Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mama, are you black?

As our 3 year old daughter adopted from Ethiopia about 7 months ago masters the English language, our conversations are becoming more interesting.  Here's one that came out of the blue the other day as I carried her down the stairs in our house.

"Mama, are you black?"

"No, I'm white."  I answered, then returned her question, "What color are you?"

"I'm blue!" She said smiling.

"Really?!!"  I smiled back but raised my eyebrows a bit.

"No," she said skeptically looking down at her arm, "I'm chocolate!"

"Yes!  Yes, you are!"  I said, "I could eat you up!"  and then I pretended to eat her arm which she thought was hilarious.

Then she squealed, "You're vanilla, Mommy!  You're vanilla!"

She came up with that all on her own, I swear I've never described her skin color as "chocolate".  Yes, there is a book called, I'm Chocolate, You're Vanilla: Raising Healthy Black and Biracial Children in a Race-Conscious World and a blog called "Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care" (which offers tons of great hair advice and ideas, by the way)  but my 3 year old daughter has never read those things.

Over time I imagine our racial differences will lead to more complicated situations, and we are trying to be prepared for those times as best we can.  And I'm trusting God to fill in where I'm sure to fall short.  On our airplane ride home from Ethiopia last December I actually watched the movie The Help for the first time somewhere over the Atlantic ocean, my headphones on with my African daughter sleeping on my chest, tears streaming down my cheeks as I imagined the day when she learned about the terrible ways people with her skin color were treated by people of my skin color and shuttered even more at the thought of discrimination she'd likely sometimes experience even in our modern-day world.

But for now, I'm relieved to be able to keep things focused on matter-of-factly acknowledging the colors we all are, teaching that God made people many different colors, and conveying to my little girl just how beautiful she is, just exactly as God made her.

Find more Thankful Thursday here.


  1. How precious! Thank you for sharing this... We hope to adopt in the near future. :)

  2. This was simply beautiful and adorable. I love your photo as well. Precious.

  3. Thank you for sharing your life experiences and this precious moment!


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