“You have a WHITE foster baby?”
Yes. I have heard this more than once.
Yes. I have several friends who have heard the same thing.
As a matter of fact, I know a mom whose pastor said this to her.
When I sent a shout out to my friends for ideas for the 31-day challenge I got a lot of varied responses. Some of the 31-day challenge has taken on a life of its own, but I actually got a few of these, and then it happened to me again the other day.
I am not a confrontational person. I guess you could say I hide behind my laptop. My spiritual gift is hospitality – so I don’t like people to feel uncomfortable. The last time this was said to me I was so shocked I was speechless. But I wanted to say:
- What century is it?
- Do you truly believe that brokenness is reserved for those of a different skin color?
And I do wonder, what you would say?
“Oh, I didn’t mean it like that…”
Then what did you mean?
If you include our pre-adoption journey we have been doing the work required to be certified to home children in need for 5 years. The three babies placed in our organization prior to our adoption of Sam were all white. All but one of the foster babies in our home, respite and otherwise, have all been white. We have a friend that does transitional care and she’s had 9 babies in her home in the last 6 weeks, in Los Angeles, all white.
Our friends have a placement. A little girl, she is 3 years old, she looks like someone drew her, little Cupie doll. Sexually abused by 4 different family members – used, violated, and treated like an object. Her skin color is of no consequence. She has been abused. But her abusers? All white.
Maybe I am naive. When we attended our first adoption training we had to fill out a form asking who we wanted to adopt. We checked any. Oh, except I said, “I can’t do seizures because they terrify me.” Sam had his first febrile seizure right after his birthday. (Don’t say can’t.) Our motives were simple obedience to God’s call on our life. Questions about race weren’t part of the equation. Why are they? Why do we continue to believe in a social class system that is determined by skin color? Sin isn’t limited to race. Crimes against children aren’t limited to race. And the need for a Savior certainly isn’t limited by race.
He came for all. His hashtag? All lives matter.
My friends that chimed in for what else they wished people would stop saying about their foster and adopted children include:
- Is he ok?
- Is she addicted to drugs?
- What if he is violent?
- Do you love him like you love your real children?
And my favorite, which was asked to us more than once, about our newborn Hispanic son…
5. What language does he speak?
Faith. Abiding in Christ. Trusting Him to manifest His perfect will in our lives, when all He is asking us to be is obedient. When He called us out to care for the orphans and the widows, feed the hungry and clothe the poor, He made no mention of who to include or exclude.
Just the broken.
That is everyone.
So I would further expand and ask you please don’t ask negative questions about my children’s birth families. They too just need a Savior. There is no room to hate or believe I am better than or they are less than. As a nation, we have more than enough. Our bellies are full, our egos are enormous. But by the grace of God go I.
Their story, in the eyes of Christ, is the same as mine and yours, a story of brokenness with the hope of restoration. At some point, our “foster-child” will take off the yoke of that label, to God be the glory. And that day he just becomes our son. But I promise you, that label was never embraced by the Son of Man. His skin color didn’t separate him from being adopted into the kingdom of heaven. His name is written on the palm of my Lord’s hand… there is no box to check for race.
Finally, I have been asked this many times: How did you know he was supposed to be yours? How did you get past the fears of the unknown? How did you know that you would love him as much as your other children? And I simply show them this…
We just knew.
Perfect love casts out all fear… 1 John 4:18
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami