AN APOLOGY FROM THE DAD IN THE “I LEARNED IT BY WATCHING YOU’ COMMERCIAL | FUNNY OR DIE
I’m not even gonna lie, son, pretty much right after I uttered the words “Who taught you how to do this stuff?” I was like, “Oh, fucking me, obviously. I do drugs in front of him all the time” — but then it became one of those things where you’ve already started saying something and you feel like you have to stick with it or you’ll sound dumb … But I see now that the real dumb thing was on the drive to Aunt Laurie’s for Thanksgiving when I kept having you hold the wheel as I did whip-its while screaming “See? See?!” Or that week where I pulled you out of school to stay at home and watch me do bong rips while you took notes and did pencil sketches.
I JUST DON’T WANT TO BE PREGNANT: WHY I CHOSE ADOPTION OVER PREGNANCY | OFFBEAT FAMILIES
Then, this amazing thing happened: I told my husband that I had officially decided against pregnancy. I wanted to adopt. I told him that this wasn’t a fear that I was going to “get over.” I told him that I had looked into adopting from the foster care system, and I told him it was going to be hard. I waited for him to be sad, to be disappointed, and to cry — but he didn’t do any of that. He held me close and told me that he was relieved. Although he too wanted to be a parent (even more than I did) he had the same fears and reservations that I had. Adoption felt right to him, too.
It is not that simple. As a leader in the church, you are called to be an ambassador of reconciliation. The fact that you identify a widely acknowledged social injustice as “simple” reveals your lack of empathy and understanding of the depth of sin that some in the body have suffered under the weight of our broken justice system. It also reveals a cavalier disregard for the enduring impacts and outcomes of the legal regimes that enslaved and oppressed people of color, made in the image of God — from Native American genocide and containment, to colonial and antebellum slavery, through Jim Crow and peonage, to our current system of mass incarceration and criminalization.
I do realize that because my littlest love is black I am much more aware of these horrors. I get that it is not every single black person, every single day. I also realize now, more than the majority of white people, it is way more black people and way more often. It is something my black friends and black boyfriends never discussed with me but now that I have a black child and I ask, the stories they tell and the life they lead is very different than the one I had seen previously. And that is not okay. And that is not fair. And, as a mother of a black child, that kills a part of me inside and keeps me up at night.
This is true for all adoptees I talk to. There’s something they’ve taken from their parents that they perhaps didn’t even realize until they were much older. That might be something they’re proud of, or something they despise, but it has nothing to do with DNA and everything to do with the way young minds soak up the lessons adults try to teach them.