Archive for March, 2007

We’re Back

Posted in Adoption, africa on March 27, 2007 by Avery

We are home!!!

jetlag has me beat, so give me a bit to recoop to get you caught up. But everyone is finally home.

We now interupt our regularly scheduled program.

Posted in Adoption, africa, ethiopia, family on March 14, 2007 by Avery

cartoon family

Keep us in your prayers, but I will see you all on the flip side. My next post will be that of a completed family, a family of 6, full of photos of all 6 of us in Ethiopia.

Pray for the kids, this will be their first flights.

Pray for us, we are doubling our kids.

Thank you all for all of you prayers. This journey has been so long, but we have finally entered the next chapter.

Thank you for everything.

We are so happy to be making this trip.  It is such a blessing to have all the kids with us as well. It will forever alter our biological kids world view. And our hope is that it will help in the bonding process that the initial time together is spent in Ethiopia, the family “newcomers” home ground.

 It will probably be April before I get around to posting the journal of our third trip, but you should hear from me in the last week of March.  

theft, or I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride it now,

Posted in Adoption on March 12, 2007 by Avery

Theft, and dumb theft at that, it really makes my blood boil.

 Over the weekend I went out to the garage to pull out Yosef’s bike, wanted to make sure the tires were pumped and it was ready for riding as we will have him home in a matter of weeks, we will be with him later this week.  Well after over an hour of looking in my small innner city backyard, and 1 car garage, I have to admit it was stolen.

Now Kaitlyns bike is a better bike, Heather’s bike was right next to it, my motorcycle next to it, but the bike is gone. Now 2 weeks ago one of Kaitlyn’s freinds was riding it around the back yard, so it happened within the last two weeks. We have another bike, an old bike we picked up on the side of the road, but it needs a little work in order to really be ridable. Easy enough, but it really irks me that the nice bike we had for the kid is gone!!

 It’s really frustrating, it was in my garage, but there really isn’t anything I can do about it. If I call the cops I have to have a vin number to match even if they found the bike, I can wait for an auciton and then buy it back from the police in a lot, but then I wind up with 20 bikes for $20 (if you like working on them it’s a good way to make a little side money, or a great ministry to give bikes to needy kids) But it will be beat up and rusty by then, as they store them outside in a bige pile.

I could drive around the neighborhood, and I would probably find the bike, but am I going to take it from the kid riding it? Would I have any proff that it was mine? I mean the peeling sticker on the frame isn’t really a huge “that’s mine” statement.

 But does it really matter in the long run. I will find the kid a bike that is decent soon enough. With everything we have to get used to, that he has to get used to, a stolen bike that he never saw (he knows it existed as he asked if he had a bike in America) well I can’t imagine it will be at the top of thoughts of needs.

The blog will go barren for a while later this week.

I’ll pick up again when we return, with kids in tote.

Love you all. Thanks for being here with me through the ride.

colorblind

Posted in colorblind, racism on March 8, 2007 by Avery

Colorblind. It’s become a rather trend thing to say that you are colorblind but what do you actually mean by that? Are you saying that you share my infirmity and have a shade of red/green that you can not see a difference in? (small trivia for you here I only discovered I was colorblind last year, I had made it through my entire life not knowing) Probably not. What you are probably referencing when you beam with joy when you say you are color blind is that you aren’t racist. Unfortunately it has become trendy to classify yourself as a non racist with this very racist terminology.  Now before you pick up the stones to stone me and kick me out of your blog roll hear me out.  

You see everyone wants to put racism into a compact Jim Crowe box, to label the skin heads, Nazis,  Israelis (the black militant group not the country),  the extremist, the freaks, the ones that are no where near to our own front door as the racist. It’s easy to deal with racism when you are looking for the old school Jim Crowe racism, it’s easy to hear trigger words being used to refer to another mans skin tone to tell you if they subscribe to the good old boys club. But there has crept into society a much deadlier form of racism, a racism harder to address because the very people that have been ensnared in it have done so in their attempt to flee from the Jim Crowe generation of their parents.  Sociologist have given this new racism several names, liaise faire racism, passive racism, or more commonly colorblind racism.  

Take a second and look at the following image with me: 

What do you see?  Every dot here was taken from the skin tone of one of my family members face. It looks “diverse” right?  Unfortunately this is the “colorblind” approach to seeing life. These diverse dots, they were all taken using Photoshop from only the Caucasian members of my family. You see to be colorblind means you are only seeing society through one perspective, yours.  Now if you don’t believe that white privilege still exist in America you can stop reading here, there isn’t any reason for you to go any further until you can come to grips with that aspect of reality. For those still reading the only one who can truly afford to be colorblind in any society is those who have the power, and privilege of not being judged by their own race.   

“Most whites don’t see white as a race. Like a fish in water, they don’t think about whiteness because it’s so beneficial to them.” It seems as if it’s oversimplified, but it’s not. By saying you are colorblind you are saying you are only giving validity to one perception of society. You are saying you don’t judge the color of ones skin, but you are invalidating that ones skin color changes the perceptions of how society operates, and ones place in that society. It isn’t an intended approach, but it’s the end result. Rather than opening up the dialogue to discuss race and racial issues, you effectively stop all conversation. As radical as you think you are being in taking the colorblind approach you are in fact being passive and allowing the cycles of racism to continue.  

Still not convinced? Let me ask you to imagine with me for a second that you are lost, your cell phone is dead, it’s 1am on a Saturday and all you know is you are somewhere in the middle of Compton. Tell me, honestly, how colorblind are you right now? Want the other side of the fence? Imagine you are a 17 year old honor student whose lawyer father is letting you borrow the Mercedes to drive up to Malibu to visit your best friend. Only thing is your black. How many times are you going to be profiled as a car thief, a thug, anything but what you are? Are you going to receive the same treatment from the police as if you were white? Doesn’t this, as a young black man, affect your perceptions on how you see the world? Can you truly be “colorblind” when you have to navigate these kind of hurdles for the rest of your life? 

You see society still does judge by the color of your skin, mind you it makes no more sense than being judged by the color of your eyes, but isn’t that what Halle Sellasie said all those years ago? But if your skin tone doesn’t match that of the privileged, then you grow up with a different perspective than those that do.  Unfortunately being colorblind negates that reality, it negates seeing that skin tone affects perception of society. Being colorblind misses the question.  

You see what happens when I add the rest of my children into the colorblind test?  It’s time to stop being passive, which colorblind is, and start being proactive, which racial diversity is. By celebrating in racial diversity we embrace the different perspectives our brothers and sisters have. We cherish the diversity we all share and by doing so we learn from each other.  

Honestly if you wanted to take an art appreciation class, would you want your teacher to be colorblind? To see all art in a shade of grey (it’s a very, very small percentage of people that suffer from total colorblindness)? Or would you want the professor to be able to discuss all the subtleties and shades of the Monet you are looking at? Really it’s no different in this discussion. Do you want to address society from only one perception, one perspective, or do you want to embrace it all? 

There is a lot of material out there on this subject, some good, some not so good, but hopefully my blog was enough to at least spark your interest and want to go a read some more and education yourself of the realities of what you are saying when you say you are colorblind.  Here are a few of the better articles I have read on the subject:  http://www.rachelstavern.com/?p=395 

http://www.alternet.org/story/16792/ 

http://whiteprivilege.com/

the truth behind the story

Posted in family on March 7, 2007 by Avery

Today I did contact the school and the superintendant, and I was informed that she was taken to see  police car, one that was parked in a parking lot, at the school, and nothing more. 5 students were given this treat but the car never moved, period.

So I called my daughter to speak to her about this, and when I told her what the principle said she admitted that she made up the entire story. Why? Because she thought that this made for a better story. My words not heres.

So we addressed this lie, and had a LONG talk about lieing and the trouble this has caused. Perplexed isn’t even the word for it.

Parenting, it’s always something new isn’t it….

Heather tells me we can’t sue, but I’m still angry

Posted in family on March 6, 2007 by Avery

What would you do if your 6 year old daughter came home from school one day to tell you a man came into her school, took her from the classroom and took her and 5 other kids to HIS workplace in his car and you had no foreknowlege of this event?

 I’m serious, the only thing keeping me from blowing an absolute gasket is that it was one of the local police officers, and he took them to the police department as a reward for some socio economical experiment to try to get the kids to “like” the police instead of fearing and hating them. I meant to say it was a reward for being caught doing something good in school. They would never stoop to using propaganda to try to change the popular youth opinion of government officials here in America would they? That’s something only the communist would do right?

 So Kaitlyn was taken from class and put in a squad car with 4 other kids, 4 in the backseat, one in the front, and taken to the police department. Mind you North Carolina has a car seat law, that this driving arangement would cost me my liscense, but I guess the police don’t have to follow the laws, just enforce them. We have police mini buses, and police vans, even a police SUV, I know the police department is within walking distance of my house I see them parked out there all the time. There were plenty of ways to get the kids to the police department safely, and legally, but I guess it wouldn’t be as “cool” as riding in the squad car.

 Now I have received no notification from the school that this happened, I signed no permission slip for my child to leave the school grounds, and had no idea this happened until my child told me.

I’m not going to be quite about this either, I don’t know exactly what I want to say, or to whom, but this was simply unacceptable.

Like I said, Heather says we can’t sue, but I’m still angry.

What Would You Do?

Posted in Adoption, africa, ethiopia on March 5, 2007 by Avery

What would you do if you went to Ethiopia, and came home with someone elses referal?

No, I’m not joking.

Now I have to give mad props to the families involved, they are taking it with an air of grace I could only pray I would have in their situation.

I was blown away, but they are taking it all in stride and they are a total example of really cool people who are trying to live out their faith.

You can read their story over here.