So Just What is Dying?

So I went for a walk around my city the other night, I was struck with one of those moods that I just couldn’t sit still. My kids were in bed, my wife engrossed in learning the Amharic alphabet and I just needed to get out. These walks normally take me for a 3-5 mile loop around downtown and I get to see the local prostitutes, drug dealer and crack heads, hey it’s my fault for buying the house I bought where I bought it. But for some reason the city was just dead.

Well I got a few blocks into the walk, and it finally hit me, my Leave it to Beaver life is dying. You see I prize myself on being “out of the box” I’m a long haired- tattoo laden (yes visible at work) -ear ring wearing – big beard biker dude. I’m married to a wonderful blonde haired blued eyed woman and we have two adorable and very well behaved kids. My wife stays at home, I run a helpdesk, we have one car and I ride my motorcycle to work every day. Beyond paying bills my biggest concern is my kindergarten girl gravitates to the kids that are “problem children” Yep that’s right, my biggest issue with my current family is my kid likes “Wally”

So what is killing this life, well the reality of the adoption I am getting so closed to completing hit me. You see we are adopting two kids from Ethiopia. I can’t describe the love we feel for these kids that we have never met, but the day is getting very close that we will be going to bring them home forever. Then for the rest of our lives, and for generations to come, we have become a transracial family forever to face the hurdles and obstacles that life will throw our way.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally stoked that the adoption is finally coming to a close. The last 9 months has been hell on earth dealing with all the different governmental office, the red tape and the general BS one has to deal with in dealing with international adoptions. I can’t wait to have them home and to feel like our family is finally all home. The kids beds are made, their clothes are in their drawers their new toys sit in their boxes waiting to be opened and played with. My daughter has a stack of card and pictures she has drawn for her sister sitting on her bed. My some has built a small shrine out of “special rocks” as his gift to his big brother (his favorite thing is rocks and cooking, so you are very loved if he gives you one of his rocks) My wife and I spend hours looking at the handful of picture we have of the kids, and I’m surprised that the 3 minutes of DVD that we have of the intake interview still works for as much as we have watched that.

I’ve known since the inception that this adoption was going to change the family, but the gravity of that change is really hitting home. We are planning on traveling over an hour to go to church at least every other week, just so our kids can see some other transracial families that look like ours.

It’s funny, Leave it to Beaver was filmed in black and white, but was from the view of a white world. I can no longer be apathetic and remain in that world view, I am now an activist for my kids, all 4 of them. I now have to look at events as the parent of both white kids and of black kids. I want my kids to be able to see their skin tone represented in the TV shows we let them watch, but UPN is worthless if I want to keep any moral absolutes in my house. I love Cosby’s new show “Little Bill” and I love the old Sesame Streets, but it seems as if the few shows that have decided to maintain a moral fiber have remained segregated not to mention hard to find.

As much lip service as both sides of the fence play to reconciliation our family represents a life choice that is despised by both extremes. I’m not taking yout 50’s racism either, I’m talking a new subtle PC racism. One that my family is scorned for being transracial by both the black and the white community. Of course there is a middle ground and everyone doesn’t get lumped into either basket. I guess the easiest way to explain this is to steal from a book I read a while back, the mother was explaining the transition of her adopted African child from elementary to high school. Suddenly her child was ostracize and her social circle was all but decimated. These were the same kids her child had always been in school with but suddenly the friends had no time for him. What happened? Why was her son deserted by the kids that used to frequent her house? It took a few phone calls but slowly she was able to piece it all together. Basically the children had entered the stage of dating. And while the parents of the other kids had played trumpets of praise for the adoption in the past, they had banned their daughter from dating the “black boy” at school. The girls were afraid to be his friend as they were afraid of upsetting their parents, and thus he was seen as a pox to the other boys that were more interested in the girls than loyalty to their old elementary bud. Yes they finally did come around and the friends slowly returned, dating was a nightmare for him in his small whitebread town, and things never really got easier, but they were totally blindsided by this chain of events. The friends that had always said they wished they could do the same thing suddenly became nothing but small minded racist when it came to dating their daughters. I’m sure a few bad apples ruined the bunch in this situation, but is this the life I have to look forward to?

Yes, I’m rambling and just going on, but I guess that’s what these public diaries are for right?

I don’t know how often I will post, if I ever do again, but for now, here is the first of my journal of the death of the Leave it to Beaver family.

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