Race Matters...

…this is my conclusion thus far based on the trans-racial adoption/family lit that I’ve read. (I’d be interested to know what the rest of my fellow-YG is discovering as well) However, just because race does matter, doesn’t mean it has to be problematic.

All of my life I’ve believed that being “color-blind” was a politically-correct attitude worth achieving – but what I’ve discovered is, in fact, quite the opposite. The notion that someone is “color-blind” suggests that there is an attribute that needs to be overlooked (ie- skin color). If skin color isn’t a big deal, then I shouldn’t need to be “blind” to it.

According to dictionary.com, when blind is used as an adjective, it means: unwilling or unable to perceive or understand; lacking all consciousness or awareness. I don’t know about you, but that doesn’t sound like a good thing to me???

A recurrent struggle for adolescent trans-racial adoptees seems to be that people are color-blind – especially their family members. Dismissing the race issue isolates adopted children as they begin to perceived race differences in their environment; they don’t have the freedom the to openly & verbally wrestle with this new-found awareness, because their family’s first response is to minimize differences in race.

Talking about skin color isn’t taboo – I don’t believe God gave us diversity, only to ignore it. Vince & and I are going to strive for our home to be a safe place to discover and talk about our differences from the very beginning, so, instead of fearing them, our children will hopefully embrace them.

…just a few thoughts for today – I’ll revisit this issue soon…

Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
-MLK, Jr


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comment on my post about the visit to Addis. I notice you guys are also adopting from China. I also am in China 3-4 times a year.

Anonymous said...

"Vince & and I are going to strive for our home to be a safe place to discover and talk about our differences from the very beginning,"

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.

Rob & Candy said...

Alisa, what books have you been reading? I recently finished- I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World
In Their Own Voices: Transracial Adoptees Tell Their Stories
I would love to get together (online) and chat about these books with you/other YG members.
I don't think "color blind" is a good thing either.

Team Dragovich said...

Alisa-- Your post was well thought out, but even better was the comment left by anonymous above!!!!! What a unique perspective and one that I had not considered! I'm so glad that I tracked you down to read your blog :) I was just going to tell you that I LOVE 19th Century literature, too! Somewhere on the YG I think I read that. I also like Foster books and now I will have to go search out some Willard reading material.

I think that the YG would love to read the comment by anonymous. Thanks for letting me visit :)
Shari from YG

Roscoe and Julia Richardson said...

Great blog and comment - great perspective.

Julia OH (YG)

Kelly said...

I totally agree with your thoughts and conclusions. To try to ignore our race is just plain dumb. I especially liked the comment left by annonymous (weird name;). You should make a post of it!! We have a friend from Ethiopia who expresses the exact sentiments. See you tomorrow?

shawn and tisha said...


This is a great post.:)

Thanks for your comment on our blog. :)

Reno said...

Thanks for your great perspective...


The Raudenbush Family said...

Hi there, came across your blog tonight and have really enjoyed reading your posts. I would like to talk to you about reprinting this and maybe other of your posts on a new website my husband and I are publishing. We are working to publish posts and articles there about adoption from a Christian worldview. If you want to talk more about it, could you please email me? I'd love to include some of your pieces.

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