I’m reading an interesting new book, which I think God put straight into my outstretched, open hands. It’s about adoption, and it’s called Love you more. Here is an excerpt that I thought I would share with you:
“It’s just life. One moment I’m standing in the frozen food aisle, looking for puff pastry sheets or a bag of chopped spinach, and the next I’m fielding a delicate question from a stranger about my family or my reproductive health. ‘When you become the parents of a child of another race, you become a conspicuous family,’ a social worker said when my husband and I began the adoption process. ‘Are you ready for that?’ I said I was, but it still throws me that seeing my family can have the effect of causing perfectly well-mannered people to turn off their filters and use their ‘outside voices’ to express whatever thoughts pop into their heads.
‘Couldn’t you have another one of your own?’
‘Where did you get her?’
‘How much was she?’
‘Have you ever met her real mother?’
‘Does she speak English?’”
This short introduction into the author’s life hit home like a rock in my stomach. It hit my little soft spot. Or at least one of them. Wow. I can’t recall how many times race, and origins… roots and background have come up in my short, 22-year-old life. They have come up in a multitude of places. My heart aches for home. My heart breathes deeply when it feels accepted for its diversity. My heart needs to have closure and acceptance in my differences. I think that this is where God is leading me to. A place of healing that I could never imagine. I believe He has a plan far greater and a ride that’s wilder than I could cook up for myself.
Today I was speaking with one of my profs, he’s a pretty cool guy. The topic of my ethnicity came up, and I was glad to speak of it because I truly am grateful and proud of it. I believe in it–I think this part of me is wonderful, beautiful, and laden with mystery. But there are certain ways I feel comfortable for it to peek its head out of the shadows, and others where I feel deep shame. When someone confronts me and says, “Where are you from?” or more bluntly, “What areyou?” a bit of heat circulates through my spirit & a flame is set ablaze. It’s not a good flame. It’s a flame of bitterness, of hatred for those who have made me feel dehumanized or unimportant. Hatred for those who have put me down or made me feel discriminated or even objectified because of who I am. I look exotic. There is no other way around it. I will never forget the instance in my life when I was first set apart, in a negative way, for my differences: A boy, when we were in 6th grade, called me “Jap.” It was in a “joking” way, to him, but to me it hurt like someone threw acid in my eyes. It stung, and it sunk in. A different boy, during a WW2 memorial service at my middle school, leaned over and again “jokingly” said to me, “this is because of you!” No. Another instance, around this same time of my life, a girl in my art class was angry at me for something and said, “well, you can mow my lawn, you mexican!” Never was I ever so confused. Of course, being me, I told her nobody would mow her lawn for her. I can laugh a bit when I look back, but a bit of sting is still there. Mostly for the confusion. Mostly for the need to show other people who I was, because they questioned who I am, and “what” I am. I have had to learn love for this aspect of myself, not hatred. I have had to see my uniqueness, my differences, my absolute “stick out from the crowd” self… as a beautiful gift that my Father bestowed when I was born.
So it’s funny–after talking to my professor, I went to read and relax for a bit because I had an open gap of time in my schedule. I popped this book open, and read that little beginning… and had to write because it all connected so well. Thank you Father for caring about who I am. For making me meaningful.
Race is certainly a funny thing. Being considered “mixed.” Being labeled. Because eventually, if people continue to label you and try to force you into a mold, you will have conflict and it might spring up in unexpected places. But it is my experience that my Good Father, my Protector and Restorer… he has not put me into this body and this place to hurt me. He has put me here for a true reason that is bigger than just me. Maybe I am unsure of that today–perhaps I will be for a very long time to come. But I will own who He has formed me into, and try to love. Try to bring understanding and never to put others into a box, put them down because of my own biases. That is far too comfortable and simple–people are complex and quite difficult to interpret. We are all his children.