Friday, May 15, 2009

Katie's BIG question....

I had to work another ball game today. I was gone about 7 hours, so dad had a long day of kids and laundry (I am so thankful he did that for me).

When I got home in the late afternoon Chad said he needed to talk to me. He was a little sad, so we sent the kids upstairs to talk in private. He began to tell me his story:

Katie was sitting on Daddy's lap and looked at him and said "Daddy, why am I like this?"

Chad- "like what Katie?"

Katie- "Brown"

Chad told her she was brown because that is the way God made her. She then wanted to know why Chad was not brown. He explained to her that everyone was different colors because God made us all this way.

This is where is gets really sad. Katie continued:

Katie- "I hate being brown"

Chad- "Katie you are beautiful. I love you brown!"

Katie- "I want to look like you Daddy"

I could see the hurt in Chad's eyes. I can feel the same pain right now. I knew that one day Katie would know she did not look like us. I really thought it would be much later. With the kids home with me and not in school (and uninfluenced by many kids)they are really color blind. We do not put and emphasis on peoples skin color EVER! It is just a non issue in this house. I can not figure out where she heard something like this. Maybe she is just becoming aware of it on her own?

I think it is so painful for us because it seemed to make Katie so sad. We have never wanted to do anything to hurt her. She is so precious to us. We never want her to feel the pain of racism or be tormented for being adopted by a white family. These are things we were aware could happen when we adopted her. Honestly we thought our love alone would be enough to protect her from heartache. We tell Katie daily that she is so beautiful, so smart, so funny, so cute, so adorable... as we do all of our children. We smoother them in hugs and kisses and tell them how much we love them all day. We never intended for her to feel badly because she was not "like" us. I am at a loss of what to do. Do I not make a bug deal over it? Do I talk to her about it? Do I wait until she brings it up again? I just want to make her feel better and protect her from all of the bad feelings she will have in the future. I know it is impossible to keep kids from being hurt as they grow up. It is a part of life, I get it. However, she should never have to feel bad because of the color of her skin. I thought things got easier as kids got older. I think it just gets harder in a much different way.


  1. Oh my heart! That sweet, sweet precious girl!! She is absolutely PERFECT...just the way God intended.

    If you haven't talked to her yet...I think I would. She may have observed that it made Chad sad or uncomfortable and you don't want her to think it is a forbidden or touchy subject. I would also expose her to other families like yours (maybe you are already doing that)...even looking at blogs online might be helpful. Perhaps if you just nonchalantly have her with you as you are viewing pics of white families with 'brown' children she would at least see that there are lots of other families like yours and that it is A-OK!!

    I will be PRAYING!! And let me know if you need a few links of BEAUTIFUL families with lots of colors! :)

    Oh and I will tell you that our youngest bio son, who when he was really little noticed that he had blond hair & blue eyes (God love those recessive genes!) and it really bothered him. He wanted me to color his hair dark like ours. It made me soooo sad!! He now likes how he looks! I think it's normal for ALL kids to notice their differences, big and small.

  2. It is these kind of moments that adoptive parents fear. Katies questions are the same ones we will get one day too. My advice to you is to always be honest and up front with her. I have already talked about this with Molly & Lindy, but they don't seem interested yet. I wish you luck with Katie. But I think you will do fine. Because in the end it is LOVE that wins!

    Also, I thought we had a book about "being different", but I can't seem to find it. Maybe we borrowed it from the library. But you might want to check what is avalable on the subject for children.

    God Bless!

  3. This is something Brian and I worried about with has not been an issue for her. I think the way you handled it was do not want to avoid the issue, but address it anytime she brings it up and keep reassuring her that the color of skin does not matter...we are all the same on the inside and God loves us equally...maybe since you have a large family at home and she is the only african american, she feels "different" and it bothers her...try to make what makes her different make her feel more her books with black characters in them...(picture books) buy her dolls that are black too...maybe that will help??? Take care and I think you guys handled it fine...have the other kids let her know skin color is not an issue for them...but do not dwell on it...discuss it when she brings it up.

  4. Wow! That is a big question for such a little one. I know that however you handle it you will do a good job. You always do. I admire you for the way that you handle situations. I found a book that might be helpful. Hugs to you and Miss Katie. Please let Katie know that she is beautiful.