Sunday, February 28, 2016

Feeling Different

Our Avarie Faith
soft springy spiral curls
sparkly dark chocolate eyes
infectious smile
skin a soft brown

Our Avarie Faith
bright questioning mind
flare for the dramatic
feels deeply
longing for love and acceptance

Our Avarie Faith
music speaking to her soul
body set in motion
rhythm pours out
emotions released

Our Avarie Faith
eyes searching
noticing the differences
wondering where she fits
why she feels different

Our Avarie Faith
asking the hard questions
"Why were there slaves?"
"Why do they like him better then me?"
"Why did he think that joke about black people is funny?"

Our Avarie Faith
life as it is in her world

As a white mother of a beautiful African American bi-racial child, my eyes are seeing things through her eyes now.  Things I never saw before or felt, I see and feel now.  I used to say prejudice and discrimination no longer existed.  That is not true.

My first experience was shortly after Avarie came to our family.  I took her to a doctor's appointment.  The receptionist was slow to get to me and treated me in a cold disdainful way.  I didn't think much other then she wasn't very friendly.  I filled out the papers and took them back.  She noticed I didn't fill out the family history.  I marked it as unknown due to impending adoption.  The receptionist's tone changed completely.  "Oh, you are adopting.  How wonderful!  She is a lucky little girl."  I was somewhat perplexed by the change from cold to warm and friendly.

It didn't take long before I noticed that when I was out alone with Avarie that it seemed at times people avoided me.  However, whenever my husband and I were together, people we did not know would even approach and say things about how wonderful it was that we adopted.  Why the difference? Why would it be different if I was her birth mom and not her adoptive mom?

Kaishawn is Avarie's half brother by birth.  We had them both in foster care for six months before we could move on to adoption.  One lady pulled me aside and said, "You are going to change his name when you adopt, aren't you?  Kaishawn sounds... you know... so black.  He doesn't look black if you keep his hair short."  I was horrified.  My jaw might have dropped.  I am not sure.  Kaishawn doesn't have as many resemblences to his African American roots.  He has blond hair and blue eyes.  Nevertheless, he also has African American roots, and it is nothing to be ashamed of or to hide. 

Avarie is almost seven now.  She is smart, observant, and sensitive.  I pray for wisdom as I guide her through these murky waters of racism and prejudice that unfortunately are still alive and well.  I pray we can teach her that her identity in Christ is the one that truly matters.  I pray she can overlook and forgive those who do not see the world through God's eyes.  I pray she can stand up and say I am one of the many beautiful colors in God's rainbow of people. Then in the last day we will stand together, my white skin next to her brown, praising God around his throne with those from every nation.

From God's revelation to John:
 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation , tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
"Salvation belongs to our God, 
who sits on the throne, 
and to the Lamb." 
Revelation 7:9-10 NIV


  1. She is a darling!!! Love that gal.

  2. I love BOTH Avarie and Kaishawn. I love being around them and talking to them. I like them no matter whether they're black, white, or purple. They're awesome :)

  3. Thank you! So many people do, and we are blessed.