Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Brown is Stinky

I did my own version of an old social experiment recently. While shopping, Mercy was looking at two nearly identical dolls. The only difference was that one was brown and one was white. I asked her very nonchalantly which doll she preferred. She looked them both over and proclaimed that the white one was "so cute" and the brown one was "stinky".

Break. my. heart.

We talk routinely about how we are different on the outside, but the same on the inside. We talk about how even though she is brown and we are white that God brought our family together and made us ALL good. We've read books celebrating a diversity of colors, and yet here is my brown daughter saying that "brown is stinky".

We do talk about race in our house openly. I think it is silly to pretend that we are colorblind. We choose instead to celebrate our differences, than pretend they don't exist. I'll never forget the look on her face when I told Mercy there were a lot of white people who paid good money to get their skin more brown. Clearly, that was the craziest thing she had ever heard.

Mercy has told me that when she was a baby she was white (really?!). She's also said she wished she had a brown mom & dad, not a different mom and dad than us per se, just that she wished that WE were brown. I don't know if she just wants to "fit in" (in her mind) or if she just wants no distinction between her and the rest of our family.

It's tough. I want her to be completely & utterly proud of her beautiful brown skin.

So how do you celebrate diversity or teach your children to be proud of who they are? I'd love to get a good dialogue going on this subject. Respectful comments appreciated!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Lessons from a Waterpark

1) Not everyone is meant to wear a bikini. I never think body shape/size should prohibit people from doing the things they want to do. Everyone should be able to put on a swimming suit and enjoy time at a pool with their family. Alot of people would look really nice in a one piece, but a two piece...not so much.

2) More folks should care about the modesty of their teen girls. I saw many young teenage girls with a whole lot of their "stuff" on display. It makes me a bit sad that this is the norm and readily accepted.

3) It's great (and necessary) to spend time with our older kids alone. Because they are not as "needy" as the littles it's easy to overlook them. We are so blessed to have such great big kids at our house and it's important to remind them just how great they are.

Monday, July 12, 2010


We had an amazing weekend gathering together with other families who have children that were adopted from Ghana. There is something so special about being with other families who look like you do. It's like an instant connection and felt like meeting old friends instead of strangers. No awkwardness, just the common bond of being a multi-racial adoptive family.

above photo from www.robindoddphotography.com

Our gathering was held in Freeport, IL, and let me tell you this little town has a lot to offer. Friday night we enjoyed a picnic and a game of ball at Little Cubs Field. On Saturday we spent most of the day at Krape Park enjoying Ghanaian songs & games, food, playing, paddle boating & the carousel. In the afternoon we went to Park Hills Church to participate in an African Drumming Circle and in the evening we got together at a local families home to enjoy more food, fun, & fellowship.

Thank you to everyone who planned this special gathering. Many wonderful friends and memories were made!