We are a transracial adoptive family, and I’m here to tell you that kids- yes, even your kids- see color in race.
I understand if this has you shifting in your seat.
We’ve all heard it said that we’re to aspire to be color blind- to be able to lock arms with anyone and everyone and proclaim, “We don’t see color here!”
But hear me out; our kids might be on to something!
The culture and wisdom and accomplishments within every last one of these races, they’re AWESOME.
We don’t get to see those either if we don’t see color.
Instead of, “We don’t see color,” let us celebrate all that we do!
“We embrace diversity!”
“We celebrate our differences!”
“We value the perspective you bring!”
“We cherish unity!”
“We believe there is space for all of us and all we are!”
“We know we’re better together.”
Here is an honest glimpse into how this has looked in our home.
It started with our children.
They weren’t older than three when our two boys first told us as we held hands, “Our hands are different colors.”
It was simply a fact, an observation they shared. As they turned their hands over in ours, one chimed in, “They’re the same color on the other side, though!”
I simply acknowledged the truth they saw.
“Yes! Isn’t it awesome God thought to give us so many beautiful colors when He created us?”
The beautiful truths (and the hard ones) are our responsibility to share as parents.
When they were smallest, we started small, by intentionally keeping our library diverse.
We also take seriously that we are choosing a life for ourselves and our children when we choose where we work, where we live, and where our children go to school and play.
Do our choices isolate us from anyone who brings a different identity or perspective?
The conversation is ongoing.
Because our children aren’t surrounded only by people who look and sound just like them, nor only by people who don’t resemble them at all, it raises great questions.
One of our children, upon seeing a black woman wearing her Afro hair in all its glory, once responded to me quietly, “That’s weird.”
“What’s weird?” I asked.
“Her hair,” he answered. “That it grows out.”
“It is different than mine, isn’t it?” I answered. “But I love it! It’s beautiful. Can I ask you a question? What if it’s actually weird that my hair falls down when it grows?”
He giggled, as he’d never thought of it that way before.
The next time he saw a woman wearing her textured hair in her own amazing style, he whispered to me, “I like her hair. It’s beautiful.”
My boys, still young, are always pointing out to me the beautiful women they see.
It brings delight to my heart because they are quick to see the beauty in a person, and the women they see it in couldn’t be greater individuals.
The image we are created in is beautiful, each of us.
It’s as wonderful to see together as the magic of Christmas dancing through the smiling eyes of Santa Claus, a jolly black man.
Because if “Santa Claus knows we’re all God’s children,” why wouldn’t he, in all the magic that belongs to him, come to us reflecting the beauty of any one of God’s beloved children?
Likewise, it’s as terrible as unveiling together the truth that the world doesn’t always see in one another the beauty we are created in.
It’s a heavy reality, even as we look at it together for the first time in our home, through the powerful imagery and lyrical verses of The Undefeated.
Do you see it? It’s all around us, how diverse is beauty itself!
Our son smiles ear to ear to know that his brothers wear proudly with him, “Black is beautiful.”
When our baby girl sings along in the car at the top of her voice, I am met with that same smile of his in the rearview mirror as I call to his sister, “Yeah, girl, sing it! You know you’ve got that black girl magic, don’t you?”
Because our kids, they see color, and they want to know that we see beauty when we see it.