Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Parenting is not for sissies.

I've always felt deep down  that hatred and prejudice are learned, not innate, traits  so it was important to me and to Drew that we do our best to raise color-blind kids, something I hope we've done a decent job of.     

Back before we started the adoption process, I could say with fair certainty that our boys could not fathom that a person could be judged solely by their skin color.   This was something that they had only read about---something that had happened in our country's past or something that might happen somewhere else to someone else's family members.

Since we've been in process, Drew and I have tried to anticipate and talk through situations that our family might face once Amos and Kalee are here.  I  want Brant, Will and Jay to be prepared for the questions we might get, the looks...the double takes.....the reactions....the lack of understanding....changes in relationships.
But as much as I want the boys to be ready---I hate to see another layer of their sweet, sweet innocence stripped away.   It is hard and painful and embarrassing for me to have to share with them what our society is really like----to say out loud that prejudice is alive and well....and not just somewhere else in the world, but alive and well and thriving all around us.

Our youngest boy, Jay, overheard a phone conversation Drew and I had earlier in the week. We are considering a local move to put us closer to school, church and Drew's office and one of the houses we are checking out is located directly across from one of the big country clubs in town.
I could tell Drew was getting a little excited just thinking about being able to walk to the golf course and tennis courts....and well, the boys and I have been known to become pool rats in the summer proximity makes this house very tempting.   As we talked about what membership to such a club might cost, Drew quietly mentioned that we'd need to ask around and check the club policies.   It's a possibility that blacks---or white parents of black children---might not be allowed, errr......invited to join.

I'll spare you my indignant rant, but Jay's went something like this:

"In 2009??"
"Are you SERIOUS??"
"With a black President???"
"You have GOT to be kidding me!"   

Any thing I managed to stammer out couldn't even begin to explain to Jay why things are the way that they are.  In fact, every thing I said sounded completely ridiculous------Jay's disbelief and indignation were completely founded.  There's no explaining away ignorance.

But sitting in on his school's chapel service commemorating Black History Month today really cemented for me why Jay is feeling so confused.    Through the litany of poems and speeches and biographical sketches, it became clear that he's been taught and is being taught that racism and segregation are things of America's past history.   He'd already filed them in his 5th grade brain as "Done" and "Over" ----that is, until the country club membership came up.  Then myth collided with reality.

I wish I could keep Jay and his brothers innocent forever.  I do.  I wish I could shield them from injustice and unfairness.    I wish I could encourage Jay to believe every thing his teachers say and what the textbooks print in black and white.  I wish our world was the way he believed it was.

I will continue to pray that someday it might be.  I'll pray that God will change hearts and attitudes.   I'll encourage sweet, Baby Jay to pray with me.  And for now, I hope he will file racism and segregation away in the "To Change--Someday" part of his brain....


Sunday, February 15, 2009

New pix

Usually I'm really happy and excited when I get to see a new picture of Amos and Kalee.  

This time though, I feel sad.  Sad and heartsick....

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Brant had his first date tonight.

By his account, every thing was perfect.

By his brothers' accounts, Ellie looked like a movie star.

Drew is still accounting for the cost of the whole event....but when I look at the pictures, I think that whatever the amount, the smiles are sooooo completely worth it.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gotta laugh to keep from crying....

Except for some books and toys that need to come out of the attic, Amos's and Kalee's room is ready for them.   I am super-pleased with the paint work my artist friend, Susan, did on their furniture and I love the way their bedding and slipcovers turned out, too.

As I was dusting and picking up a bit in there over the weekend, it became pretty obvious that Will was not impressed with the mattresses I chose.

"'ll be just like sleeping on the floor at the orphanage....."


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Sunday

You might be all about the football.

You might be all about the commercials.

You might be all about the snacks.

Tonight, I am ALL about the half-time show.

I'm so completely devoted to Drew, don't get me wrong, BUT...should something happen to him in an incredibly sad and untimely way, or should he someday run off with one of his 137 Facebook girlies from high school with whom he's been reunited....then I'm packing everything up to become a Bruce Springsteen groupie.

Remind me to tell you about that Bruce Springsteen Fan Camp dream I had one time.