Monday, January 16, 2012

Capture Gratitude/Counting to 1000 gifts


“There is no event so common place but that God is present within it, always hidden, always leaving you room to recognize Him or not to recognize Him.”  Fredrick Buechner

I posted this picture on facebook yesterday with a comment about living MLK's dream - little black boys holding hands with little white boys, "as brothers."
I got a very insightful comment from my friend Robert, first questioning whether MLK really dreamed of white families adopting black children (nope.), and then sharing a blog post about Martin Luther King's legacy (the short version: He didn't just make speeches and march. He ended the terror of life for African Americans, especially in the South. But I'd love it if you'd go read the whole post.)

I really enjoyed reading this perspective, as well as a guest post from a fellow transracial adoptive parent on one of my favorite blogs, Rage Against the Minivan.

The truth is that I've always admired Martin Luther King, Jr. Like everyone else who gets MLK day off, I'm thankful for a holiday. And even being white, I am thankful that I grew up in the post-civil rights era south. The pre-civil rights south is a place and time I'd rather not think about.  I care about racial equality. And I truly believe that we are all of equal value to the Lord, regardless of our skin color. Our laws should reflect and enforce this. I want my children to grow up valuing differences in race and culture, and want to expose them to as many different peoples and cultures as possible.

But the reality is that Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy was relatively meaningless to me until it was personal.

Additionally, I didn't intentionally buy books showing people of different colors until I knew I had a child of color coming home to live with us. Before adopting, I made choices on parks, libraries, and outings based on convenience. Now that we're a transracial family, I'm making deliberate choices. I'm looking into parks, libraries, and outings that will allow our family to interact with many different people - not the entirely white-bread world of southwest Lincoln.

I wish that I'd been deliberate about these things before. I think they are almost as important for my older two boys as for my Ugandan born son.  As someone who has travelled the world and prides herself on valuing culture and differences, I wish it didn't take adopting a black child to really kick me into educating my family in multicultural issues.

But. I am thankful that I'm thinking about these things now. I am thankful for friends who push my thinking, particularly in the area of race and civil rights. I don't want to go with the flow of our culture. And while I'll never fully understand the experience of being a person of color in the US (or anywhere else), I am thankful that now "multicultural education" isn't just an issue of political correctness. It is personal.



When we first got home from Uganda, MM used "HOT!" for both hot and cold. He's finally learned the difference:

Thanks in large part to ice cream...

29. BIG BAGS (and free things)
When I first started reading craft blogs, I entered every giveaway that came along. And then I realized that they are ALWAYS coming along. And usually you have to follow a new blog (I have two many already), or post about it on facebook (and I already post about plenty.)

I quite entering giveaways (even though I did win a pretty sweet necklace from one of the first craft blogs I read) with just a few exceptions. I really love all of the Noonday Collection, but can't spend that kind of money on accessories (even for a good cause), so I've tried to win giveaways on several friends blogs (no luck, so far.)

But just before I left for Africa, another of my favorite craft blogs had a giveaway to Mixed Bag Designs. I can't really resist bags, plus Little Bit Funky doesn't make you jump through any hoops for her giveaways - you just have to comment. So I entered. And I won. Yay! I even got the bags before leaving for Africa, and used one of them as my diaper bag/carry on (they're laminate, so it's great for travel.)

My favorite, however, is the large weekender. I haven't had any weekends away (and likely won't for a while yet.) But it was GREAT for hauling things around over the holidays. Here it is loaded up for a day at my in-laws "watching" football. It has PJs for all three boys for the ride home, MM's lotions, chips for the dip I brought to share, my knitting, plus my Kindle. Matt is insistent that I have more than enough bags (and I really do), but I sure am thankful for this one :).


Sometimes I think our family is just not suited to Basketball. We're a bunch of hotheads, and I feel like basketball brings out the worst in Matt & Luke. Every basketball season is another chance for us to stretch and grow (publically. I wouldn't mind the growth so much if it were in the privacy of our own home). Sometimes I think we should just move on to other sports - but Luke LOVES basketball, and we NEED the chance to grow. So I'm  thankful. But especially that though yesterday's game was a very close loss, everyone in my family kept our cool. Luke played hard, but wasn't super mad at himself after the game - that, my friends, is a victory.

31. MY MOM
 This should be #s31 - 100 or something. But my mom is here for a while, meeting her newest grandboy and getting the chance to love on all her Nebraska boys. I love having her here.