I raise my child to understand a part of himself that I've never experienced, that I can't share? How do I give him a sense of identity so that he doesn't grow up wishing that those well-meaning white folks hadn't messed up his life by adopting him?

That's why I'm reading - voraciously. I find myself desperate to do the "right" things for my child. And I know there are no definitive answers. But, I feel like I can learn from the experiences of those who have been there, done that.

I know in my heart that Noah was meant for our family. God has showed that to me in a thousand ways. Scott and I have often chuckled at the fact that we set out to adopt a deaf child and it looks like Noah has no hearing problems at all. We've also realized that, since Noah was believed to be deaf, only a family that was willing to adopt a deaf child would have accepted his referral. God gave us willing hearts and led us to our child. Still, I have to remember that just because I know that God is in control, doesn't mean that I can sit back and assume everything will just work out fine. Life doesn't work that way. We're going to have to work at this family thing. We're going to have to live and learn and probably make a bunch of mistakes along the way.

Is it terrifying? Sure. Is it worth it? I guess you'll have to ask me in 20 years or so, but right now, I can't imagine an answer other than, "Absolutely."

2 comments:

ManyBlessings said...

Amen.
d:)

Ericka said...

Nicole,
Hi, beautiful post :)
Hey, we had to get a new computer so I lost all my contacts, etc. I've been worried about you with all this rain. Are you guys doing ok????
Hugs,
Ericka