Last night, while Ava was tucking into her dinner, I watched the Oprah show. Last night show was titled: Race On The Oprah Show: A 25 Year Look Back. It was a very powerful look at how things have changed (and not changed) over 25 years of her show.
Right at the end of the show, she featured a man, Jim Rainey, who was a self proclaimed racist forced to change his views when his daughter gave birth to a mixed race child. What he had to say was really powerful and I cried tears of joy mixed with sadness while I listened to him speak, his last statement really touched a chord with me, when speaking of his mixed race grandson:
Today, Jim says he still feels ashamed of his dark past, but his transformation has come full circle—he and his wife have adopted two black children into their family. “It’s amazing that you can get this old and just now realize what your calling in life is,” Jim says. “That’s being a parent and a father to Robert and Walter. I hope that [my wife] and I both can last long enough to see them raised and have opportunities—opportunities that thugs like me would have denied them 40 years ago.”
Ava has been placed on a special path in life. I believe she will bring so much to the lives of those who know her. Not only will she teach people about the miracle of adoption but she will also teach people that love knows no colour.
After all, how can you choose not to love a child because of their colour? How can you judge the value of a child because of their colour?
I cried last night while watching that show, while realizing that in Ava’s life time she will have to overcome some obstacles, not of her choosing. She will cross paths with ignorant people. People who will judge her because she’s adopted, people who will make judgmental statements about her and about her birth mother, statements which will be made from pure ignorance and believe me, this has already happened, I’ve been horrified by some of the ignorant and hurtful statements the people closest to us have made about adoption. She will cross paths with people who will make cruel and ignorant statements about her because of her heritage, because of her mixed race. But I believe my child will teach these people to know better, she will teach them about love and love transcends colour and birth parents and adopted parents. While I am filled with joy to know that Ava will break these barriers, I am also saddened that this burden is placed on her and so many like her.
I have learned through my beautiful daughter that a child is a child is a child, regardless of colour, they all have the same needs and wants, they want to give and receive love and they are all equal in value, regardless of their colour.
It amazes me that we were chosen to be Ava’s parents because of what we could teach her and the life we could offer her. I often wonder if her birth mother will ever know the profound impact her placement has had on us, our families and our friends, I wonder if she will ever know how much Ava is teaching us?