Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Jesus, Mary & Joseph! Race, Babies, Crisis & Me

In their quest to be anti-Republican and anti-South, some folks I know have decided that abortion may not be so wrong after all. They are cowards. That's all. That's a subject that's really been rolling around in my head lately. There's a huge "ANTI!" philosophy emerging at my church these days. Folks hate their past so much that they'll become pro-ANYTHING in order to be Anti-THAT. I remember when we used to just be simple. It used to just be about the Gospel to me. Now, I've got to clean out all the ANTI! cobwebs before I can bring my head to church. I wish I could just go to church without thinking about all the other duck-droppings that go along with it. (I'm trying not to use bad words and it makes me say funny things sometimes.)

I have a new friend who is black. She says "black" she does not say "African-American." I talked to her about the possibility of adopting a black or bi-racial baby yesterday. I told her that I was afraid that a black child raised by a white family would have a hard time understanding all the good things about the black culture. I told her that the white family would have to seek out black role models for their black child. I said that it might be necessary for that family to join a black church. She said that there are many black babies in the world that need good homes and that it didn't matter who adopted them as long as they would love them. Last night, I stayed awake worrying that I said something offensive. I hope I didn't, but I'm not sure. I'm terrified of being a racist. I'm afraid of even talking about race. I think most white Southerners feel that way, too.


John in Birmingham said...

We (white southerners who lean right) are afraid to say anything about race because (if we're under 40 or 50, anyway) our whole lives we've been made to feel guilty about race and have been told we're racist for all kinds of crazy things (like saying that people shouldn't be treated differently because of their skin color). We've even been told that we're incapable of understanding our own racism and that it is an inescapable part of our identity. I don't believe any of that nonsense, but I still don't talk about race much because few people listen and some of the ones who don't will use any excuse to lash out at their opponents using race as a club.

Adoption is really beautiful. It's a real gospel analogy -- we've been adopted by God as children through the sacrifice of our elder brother -- we've been "grafted into the vine". When we adopt children, we are echoing God's mercy to us. Interracial adoption expands the analogy to the gospel's crossing of racial/tribal/language boundaries.

On a practical level in the USA, if babies available for adoption were proportionately representative of all the races in our population, it might make some cultural sense to "stick with your own race" in adoptions for the reasons you list, Su. But my understanding (and please correct me if I'm wrong here) is that the waiting list for a "healthy white baby" is miles long, but there are lots of babies who don't meet that description that go unadopted. Thus, if I'm going to adopt, I either have to wait years and years (and I'm getting pretty old as it is) and still grab a kid that lots of childless couples would give an arm and a leg to adopt OR I can adopt a child that needs a home and may not get one if it isn't mine. Puts a different perspective on interracial adoption.

susan said...

Thanks for that comment! It's my understanding that there are more black & bi-racial kids (including Hispanic/Latinos) languishing in Foster Care than there are white kids. I've been told that Black moms who don't have abortions are more likely than white moms to keep their kids than they are to place them for adoption, though. Apparently, there is less of a stigma attached to being a single mom in the black community than there is in the white community (?).

I'm not sure how that figures in to everything. It seems that everyone wants a kid who looks like them. There is an increasing number of upper-middle class Black families who are adopting Black kids (and that's a good thing,) but many bi-racial kids are still going without families.

I'm sure that there are a lot of good families who would adopt more American children if there were more American children (regardless of race) available. Most of them are being killed, though. I think that's why people are drawn to overseas adoptions. In America, abortion is easy and adoption is hard. (Or, it's perceived to be that way.)


John in Birmingham said...

And with overseas adoptions, you don't have to worry (as much) about the biological parents showing up one day claiming rights that courts are likely to respect.

On the other hand, with overseas adoptions, there is the problem of kids being stolen from their parents in other countries and "sold" into adoption; you really have to do your due diligence.

None of this is to discourage adoption at all; I'm a big proponent.

Rebekka said...

Hey susie. I found you? I set up a temporary blog for my little cakie business and by the way, I love reading your thoughts. You make me think really hard, and you also make me feel really ridiculous... :)

Suzanne and Chris Jones said...

I found your blog through Brian's...wow,that is some intense stuff! I love your blog. You make me think a lot and have an amazing depth to you.
About adoption, my family had 27 foster babies as I grew up. They fostered for Lifeline agency and it was rare when we had a white baby's and if we had them for over 6 weeks that was almost unheard of. The very first baby we had when we lived in Memphis was bi-racial. He had a to have some surgery on his little stomach so he was considered "special needs" and they had no one at the time and offered to let us adopt him. My family decided we would pray about it for a week, within that week a family came who wanted him. I often think how that would have affected my life and his. God is soveriegn, but we all loved that little baby boy. He was adopted by someone in South Carolina and we never heard from them again.
On the subject of bringing up a black child in a white family, I am not sure. I think it would be extremly hard. We went to New City church for several years, I was the only white girl in the youth group, my very best friend there was black. As much as we loved each other, our cultures were very different...so i don't know. Obviously just a lot of rambling, just thought I might share my experince with you. (i hope that didn't sound racist)
But I agree, adoption is a beautiful thing. I really thought I would one day, and I still might.
Your comment on the ANTI thing, I totally agree with. I am ANTI a lot with "churchy" stuff and just wish I wasn't.