Forgive me this week, my mind is fully occupied with our move and I am not sure there will be a coherent post today. I am thinking about packing everything up and wondering how soon is too soon to fill our rooms with boxes. I tend to be the type of person who packs a week early for vacations. If I pack everything up too soon, however, we will end up opening boxes, looking for things we need. If I wait too long, we will be throwing things willy-nilly into boxes while the moving truck idles in our driveway. There is a fine balance here. And it’s keeping me up at night!
Mostly, though, I wonder how my little family is going to handle the move. When we adopted our rainbow kids, we lived in Western Washington state, one of the most diverse, liberal and accepting places in the country. Although we got some curious looks as two white parents walking through the mall with brown children, no one thought too much of it. We belonged to a couple of support groups made up of families like ours. When my oldest son started Kindergarten, he went to school with children from Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Central America, and Africa. Out of 20 kids, there were maybe 5 white Anglo-Saxon children.
I know there are a lot of people who, when they adopt children from other ethnic backgrounds, make a big deal of celebrating it. I have known people who decorate their homes with African art and dress their little toddlers in traditional African costumes. Well, that just wasn’t my style. All four of my brown boys came out of little blond white girls and would have been raised in white homes if they hadn’t been placed with us. Heck, we don’t even know what my oldest and youngest sons’ ethnicities are! So, in our house, we are all just people of varying shades.
But the South scares me a little, and because I didn’t keep my big mouth shut, it scares my second son a little, too. Is there a lot of racial discrimination in Florida? If a brown boy acts white, will he be beaten up? Am I crazy? Maybe I should worry more about the exotic pets that have been released into the wild and the indigenous creatures like snakes and alligators (thanks, Animal Cops Miami). Or maybe the fact that Jacksonville feels the fury of a hurricane on average every 2.5 years and fall 2011 is when they are due. Which would you pick to worry about?