4.18.2008

Ethnicity Matters More

As Vince and I were praying about pursing an Ethiopia adoption, we sought wisdom from a variety of people…including people of color. A dear friend of Vince’s from seminary is African American (his mother is African American and his father is from Kenya) so we naturally sough counsel from him – specifically, about his thoughts regarding a black child being raised by white parents. His advice was very enlightening & encouraging.

The first thing he informed us about was that people of color hated to be lumped into the singular category of “black people.” Individuals can share a similar skin color, while having absolutely nothing else in common. Although Vince and I are white, there are many white people that we have nothing in common with – similarly, there will be many ‘black’ people that our Ethiopian child with have nothing in common with.

He detailed the point even further by explaining that because our child is Ethiopian, he/she will identify with other Ethiopians. He explained how important it will be for us to introduce our child to all aspects of Ethiopian ethnicity…especially other Ethiopians.

There are also some college students at our church who are Kenyan – so we sought their international perspective…and they were delighted to hear about our Ethiopian adoption endeavors. They spoke very highly of Ethiopian culture and people – they too stressed the importance of preserving our child’s ethnicity by seeking opportunities to incorporate Ethiopian culture (food, music, tradition, history, etc.) and pursuing intentional relationships with other Ethiopians.

Vince & I concur whole-heartily with the above observations and are excited about weaving Ethiopia into the fibers of our family!!

Those of you who read my previous post may have seen a comment left by an anonymous reader. And they also offered a wonderful perspective about Ethiopian people & adoption…thank you!!

Anonymous said...
"Ethiopians are the only African look like who have no reason to blame, mistrust, accuse, dislike, hate or revenge against anyone especially the European look like. Ethiopians have never been colonized, enslaved, discriminated or anything similar by any white person because of their skin colour. Ethiopians see the Italian invasion of Abyssinia no more or no less than the same way Germany did to the rest of Europe. So, there is no the race thing here.

When The Arabs and Ottomans directly and indirectly invaded Ethiopia 1529-1543) to spread Islam through massacre against Christians and destruction against all religion symbols including burning down more than 2000(two thousands churches), the European Christian sisters and brothers came to defend Ethiopia. And as a result the barbaric Islamic invaders were driven out much of Northern and central Ethiopia despite since then the situation in the country has been dramatically changed.
This is the mentality Ethiopians have about the European look like person.
So, your future Ethiopian children will have many reasons to embrace you with heart that you are their parents unconditionally. Although Ethiopians are considered to be blacks, their history, character, culture and the likes are very different from the rest of Africa.
You, my dear and the rest of the adopting parents need to understand Ethiopians with their long tradition of Christian faith(Became a nation religion since 333AC) and they consider the European look like people thier sisters and brothers in faith. Because they never tested as it was happened to the rest of Africa, many Ethiopians have no any racism feeling under their skin.
So, don't warry about your children race issue. Tell them about the Ethiopian people brother/-sisterhood history with the white race."

4 comments:

Susan said...

Thanks so much for sharing this!

~Susan

ethiHOPEia said...

This is very informative...it is so great you have good connections to talk these things out! Thanks for sharing.
Hilary

shawn and tisha said...

Like Susan and Hilary, I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this. :)
Tisha

Kiki:) said...

Alisa,
You are such a sweetheart :)
I love that we are on this journey to Ethiopia together. Ozarks will never be the same!!
Thank you for your support & encouragement!
lots of love,
Kari
I love your blog!!

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