Thursday, October 14, 2010


Get ready to be offended.

If you offend easily... please go read something 
else I have written since this post is off-the-cuff and very raw.

Today, while grocery shopping with the babies, 
I found out what it's like to be "conspicuous".

There was a group of two ladies and a man 
who kept checking us out, mumbling, and rolling their eyes.
I ignored it, but wondered what was up.

On another aisle, I was walking past them and just then, 
one of the women makes a disapproving face 
and motions toward/over my girls with her hand... 

"See THIS... THIS is what I DON'T like to see. 
THIS is what I was talking about before when I said...."
And they kept walking. 

I stood there for a moment...

The babies were looking at them and at me.

I turned to look at the group as they were walking...
and they were still talking about us.
Motioning in our direction, shaking their heads.

Not knowing what to do...
I said, "Girls?"
They say (in unison), "Ah bet?" (Amharic for "what?")
I said... "I love you!"
They said "I love you, too!"
And I kissed my baby boy on his gooey, sticky face.

Do you want to know why this makes me even more angry?

It didn't come from a group of white people.

Nope. They were as black as my babies... and they were racist.

They saw me shopping with my precious babies and 
all they could see was a "white lady" with black kids.

Do you know what else makes me mad?
As a white person, raised in the south
 (ooohhh EVIL southern white people...)...
I am tired of being assumed to be the racist one.
I don't know about you... 
but I have been taught my entire life that white people 
are racist and black people are not. 

Racism is an equal-opportunity-destroyer.

I'm white. Yes, according to Loreal, I may be "light taupe"... but I'm white.
I am a white person.
And I love three small black people.
LOVE them.
LOVE, love, love them.

It breaks my heart and makes me want to flat-out-destroy anyone who would ever call them a derogatory name because they are MY babies and you better NOT talk about them in a bad way. ANY of them.

And *I* am supposed to be the racist one.
Because I grew up in Tennessee.
Because I am white.

Well let me tell you one thing, black people from the grocery store today...
you have become the very thing you have hated for generations.
You have become the oppressor. 
You have become the hater.
You have become the racist bigots.
You have become the VERY thing Dr. King DIED to end.
You have become HATE.

You look at me and my babies and see pigment differences in our skin cells.

I look at you with pity because you will NEVER know 
the depth of love it is possible to have for a child 
not born from your own gene pool. 

You will NEVER know what it is to see hands intertwined 
- not matching - 
but BELONGING together.

And that is pitiful.
You should be pitied.
And you should be ashamed.

Where are you when the orphaned children in Africa
go to bed hungry night after night after night after night?
Where are you when they fall and get hurt and 
need someone to make it better?
Where are you when they are sick and need a Mommy?
Where ARE you?

I know where I am.
I am holding my babies.
I am being a Mommy.
THIS is what LOVE looks like.

This is not a "black people are racist" post.
It is a "PEOPLE CAN be racist" post.
These three people at the store could have just 
as easily have been white, tan or any other shade of skin. 
The hate is still there, alive and kicking.


  1. Thank YOU! Wonderfully written words to describe what I have already encountered too many times!

    Hugs for your BEAUTIFUL family!

    Leah Ann

  2. AMEN AMEN!!!! Thank you for standing up and saying something!! It is not a white thing! It is equal just as you said! It makes me angry too... Love you love your family and love your story! I second your emotion and if anyone is offended GOOD!!

  3. Amen! Great post and great heart!

  4. Amen! I am very proud of you! Very well said!

  5. Ugh. We go through the same thing ALL the time! I have adopted the "I'm headed to aisle 2 and only hell will stop me" blinders. I don't even look side-to-side anymore and keep my kiddos engaged in conversation to avoid reality....I think you handled it VERY well. I love the 'love yous'.

  6. Amen! I have been so proud of my (southern) city because I have rarely felt conspicuous as a very pale white mama (I don't know what L'Oreal calls my skin tone, but whatever brand of makeup I'm buying, I grab the lightest shade) with my beautiful brown Ethiopian-born kiddo - but when I have been stared at, it's been by black people. And I do sort of understand why they care more than other people do, but it's still a bit strange to me. Thankfully I have not (yet) heard or seen anything so rude and, yes, racist as what happened to you and your beautiful babies. I think you handled it wonderfully. Rock on.

  7. After reading this and some of the comments, it sounds like we are getting into a "black people are racist" argument which is all kinds of messed up and generalizing. I'm sorry that you experienced the judgement of three people, regardless of their color. Many people are uncomfortable and have concerns with trans-racial and trans-culutural families. Some of their concerns are probably valid (b/c yes, our kids will have it tougher than kids in a non-transracial household, no doubt) but we have to be good role models by not throwing judgement back at others. But instead to stand strong for what we believe in, and to talk openly with our kids about these issues.


  8. Theresa,
    In my opinion... black, white or whatever color... looking at another family and judging their ability to be a successful family based solely on skin color is wrong. Just wrong. I find it hypocritical to be instantly judged to be racist based solely on my being white...but also judged to be a bad parent of black children based solely on being white. I can totally rock at doing my girls' hair, we have been home only 10 weeks and are trying super hard to maintain their culture, and I am very aware of the difficulties my children will face as they get older and are out in the world - based solely on their skin color. I know the world is cruel and I can't fix every injustice I see... but being the victim of someone else's racism is never fun or a happy experience - no matter what form it takes.

  9. I'm sorry you and your children experienced this.
    I love the sentence, "Racism is an equal-opportunity-destroyer."

  10. Chrissy, you are spectacular! This was an amazing post and I have so much respect for you.

  11. Loved the post. I haven't had too many hateful comments from black people about our son from Ethiopia. In fact, I've mostly gotten sweet comments about his curls. I think they realize that he is obviously adopted. OTOH, our twins from Guatemala, who look more bi-racial than Hispanic, get me REALLY hateful looks -- always from black women. Maybe they think I'm a white bio mom?

  12. Chrissy- I totally worry about this happeneing to me and my son (when he finally gets home)- I thin in the adoption courses we take we always expect racism or uncomfortable remarks coming from white people.But we know it can come from anyone. I have already been asked why i want to have a "Blindside baby" and that came from a person of color as if i were only adopting an Ethiopian child b/c he may have athletic ability.

  13. love this post! this same scenario has happened to me as well.


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