Sunday, October 21, 2012
Conversations: With Tegegne
All of us in the car talking about who knows what and you, Tegegne, speak up:
T: Ababayeh, I don't want to be chocolate anymore. I want to be vanilla like you guys and Hensley.
(I teared up right away at the sound of those words, but you didn't know. Michael and I looked at each other. He mentioned that we should try to get you some black friends. I don't remember exactly what he said to you then, but since then Michael has been speaking life into you. Talking with you about who you are, and why that is so special.)
We love you so much. You are becoming more aware of your surroundings, the color of your skin and how it differs from the rest of our family. You've mentioned several times that we should adopt another "chocolate" kid into the family. Actually the other day you mentioned that we should adopt 1,000 kids but then you laughed and said that would be too many diapers. (Remember that we were in the process of adopting 2 more Africans in to our family last year? But then God had another plan. And that other plan was your little brother, Fields, who is currently 1 month old. I'm pretty sure you wouldn't trade him for anything.)
This afternoon our dear friends, the Welches, took you and Hensley out to lunch, for ice cream, and to the park. Katie mentioned that when you were at the park a little girl asked if Hensley was your sister. You said "Yes," and the girl replied, "No she's not...you're brown." You said, "Yes, she is my sister!" I'm not sure how the rest of the discussion went, but you were obviously frustrated with the girl and you did not want Katie to talk to her.
We love you, Tegegne. We ask for God's grace on our journey together as we have have these encounters with people and as we have important life discussions. I just read this article by Marcus Samuelsson, who was an Ethiopian kid with white Swedish parents. I plan to read White Parents, Black Children to gain more perspective on transracial adoption. I have so much I want to write, and we will all learn so much as the years go by. But for now, I want to pray for you.
We love your plan for our family, and that it included our precious son, Tegegne, as our first child. We love that he is Ethiopian. We love that you knit him together in birth mom's womb, and that you care deeply for him. Please be with him. Speak truth to him when others ask him questions and we are not around. Give him confidence in our family and in his own skin. Show us when to embrace his culture and when to just let him be. Your love covers a multitude of sins. You do not look at us as man does. Man looks at our outward appearance, but you look at our hearts.
And on a light hearted note you said this last night...
T: Mom, will your hair ever change?
M: I don't know, what do you mean?
T: Will it turn white, like when you're 60?
(Highlight of my weekend: Dancing with you while the band played. And my date with your dear 'ol dad.)