The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Racism Prevalence...The Silent Truth

As I read more and more on transracial (or inter-racial) adoption, I come across many articles discussing the "unspoken racism" around North America, specifically. While we wish to teach our children that everyone is equal and no one is "better" than anyone else, our actions of course speak louder than our words. I am constantly surprised to listen as Noah mimicks a gesture or repeats a phrase I recently mumbled. His eyes roll back in his head when Tait's done something he is not supposed to, as if to say "oh no, not again"! Or, "you're not getting down 'till you're done Mister"! Yikes! What else is he picking up from us.

We talk about our "baby sister" who is coming from far away. We talk about how it will take a long time to get her here. Last night Ben and I went out on a date and when I told Noah we would be going out and he and Tait would stay home w/ friends he asked me, "to have a meeting about our baby seester?". Wow.

So now my question is, what will the boys think when she finally arrives and her skin is different. We do our best to teach them that just because someone is smaller, bigger, has different colour hair (or skin!) they are our friend. But how are we, as parents modeling this? Our boys do not play with dolls and their cars are all different colours but somehow I don't think this counts. How are we modeling the acceptance, appreciation, and respect for people who do not look exactly the same as us? Something to think about. Something to work on.

I just read an article from a site/blog I have been frequenting called "Anti-Racist Parent". Enjoy some excerpts from the article below, written by Natasha Sky.

"Here’s a real-life parallel example: a site that hosts pre-adoptive parent profiles*, families waiting for domestic–usually infant–adoption (NOTE: this site only accepts heterosexual, married couples–and most are Christian as well). Of the hundreds of currently listed waiting families:
  • 88% would ‘accept’ a White baby
  • 33% would ‘accept’ a South American or Hispanic baby
  • 28% would ‘accept’ an Asian baby
  • 26% would ‘accept’ a Native American baby
  • 14% would ‘accept’ a Black baby

I ran these same stats for an article I wrote two years ago, and the numbers were just about the same. For biracial babies (White/____) the numbers of families willing to ‘accept’ a child rises. Adoptive parents still think raising a part-White biracial child will be easier, less complicated, than raising a ‘full’ (for example) African American child. (Ha!)

There are also the corollary international adoption statistics. The top 10 ’sending’ countries for 2006 provided U.S. families with 18,290 new children through international adoption. By region of the world, these children are from:

  • 43% from Asia (China, Korea, India)
  • 26% from Eastern Europe (Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine)
  • 24% from Central and South America (Guatemala, Colombia)
  • 7% from Africa (Ethiopia, Liberia)
* NOTE: Finding accurate statistics for domestic adoption is impossible. Statistics are collected for almost all states for foster care adoption, but infant adoption is regulated by individual states, and neither states nor the federal government collect these statistics."

The blog and it's stats and info are American but you get the point.

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