"So promise me you'll never forget...that you aren't an accident or an incident...you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth...Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the Starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, 'You are my child. I love you dearly.'" Max Lucado, God Thinks You're Wonderful

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Book Review

Emery's late feeding...she was bright eyed and bushy tailed....her mommy and daddy weren't but we just couldn't get past that grin.
We did projects for GroundHogs Day. Both the boys predicted that he would not see his shadow and I couldn't get them to watch the news with me to find out if he did. Happy Groundhogs Day...does anyone know?

Doing our school work and they are loving it!

Owen and Cooper being the camera man.

Well, that makes for an interesting title. Makes you wanna read on, huh?

I think in an attempt to get your attention and not give you so much info about the book that you wouldn't read it, I was very vague about Black Baby White Hands when I first talked about it.

I know, I have serious control issues, right?

Why not just suggest the book and tell you why I liked it? Because I am controlling that's why. I know...I need recovery.

It is a horribly hard book to read. In all honesty if my dear friend who I trust with these difficult issues had not told me, "Molly you will want to put it down. But just keep going. Read it from front to back." I know I would have stopped reading. In fact, it's why I never read it when I heard about it years ago. And it did take me a full 2 weeks to read. It's heavy stuff.
As I read the book and really opened my mind up to trusting the author, it became so clear to me how off I was in my views on transracial adoption, racism and prejudice.
Let me be clear...I do not think transracial adoption is wrong. Quite frankly, if we don't allow this/encourage this, I can't think of what other options there are. Would it be better for black children to go to foster care than be placed with parents of a different race? So this is not at all what I am saying. Transracial adoption is what we CHOSE...and if we had it to do all over again, we would do nothing different.
But what I loved about the book was that the author talked about what would have helped him. It gives us parents a much better understanding of how this must feel. He goes into great detail describing his heart and emotions...he reminds me so much of one of my children and I know that it is why I so appreciated his words.
Someone commented that their children have never had issues with this. WONDERFUL! I think that's fantastic, but some of mine have and I am so glad I now feel a little bit better prepared. I don't think that all of mine will, but heck, you just never know. What I am thankful for was that my kiddos felt okay sharing with me their heart and their hurt.

Someone commented about how to handle if your child is doing the staring... Perfect way to handle it; just talk to them about how God made everyone different and beautiful. And please let me point out that my kids do their fair share of staring. Especially at all brown families. How funny is that? They so wish Blake and I were black. Staring is something that happens and sometimes it's like watching a car wreck...you just can't not look. Whether it's because you think we are cool or that we have a beautiful family or because Cooper has a booger...it happens. Just do your best to minimize it and remember that just because you are interested doesn't make it right to ask questions.

Yep, you read that right. No questions at all. Just like I don't ask you if your kids are your step-kids, please don't ask if mine are "real" sisters/brothers. Just like I don't ask how your child came out of your body, don't ask me "where I got them". Just like I don't ask you how much your c-section or epidural costs, don't ask me how much adoption costs. Just like I don't ask you how long you were in labor with your 6 year old, don't ask me if my children are foster kids or how long I waited for them. You get the gist...if we are just meeting in the line at the grocery store or at the zoo or waiting to be seen at the doctor...you don't need to know my kids' stories. Shoot...they don't even fully know them yet. The kids may stare but its usually the parents that make it worse.

If you really want to know, you can email me or call me or come to Chosen. Heck, you could even scoot close to me and whisper your questions. And if we are good friends, you already know these things and chances are I told you when I wanted you to know the details....just like when you told me you only pushed three times for Johnny's delivery ;) But for Pete's sake DO NOT ASK THESE THINGS IN FRONT OF MY KIDS!!!!
Now, the funny thing about this is that the people I really want/need to hear this are not reading this blog. Shoot. All of you reading this have most likely never said something off hand. And if ya did, I knew your heart. It's all those random strangers out in public. Oh and what is it about church and Oklahoma?

I digress...back to my dudes...the great thing that I have noticed when these moments come up with my kids is that they are usually pretty quick and passing. It's not like they go around moping all day or can't quit thinking about it (at least from what I can gather). They seem to want to quit talking about it before I am done mulling it over. We'll see if/how that changes over the years.

The thing I couldn't get over about this book was how well he articulated his feelings and how he described exact things that I had thought. I do hope you will read it.
Again, thanks for your encouragement. Like any good control freak, I didn't want you to think that our kids are having a horribly hard time. So I had to respond. Dear God I do need recovery.


norma murphy said...

YOU are so awesome and DO need recovery!! I love it... Only because your parents are so messed up... Blame it on us!!! Know I am going to get the book and dad and I will read it on our trip to see you... We want to pour all the right words into our precious grandchildren God brought to us through you and Blake! I know we've said the wrong things at times and so want to be informed! Thanks for being such an awesome parents to your children! We couldnt be more proud!! Love, Mom (& dad... He doesn't "comment" but does read the blog...)

Jamila said...

For the record my c- section cost was... Well I was on so many meds I haven't a clue! It would be really funny if you had actually gave a rebuttal question to a nosey looky loo. People stare @ KB a lot too. Of course since we " match" we don't get questions like you do. Your family is such a great testimony, & I praise God for that!

Melodie said...

so i'm nearing the end of the book. and i'm digging it on round 2. but i never would have picked it up again, had you not posted about it. so i tried reading it 2 years ago. holden was a baby and it did seem heavy and kinda negative. but i only got a few chapters in. the thing that irritated the crud out of me at the time was that it was so dang wordy. i don't do wordy. get to the point, you know? so i feel like the first 80 pages nearly put me to sleep. even this time it did. but i pushed through because you were so persistant about reading it. so i'm just being honest here. i specifically remember skipping over 3 entire paragraphs because it was describing the geography of los alamos. geez! not what i cared about when i bought the book. but now i'm getting there and i'm liking it. and yesterday in the middle of reading, i jumped up, got on amazon and ordered the john henry book it mentions. the folk hero that was born with a hammer in his hand. :) i figured it would be a cute story for the boys. ok, this was a long comment. hope you guys are enjoying colorado. love the pictures. take care!

Jason & Kizzy said...

i echo your thoughts on the book. i read it after i saw your first post about the book. so, so hard. but, i am so glad i have this perspective. i would hate to think i made parenting mistakes because of ignorance. please keep writing!

Kristin said...

Ah, ok. So I'll pick it up again. I do want to learn and not be ignorant about this. Please keep writing, you are a big encouragement to someone who feels led to TR adoption!

Ursula said...

I'm so honored you called me a "dear friend you trust." Thanks sweet lady. And I forgot to give the book back to you - you should totally have the book, not me (I need the book about Indian babies with DS, but it doesn't exist yet), so send me your mailing address and I'll mail it to you.

The thing that has SHOCKED me about transracial adoption is the loss of being able to "blend." Seems obvious. Before we had Joy I heard about "white privilege" but didn't get it. Not saying I do now, but the loss of being able to blend - being the family that stands out - has rocked my world in a way I couldn't have anticipated (you'd think my friendship with you would have prepared me, I'm not sure anything can). I miss going to the store and being able to just walk around. I hate stares. I hate having to think of answers to ridiculous questions. I hate feeling on guard when people approach my kids. (I keep hearing my grandma say we should only hate the devil, but I can't think of a better word)).

It is amazing how messy parenting can be - no matter the kid or how they came to us. And how much we want to protect them from meanness and sin and pain and the odd social behaviors of others. But we can't. Man I hate that. I almost had to kill another 3 year old on the playground who has mean to E this week.

I'm learning (slowly) that I can't protect my kids from life's hurt. But I can walk with them through things. I can listen. I can coach. I can cheer. I can put people in their place when needed. I can tell the truth and wipe snot and give hugs. I can sing them songs about the love of God and make sure they know my love deep down in their bones. At the end of the day I am praying that God will pour His Grace into that mix and they'll turn out okay.

Thanks for reading the book. Thanks for everything you teach me about being a mama. I have learned (and want to keep learning) so much from you.