Below are excerpts from a presentation I gave to HOPEFUL(Helping Other Parents, Expanding Families, & Uniting in Love), an adoption group out of Lima Ohio, last Saturday. It is a message specially given to me for them but I thought others could share in the message too.
My mom and Dad picked me up from my foster home that day and never returned me. Later that cool November day I was carried across the threshold into my new house, to meet my two brothers and one sister who weren’t expecting my arrival. I landed in a house that was constructed for me to live in long before my parents ever moved in.
The Adoption was the legal part of my divine appointment. God arranged it and the private agency took care of the paper work. It is my belief that each child is specially placed in a family they were designed for. I am sure I could go around the room and hear story after to story of how someone adopted a child they never thought they would get, or they got the child they didn’t think they were looking for, but no matter how that child came to you, once you held that child for the first time, the divine appointment was finalized and the paperwork would just have to catch up. Each child was directed by God to show up at their appointed time and date.
In each divine appointment, both sides benefit. There was something in me that could only be filled by a minister, his wife and their 3 kids and there was something in them that could only be filled by me.
There is a scene in the movie, The Blindside, that beautifully illustrates this and it brings me to tears when I see it. The movie is about a rich white family that adopts a black teenager. The scene occurs when the mother is at lunch with a group of friends who really don’t understand what she is doing or why she did it. It is evident the mother it out growing her relationship with these ladies.
While at lunch one of the ladies in a very patronizing way commends the mother for being so charitable by taking in this poor black boy and she says to the mother about her black son,
“You are changing his life.”
The mother graciously pauses and says,
“No……. he’s changing mine.”
That catches right in the throat each time because I never considered that I actually changed my family. As an adoptee, it was easy to see what my parents have done for me, so to hear an adoptive mother admit that her child was changing her was overwhelming and yet so true.
It dawned on me that we are the family we are because of me and I am the person I am because of them and God knew that long before he brought us together.
From the union of “biracial and tiny” and “white and many” came an amazing life for us all and through the struggles and conflicts I got to witness some amazing changes in our family, in our neighborhood and in our community and I wouldn’t change my life for Denzel Washington looks, President Obama charisma or Oprah’s bank account. From this unusual life that became so usual I found my purpose. I lived the life I lived to stand before you at this very moment to share what I went through to help you as you navigate down a similar path.
This transracial way of life can be a rollercoaster ride, from the unsolicited comments from someone at a grocery store about your family to the comments from friends and family you just never expected. If you have managed to dodge those heat seeking missiles your challenge may be the fear you have that you won’t be able to give this child everything they need because you aren’t the same race and that fear sends you up and down on the same rollercoaster. I encourage you to stay buckled in because God didn’t make a mistake. That child has found their way to you for a reason and that reason could not be filled by anyone else on this planet. So I congratulate you. Congratulations! Welcome to your divine appointment and this exclusive club, and thanks for showing up….as if you had a choice.