I am just a person. I was born in the US. I am white. I am female. And the pain is heart wrenching.
I would die for my country to protect it without a second thought. But as I sit here today pondering the gravity of how far we simply haven’t progressed in terms of humanity, my heart and soul ache. People fear what they think is reality rather than summoning the courage to check it out.
When we are born, each of us is a precious gift wrapped in a package. The color of that wrapping may be different, but the gift inside is every bit as precious and beautiful as you could ever imagine.
How do I know this? My late husband and I adopted 2 children from a third world country decades ago. Our thought was very simple. We had a home that wanted children. They were children who needed a home. As long as they were little and cute all seemed okay. All the kids played together, and nobody really cared where they came from and what they looked like.
Around the age of 7 or 8 suddenly some of those same children with whom they played, started making fun of them because they looked different. The color of their skin was not white. What does racism feel like when you are the target? I don’t know personally. But as a mother holding my 9-year-old in my arms crying uncontrollable wanting to go back to her country of origin where she would “look like everybody else”, it is heart wrenching. There are not words to describe it, and the pain I feel today, is every bit as intense as the pain I felt that night. It will last the rest of my life.
She was just a child. She was 9. All she wanted was to play with the other kids and not be treated mean because she was different.
She hadn’t suddenly changed. The environment around her had changed dramatically. As her peers grew older, being influenced by family and other cultural prejudices, her life was dramatically altered.
I personally have hope for humanity. Why you ask? Because I saw that transformation with my mother. I love my mother. She was one of the most prejudiced people I ever knew. When we adopted our children, she was not exactly pleased. Over the course of 6 to 8 months, they became not the little people from that foreign country, but they became her grandchildren. Suddenly it didn’t matter that the color of their skin was not white. All that mattered was they were her grandchildren. If my mother could grow like that, anybody can.
As I sit here trying to figure out what I can do today to make a difference to make this better for our children and adults whose package isn’t the same as mine; I need your help. I can’t do anything alone. If you are reading this and you will do 2 little things, together we can make a huge difference.
Thing number 1: After you finish reading this, please send this to everybody you know so they can read this and participate.
Thing number 2: Go find somebody whose wrapping is a different color than yours. Have a cup of coffee with them. No agenda. Just talk with them. Remember what I said up top, that people fear what think is reality. You just might find that even though the wrapping is a different color, the precious gift inside is more like you than you ever realized. If my mom can do it, anybody can do it.
I know there are some who will say I should stick to my own kind. My response is I did stick with my own kind. I am human and I adopted humans.
If you are uncomfortable doing this now, please think about it and pray for courage. It really isn’t that scary. We are all just people. When you are ready, you can do this.