White is the color I see when I walk down the
street, go to church, walk to our local school play ground, go to the
store. It is not the only color but it is the main color. But this isn't necessarily what our children see. Kids are color blind and can
remain that way for a long time. In fact, if you ask my two year old
what color her skin is she will tell you "brown". They don't see that
labels that we as adults have been conditioned to see.
In the adoption world world white is a minor color. Children of other colors are over represented in the foster world
and parents of the same ethnicity to foster them are underrepresented.
There are over 147 million orphans world wide. The US represents only a
half a million of these while Sub Sahara Africa has over 40 million
orphans and India itself has 30 million (the largest orphan population
in a single country).
We do not know what our child
will look like but we know there is a good chance they will look nothing
like us. We do know that as long as God keeps us down the path of the
Philippians we will have one or two children with very different skin
Dolls have been a great way to
naturally introduce our little girl to color. Her favorite doll happens
to not be white. In fact neither of her top three are white. When she
gets older we have seen some great doll sets
that are also doing some cool things in different parts of the world.
Maybe one day we will be able to obtain a Filipino doll for her also.
2. Little People
Another foster/adoptive mom introduced me to the idea of using Little People to add color to our lives. This is probably one of the cheapest ways to do it.
don't have a Santa Clause up at our house, however, if you do this is
another great way to show diversity. A white culture assumes Santa is
white. So making Santa look different is great. Also, I noticed in
stores this last year that there are some really neat Nutcracker dolls
from different ethnicities.
are an amazing way to show diversity in color. Typically at least one
book we get from the library has children of different color. A quick
search on Amazon will find you a myriad of books. I will admit that
this is our most lacking area, which I hope to fix soon.
5. Rethink Jesus
The typical Sunday school portrait of Jesus
draws him with a white frock, purple sash, long hair, white skin, and
very Western looking. Take some time to look at what the men look like in the Middle East. Talk with children about the culture what men would of looked like. Don't let them get sucked into that Sunday school picture of Jesus.
6. Be Very Specific About Words
goal for our daughter to see color through God's eyes. We don't point
out that people are a different color then we are, we talk about other
features they may have. However, that being said (and this is so
important) we also don't hide the fact that color is beautiful and
wonderful. We sing "Jesus Loves the Little Children" often. We talk
about how God created everyone and loves everyone. People are special,
beautiful, and unique.
The whole goal is to make color a
celebrated part of our lives and God's creation. We hope that no matter
what our children's color happens to be that they will see
their-selves. Even if you are not adopting or fostering I urge you to
be very specific in how you parent your child in this area. Help them
see the world through God's eyes, not human eyes.