Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Best Racially Diverse Children's Bibles and Faith Books

Let's get real.

Many of us who are white grew up believing Jesus was white, too. Like glowing, pasty white. 

I remember the first time I saw an unapologetic portrait of a melanin-poppin' Jesus. My hubby and I were with our youngest daughter at Sweetie Pies, a popular soul food restaurant here in St. Louis. Whoa! 

The longer we've been parents in a multiracial family, the more I've committed to finding resources for our kids that teach them that they matter. I want them to see themselves EVERYWHERE and learn they can be who they want to be, dream what they want to dream, and enjoy the variety of life. 

I've shared many times that we love all types of music in our house, and yes, we listen to country. Did you know that there are contemporary, incredible Black country artists? Darius Rucker, Mickey Guyton, Kane Brown, and Jimmie Allen?  

Being a parent by transracial adoption means you're always searching, changing, learning, and growing. You're always doing the research, the work, that it takes to raise kids of color.

I believe that books are powerful resources for multiracial families. They are tools to conversations. They are tickets to imagination.  

The books we read our kids matter. They matter a lot. And you'll know it the first time your child points to a book character and says, "Mommy, he looks like me!" 

I share many book suggestions on Facebook, especially new releases, but you can also find great lists here, including:

Today's focus is on the best racially diverse children's Bibles and faith books. As a Christian, I want my child to know that pasty white Jesus never existed, and I want them to grow up loving God. (Read all about our church experience here.) These books help us do just that!

So here you go! Click on the book cover to read descriptions and reviews, peek inside, and purchase if you wish.  

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

5 Awkward Things White People Have Said to My Black Children

Our big, multiracial crew attracts attention.   Two white parents and four Black children.  It's obvious our family was built by adoption which intrigues many.   The kids, stair-stepped in age, also garner attention for their looks and personalities. 

Stepping out in public means knowing that we will probably be approached by a stranger for some reason. 

This isn't automatically a bad thing.  Sometimes a stranger might see us and simply say, "You have a beautiful family."  We always appreciate this.  Sometimes people will tell us their connection to adoption; some of those who approach us are adoptees (which is always a great interaction). 

But sometimes, we are thrown into some very awkward conversations.   And I'm guessing you've been there, done that.  Here are our top five most awkward things white people have said to my Black children: 

1:  I don't see color.

Um, you approached us because you noticed our multiracial family status.

To be perfectly clear, my children's race should be acknowledged and celebrated, not ignored.  Colorblindness, as I've said many times.  Is.  Not.  Real.   

Another awkward situation is when someone sees my kids, notes they are Black, but whispers "Black" or "African American" like it's a curse word or a secret.  

Oh, and my kids know they're Black. 

2:  How long did it take to get your hair done?!?

This is usually both a statement and a question.  Sometimes the person will say, "Hours?"  And, "How in the world can you sit still for so long?"  

Sometimes this is followed by an attempt to touch my kids' hair.

Don't even think about it. 

These hair conversations makes one of my kids really uncomfortable, because she's an introvert who hates attention outside of her basketball skills.   

3:  You are so lucky to have good and loving parents.

Adoptees tell me they are tired of being told they are "lucky."  They shouldn't be forced to feel grateful for being adopted.  Being adopted wasn't a choice the adoptee made.

We are good and loving parents, yes, but my kids also have other "good and loving" parents who gave birth to them and with whom we still have relationships with.   

Furthermore, my kids aren't charity cases, and we aren't saviors.  

4:  Girlfriend, you are just so cute!  YASSSSS!  

It's super awkward for the person we're talking to to all the sudden try to talk in the way they think Black people talk (usually based on movies or TV shows, not actual Black people...because they really don't know any).   Like somehow, the person can relate to my children by talking in a way that is supposed to be familiar to my children?  I don't know.  It's so weird. 

5:  What country are you from?

Newsflash:  not all adoptees of color were adopted internationally.  Shockingly (sarcasm), there are Black people right here in America!   

Also, many, many adoptees are white.  And the number of kids in foster care?  The majority are white.  (See, there's so many things people don't know!)   Oh wait, but you don't see color...

What's the most awkward thing someone has said to your kids?

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

If You Adopt Transracially, You Must Read These Six Books

Adopting transracially is serious. It requires an immense amount of preparation, dedication, and ongoing education.  

As a mama of four, it's hard for me to get away. There are so many amazing adoption conferences and camps, but most of the time, it's not realistic for me or my family to attend. 

Therefore, I get a lot of my transracial adoption and parenting education from face-to-face interactions with those in our "village," online communication, and also fantastic books. 

Today I'm sharing with you the six current must-read books if you have adopted transracially or are considering doing so. (And here's a list of ways you can support your transracial adoptee).

Why these six?  

I think they give a broad view of race in America and helps us see how these important things like systemic racism, the preschool to prison pipeline, police brutality, Black Lives Matter, etc. relate to our multiracial families and our transracial adoptees.

1:  Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do

2: I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

Me, Austin Channing Brown (author of book rec #2), and my tween

3: White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism

4: Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race

5: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

6: Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools