When your adopted minority child looks in the mirror he/she sees black, brown, peach, yellow, tan, etc. skin looking back. For that child to hear us say that our love is “colorblind” can be far more hurtful than any of us would dream. What we mean is that our love for them transcends color and ethnicity. But what they often hear is “I don’t see part of you.” We so desperately want to affirm our children in the security of our unconditional love that we miss the point. What if Tara came to me tomorrow and said, “Amie, I’m going to overlook the fact that you are a red-headed freckle factory and continue loving you anyway”? Besides how completely ironic that would be given our shared features, it would also hurt me deeply because the very nature of such a statement implies that my traits are unbecoming and undesirable and something to be overlooked in order to find me acceptable. Our children want to be accepted because of who they are –inside and out- not in spite of it.YES! This is the same point I was trying to make, though not as eloquently, in the post, Parenting While Not Noticing Race:
You're essentially saying to a child, "I don't think of you as Black or Asian or Latino," when you refuse to acknowledge that race exists. You're denying part of your child. How can that be good?So let's all agree to strike that phrase from our vocabulary. Love is not colorblind. Love sees and revels in ALL colors! As Amie says at the Livesay blog, "Love that overlooks is belittling. Love that acknowledges is accepting." Show your child accepting love, acknowledging love: "I love you because of your race, not in spite of it."
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I just don't get it -- how can parents adopting transracially ignore the race of their children? Do your love your child because of their race or in spite of it? Loving your child because of his or her race is loving ALL of your child, not just some parts of your child. Please love all of your child, including the color of their skin. Please.