January 21st, 2008
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I’m hoping that today means something to you. More than just a day off from work. More than an annoyance that the Post Office is closed. More than just any other Monday if, like me, government holidays mean little to your schedule of events. I’m hoping that you stopped and thought about Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream, if only for a few moments.

As a birth mother to a biracial daughter in a fully open adoption, I do more than think about his dream for just a few moments today. I’m forced to consider the realities of that dream every time someone new enters my home and looks at our sprawling picture wall. When I’m asked, “Who is this,” as they point to a picture of me holding a girl who holds a striking resemblance, I get to see by the look on their face whether or not they have yet realized King’s dream. When the lot of us venture out during a visit and we’re asked questions about how we’re all put together, I get to see by their reactions whether or not that dream is accepted by others.

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I’ve been asked, point blank, if I placed my daughter because of her race. The answer, point blank, is “quite certainly not.” I have been called, point blank, a racist for having placed a biracial child. (To which her African American father said, “Uh, if you were a racist, why did we date? Gimme a break.”) When I dated her father, I got a hard time from friends in my own generation that couldn’t see past our skin colors. My daughter’s parents have overheard not-so-nice comments as they ventured into public with their multi-colored family.

The dream isn’t yet alive.

Sure, we’ve got some complicated issues intermixed with race by the addition of things like adoption, other biological children and so on. But I, like my daughter’s Mom, just want to see these words really come to be a reality in our country.

one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

Or, you know, Ohio and Pennsylvania. Because, dear world, they are brothers and sisters. Today I take a moment to tell the world that fact and thank those that have put in the footwork that allows us to live our family life despite dirty looks and rude comments. We’re going to make it. Maybe my Grandchildren, whatever gorgeous rainbow of colors they bring into our lineage, won’t know times like we have known.

I can only hope and pray.

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Photo Credit.

2 Responses to “Hopefully Today Means Something to You”

  1. Chromesthesia says:

    It means the world to me.
    I wouldn’t be able to vote and get a good education without MLK.
    Now let’s push to make that dream a reality!

  2. condo-mom says:

    Growing up, I recall my mom’s stories about visiting the South during her college days in the 40′s, and my parents’ experiences being asian in Chicago in the 50′s. Many of their friends had been in the Japanese American internment camps during WW2. The adoption of our Chinese daughter would certainly not have been possible at that time. Only after much ground-breaking effort by those who began adoption work in Korea and other spots directly after WW2, did adoption from Asia begin to be accepted. Those early families and adoptees went through a lot in terms of discrimination, but today crosscultural / interracial adoption is a given. I’m so thankful for the opportunities we have in the US — as minorities, and as adoptive families raising varicolored children. It’s a great country — let’s go forward !! — Rachel

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