Sunday, May 6, 2012

I Spy Something Black

We are really starting to settle in and feel like a family. One of the topics I've yet to talk about is that of race. I was amused every time it was brought up over the past couple of months. Of ALL the difficult challenges we've faced, race was never one of them.

During the first week of transition time, Ty would ask questions like, "Mom, what color are LJ's toes?" or "Mom, what color are LJ's ears?" After bringing LJ home, Ty asked Ben, "Dad, are you white like me?" We didn't avoid the topic of race, but we haven't spent a lot of time talking about it either.

We talk openly about each of our characteristics and how God made us special. We also spend time talking about our similarities. There are lots of them.

The boys get fanfare everywhere we go. My general impression is that people don't care that we're a trans-racial family, but are curious about how we came together. When you put two adorably, polite and social boys together, friend-making comes easy. Because they are always matching or coordinated in their clothes, people rarely ask if they're both ours (this happened a lot during our transition period). It's obvious that they are.

Laron's skin requires special products, but so does Ty's hair. None of it is a big deal. Our differences make us unique; our God and family structure make us the same.

It isn't until moments like, today, at breakfast, that we think much about our different skin colors. We were playing "I Spy", all four of us taking turns, as we waited for our pancakes to arrive, when Ty said:  "I spy something black....and it's him (pointing to LJ)!" Ben and I looked at each other and couldn't help but laugh. I, quickly, stepped in and said, "Well, I spy something white and freckled...and it's you!" Both boys giggled and we moved on.

We've done our part in trying to live culturally aware and enhanced lives. We both work in diverse settings, we attend a diverse church, and (strategically) play on diverse playgrounds and take the boys to an office of diverse pediatricians, etc, etc.

At the end of the day, we are just two parents raising two boys. We are flexible and mold-able and completely reliant on God's grace to do the job.


  1. I love this story. I know that issues of race can be complex, but this is a beautiful example of a time when the similarities more important that the differences. Please be encouraged that you are a fantastic example to those of us who wait and wonder what God has in store for our families. You make me less afraid to follow his call into places which I feel totally unprepared for, seeing His grace truly meet you. Blessings to you and your beautiful family today x

  2. Well said and awesomely done! You and your family is really a blessing and I love reading about them!

  3. I love this post. I thought so much about race before the boys came. Wondering what we would encounter with others mostly. I thought a lot about being part of a diverse church etc. Now that the boys are here race issues are the last thing on my mind.

  4. Loved hearing this! You and your family remind me of that worship song that Kim Walker sings that says "hearts wide open" You and your husband are that way so your kids are. Got to love that!!!

  5. Yep, it's all about strategy for sure. Transracial family life is an adventure,one you can't fully prepare for, but one you never stop educating yourself on. ;)