Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sharing the Dream

This post was originally published January 16, 2010.

The other morning my 4 year old daughter suddenly looked at me and asked, "Mommy, when I get big am I going to look exactly the same as you?"

As I turned to her and began an attempt to answer the question, tons of thoughts raced through my mind all at the same time.

I hadn't put on make-up or gotten ready for the day yet and I'm sure I looked terrible, so I was thinking she's probably asking and hoping the answer is "no"! So, I asked, "Do you
want to look like me?" in a very incredulous voice. Still her reply was, "Yes."

But the part that hit me like a ton of bricks was the thought, "So this is the age when
she'll care." Four years old. My daughter whom I have not yet met. The one I'm adopting from Ethiopia.

For my biological daughter the answer is easy. I told her, "Sweetheart, you won't look exactly the same as me when you grow up. You may be about as tall as me and may look a little like me, but no, you will not look exactly like I do. And that's good. You'll be your own beautiful person."

And for my future daughter, the answer is the same, but oh, how much more complicated the issue is!

Most likely her skin will be brown, mine is an extremely pale peach. Her hair will likely be curly, either a little or a lot, mine is super straight. We will be different races.

And, oh, how I wish that didn't matter. But I know there will be times when it will. There will probably be different ages and stages of my future daughter's life when it will be a very big issue to her. And, very sadly, I fear there will be times when people out in the world will make that an issue for her.

I pray that she will see herself as the beautiful, cherished, loved child that she will be to us.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I share in your dream!

1 comment:

I'd love to hear what you think!