Recent decisions in Ferguson and Staten Island are stirring up real hurt and issues with longstanding histories. Issues that are hard to talk about, and therefore, are often ignored. #blacklivesmatter
In the field of adoption, we often challenge families who assert they are “color blind” and therefore could easily adopt a child of a different race. We challenge them, not because we doubt their sincerity or desire to love a child of any color, but because we know that the world around them sees color and we need them to be prepared for this. Their child will face challenges and struggles with which they may have no personal experience. And we want them to understand this, and to be prepared and ready to help their children. Every child needs and deserves this.
As with many issues, the protests springing up throughout the country are an opportunity for parents, no matter what their race. Ask your children, no matter what their race, what they know about what’s happening. Ask them how they feel about it. Assure them that you value all people. Help dispel any myths or misunderstanding they may have. Keep the conversation about race an ongoing and open one.
Having real conversations within our families can help our children see the world around them with a sense of empathy and compassion. And just maybe this will be the spark that ultimately ignites change.