This is not a topic I enjoy delving into deeply because it’s been ignited by some very hurtful, racially based, hate filled comments… from family, no less. We all had a wonderful, very relaxing Christmas day yesterday, and Daniel even got an e-mail from his adult nephew, whom he hadn’t heard from for a couple of years. When you get holiday messages like that, you just assume it’s a warm greeting. We were shocked to learn otherwise. It was cruel, and went completely against what the spirit of Christ and Christmas is about. It was an obvious attempt to drag Daniel down, into the depths of a very dark and ugly place that we have learned several family members live in. People like that have to be in a state of great suffering- it’s a dense, body-identified consciousness and they have to be completely out of touch with their own spiritual nature. When we don’t have our own sincere spiritual life, we live in the confinement of this world and can see/sense nothing else. Not even the beauty in our children or the diversity that’s there.
That being said, it’s tough raising kids like ours in a world where some people will only acknowledge their color or cultural identifications. By some, they’re viewed as separate and less deserving of being in this country. I’m not even going to acknowledge most of the hateful comments that were said in the e-mail, but I will say that it was almost verbatim what Daniel’s mother said to him last August. There was obviously some gossip going on over the holiday, and now the disease is spreading. There are two main points I will address, though, because I know there are people out there who hold the same judgments. For my children’s sake, and the sake of international adoption I have to say something.
1) “You should have looked closer to home to adopt a child. You think you’re helping, but there are so many kids here who need to be adopted. You should have adopted an American child.” We’ve heard this many times, however it was posed as a question, in a much more respectful way. It’s always a good question (when phrased as a question, and not as a judgment), and we always explain that we started out looking to adopt domestically, but that it didn’t work out. Sometimes you knock on certain doors and they open, while others keep closing. We have already explained this to family, but it’s apparently not being heard. The reason I believe it’s not being heard? Racism. I believe that when people like that say “You should have adopted American children” what they’re really saying is “You should have adopted WHITE children.” There is no reasoning or logic to satisfy that type of pinched off mentality.
2) “You and your wife are only trying to get attention.” This has to be the most ludicrous comment to date. It’s been stated by two family members, and both times our chins just dropped to the ground. It’s so ridiculous, I almost don’t even feel it deserves a response. But I will say this- No one, and I mean NO ONE commits to 18+ years of hard labor and expenses just to get attention. And it should be noted that by living in Lawrence, Kansas we just don’t get all the ‘attention’ people think we might. It’s so filled with diversity and strangeness that our family dulls in comparison. Honestly, two lesbians can be holding hands downtown, or a girl with purple spiked hair doesn’t even raise one eyebrow. If you’re looking at our family as one who might walk down the streets of the Ozarks or Mobile, Alabama, then yes… we’d get a lot of negative attention. Here, we do not. And even if we did, it would not be the type of attention anyone would desire.
There were many hateful words swirled into the letter, but those comments really perplexed us. All the hatred has come at Daniel so suddenly, and from out of nowhere. It’s all rooted in the disease of ignorance. This type of shut off, separation based mentality is the source of most, if not all of the suffering on the planet. All the religious and cultural persecution, the history of slavery, lack of help during Katrina, 9/11, all the way back to the crucifixion of Christ… it’s all been based on fear and the idea of separation/body identified consciousness. Christ was able to transcend that, and through his resurrection sent the message “See? I am not the body.” As long as the body is all we see, this type of mentality will always plague our world. It’s toughest when it’s coming from family. I mean it when I say that we are one world, one people, one human race. We may wear a variety of garments, some lighter, some darker, some plain, and some radiant, but behind the veil of matter we are all made up of the same clod of stardust and light.
“Let us all hope that the dark clouds of racial prejudice will soon pass away, and that in some not too distant tomorrow the radiant stars of love and brotherhood will shine over our great nation with all their scintillating beauty.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.