This is going to be hard to write about but it's so much on my mind that I just can't shake it. And I am almost embarrassed that this is a challenge for me. Here's the deal: we don't have very many friends who don't look like us and that needs to change before I can be a good parent to a child who doesn't look like me. I'm talking mainly about race but it's applicable in quite a few ways. And honestly, this is something I want to change about myself regardless of whether we would be adopting or not.
I don't know how it happened. In Texas, I had lots of friends of different races/backgrounds/sexual orientation and lots of opportunities to meet people of varying background. When we first moved to North Carolina, I remember commenting to Rob about how I actively missed my Latino friends in Texas because I didn't have very many here. And now I am about to have a child of color... from Africa... and yet I haven't figured out a way (in the 4 years we've lived here) to broaden my social circle to include friends of color. Pathetic.
My challenge isn't to become open to the idea of being friends with people who are different from me and it isn't to work on any kind of underlying racism that I feel. Instead it's to stop being lazy and meet some new people. I live in a culture where it takes a little effort to do that. I think in the South we're still very segregated. And I hate that. But up to this point, I'm guilty of perpetuating that segregation because I don't go out of my way to leave my little convenient social circles. And I'm mad at myself that I haven't done anything before now. I have no excuse.
I want ALL of my children to have great adult role models in their lives. And I want some of them to look my kids and I want some of them not to. For all three kids. And this is a value I hold dear... but I've failed in my parenting thus far to provide that in a strong way for the two kids I have with me now. And I really repent of that.
And plan to change it.