“I guess it all depends on whom you ask and when you ask. Race, I've learned, is in the eye of the beholder.” - Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina
When we decided 7 months ago to adopt, we knew from the start that we would be adopting across the race and cultural line and it was never a concern to us. We just made two stipulations in our adoption process, she had to be healthy and a little girl.
Just 3 short weeks ago my wife and I adopted a beautiful baby girl, we knew very little about her, just that she was 10 weeks old and that her birth mother was 16 years old of Xhosa heritage.
One of the first things we realised is that we now cannot accept any form of racial intolerance. It’s actually quite a weird situation as we are not racist and neither are any of our friends or at least we thought we weren’t.
Growing up in apartheid South Africa will have a negative effect on a white person no matter how liberal you think you are.
Laughing at a racial stereotype joke, making fun of the way Jacob Zuma talks or imitating Malema’s accent are all forms of racism, no matter how funny or innocent you think it maybe. These are things we had to realise, understand and cut from our daily thinking and lives, after all this is our daughter.
So far we have only received positive feedback from everybody we have met, with a few ridiculous questions that are based (we hope) on ignorance, rather than racial prejudice. It is an exciting road to travel and one we are only beginning to venture down.
Already our daughter has had a more positive effect on us and our family and friends than we could possibly imagine, not only have we become intolerant of any racism but we have become intolerant of any prejudice of any kind. It’s quite an invigorating way to live.
We are now strong advocates for adoption and believe every viable family should adopt at least one child. There are 3 million orphans in South Africa so you can imagine the difference you can make by adopting just one child.
“The quickest cure for racism would be to have everyone in the country adopt a child of another race.” - Robert Dale Morrison.
Who knows maybe one day you will join us and the world can really live as one.
Chris & Jenny
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