Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Guess what? I don't want my kids to be "color-blind".

Know what I hear a lot?
"Oh... that family is so precious...all their kids are color-blind."

before you think I'm talking about some sweet family
with kids wearing non-matching clothing
because they can't see what color their shirt is...
No. I'm talking about the term 
"color-blind" being applied to trans-racial adoptive families.

And here's why I shiver when I hear it.

Do I look like a frick-a-frackin MORON?

Of course I'm not color-blind!
Guess what...
8 of our children are BROWN!

My dog is white.
My neighbor has 3 dogs - 
one is black,
one is black and white, 
and one is... I forget. 
They are all little and run fast.
My dog is a Great Pyrenees.
Hers are Pugs.
(Just kidding Erin...! ha ha!)
And do you know what this means???
It means I have deductive reasoning skills.

I can look at a person in the store and immediately (most of the time) deduce:
Man or woman
Adult, Teen or Child
Skin Tone
Hair color
Good mood/Bad mood

I have functioning eyeballs
and a (mostly) functioning brain.

Now, before you get all sentimental on me and say
"But, Chrissy...
your sweet little cream-to-peach colored children
don't seem to notice that their siblings are espresso to chocolate colored!"
(and vice-versa...)
OF COURSE they notice.
Everyone in this house is fully aware of their skin color.
What you MEAN to say/think is...
They don't give a frick-a-fracking flip
if their sister or brother is green with purple polka dots
or brown like my German chocolate bars (that are now all gone.. waaahhh!!).
Because they love them.
No matter their skin/eye/hair color.
As it well should be.

(here's where I stomp ALL OVER some adoptive parents' toes)
we SHOULD be aware at the differences and how that affects 
the way others will perceive us in our culture.

Guess what? 
There are stupid people out there.
Stupid people who will look at one of my sweet sons
and assume he's in a gang.
Or that he's in a store to shop-lift.
Or that he has drugs in his car.
And you know why?
Because this world is NOT COLOR-BLIND.
And it's filled with presuppositions about races.
They exist.
And sticking our heads in the sand, or
covering our ears with our hands and screaming 
"LALALALALAAAA!! I can't hear you!"
is NOT going to prepare our children for racism in this world.
It's not going to prepare you for that moment when someone deems you 
unworthy of being your child's mother
because you don't match colors.
And it's certainly not going to prepare your child
for being followed in a store.

So, no...
I don't want my children to be color-blind.
I want them to see ALL of the beautiful colors
that the Lord created.
I want them to recognize differences
that make us who we are,
not just the ones you can see from the outside.
I want them to profile their friends.
Not by what color they are, 
but by what they say/do/wear and who they hang out with.

When my sweet 5 year old daughter says
"look Mom... I'm turning PEACH, like YOU!"
because she has a mosquito bite scar that's healing..
I say "Oh I hope not... I LOVE your beautiful brown skin!"

When my 6 year old daughter wants hair like mine
I make sure I tell her how gorgeous her curls are 
and how I used to go pay a lot of money 
to get curly hair like hers!

So, please...
don't be color-blind.
Don't accuse us of being color-blind.
We are color-aware...

but not color-blind.

As well it should be.


  1. LOVE this!!!! And LOVE the colors in our family!! Our kids always laugh at daddy because he has to wear so much sunscreen!!

  2. Totally guilty of this and never thought of it before! Thank you so much for this post! Eye opening for sure.


    1. Brooke,
      I know I said it when we were first started in the process! :)
      Since I've been in this little world for a while now, I think I can see a little more clearly what issues are out there for our kids, ya know?
      I hope it didn't come across as offensive... I seem to have left my "filter" in Ethiopia. ;)

  3. AMEN. I wish I had something more profound to say, but just AMEN

  4. Amen- I try and try to get other APs to get the fallacy behind color-blindness and just how it actually is racist. Would you be gender blind? To be color blind is to ignore a fundamental aspect of a person. In fact most people of color will tell you how totally offended they are by the idea of colorblindness. And it is so much worse when "colorblind" people are raising children of color

    1. And to IGNORE the difference is to communicate to that child that their difference should be ignored, that it's maybe even shameful or an embarrassment. I LOVE the colors of my children. (I pulled the background colors from my blog from their faces on my photos!) They are beautiful - all 12 of them.

  5. I couldn't agree more Chrissy. My two sisters were adopted from the Philippines. We joke around talking about my 'brown sisters' and all that. And you know it's not that I am color blind but I just don't even think about it, it's a non-issue. I know you get it.

    Oh and by the way - the other pug is fawn color. :)

    1. So glad to hear the other pug is a fawn color! ;) I'm so observant! ha ha!!

  6. YES! There is a profound beauty in our differences, and if we ignore that, we are ignoring a core part of who we (and our children) are. Thanks for posting this. I just might link to it sometime if you don't mind.... :)


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