I had a conversation today that shocked, enlightened and saddened me. I was caring for a patient who was in her 90's. She began telling me about her daughters - telling me about their adoptions. I hadn't told her about The Little One in our family, so I shared that I had a 6 month old daughter who was adopted and that adoption was a special gift in my heart. She proceeded to talk to me about adoption and asked me when we would tell her she was adopted. I kind of chuckled and said "well, she's African-American, so we will always be open about it, in fact I already talk to her about it." Imagine the look on my face when this woman who had just an hour before been visiting with her minister asked me "honey, why in the world did you choose an African-American baby?" The only response I had (and I thank God for helping me keep my wits and supply my answer) was "I didn't choose her, she was chosen specially for us by God." "Well surely you look at her and feel differently about her because she's African-American?!" "I look at her and see a beautiful child of God. I see my daughter."
At that point, I had thankfully finished my task at hand because I really needed some space. This was such a sweet lady and I didn't want to hear these things from her. But I walked out of the room reminding myself of the generation in which this woman was raised. And then I realized that she was the same age as my paternal grandmother would have been, was born just a month before my grandmother, and ironically used to live in Iowa just as my grandmother did. My grandmother was the most color-blind woman I have ever known. She raised foster children of different races, worked at a children's home as a relief house parent with children of different races, became a "grandma" to children in her neighborhood of different races. So how can 2 women born within a month of each other, raised in the same state with similar education backgrounds have such drastically different views? It is a question for the ages I guess. I don't have any angry thoughts for the woman I took care of today and I know I may never see her again. But I do have sadness.
I don't have any really grand thoughts on this (I did work for 12 hours today after all!) but this stuck in my heart and mind and I needed to write about it. It reminded me how much I have to learn and how big my job is with TLO in letting her know that she is a beautiful child of God and that no once can take that from her or belittle her or in any way change her wonderful potential. There is a book I have been planning to order and just haven't done it but tonight I will. Brown Babies Pink Parents is described as a "practical guide to transracial parenting." 'Practical,' that's me! 'Pink Parent,' that's me too! 'Brown baby,' that's my beautiful Little One.
Please don't leave negative comments regarding this incident or this woman, only kind words and prayers that some day our world won't care how what color of skin a person has. "Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world."