As a young girl, growing up in an Episcopal Sunday School, we would sing “Jesus Loves The Little Children”. It is firmly ingrained in my mind –
Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red, brown, yellow
Black and white
They are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children
Of the world
And I innocently believed this completely. However, we are now in a time of serious civil unrest and it is not without good reason. The parents of children of color worry reasonably about the safety of their young and give them “the talk” at a young age. Yesterday, a business associate of ours located in Kansas City admitted to my husband that he still worries about his 21 year old son who naturally has a black skin color.
I wonder if white transracial adoptive parents are able to understand the danger. I have listened to some grown adoptees who are black but were raised in white households lament that they don’t feel comfortable in the neighborhoods and among the people of color that they are genetically related to. This ability to fully relate has been robbed from them by adoption. Yet, as adults, at some level they realize they are beset by risks the white people who raised them do not fully comprehend.
Why is it that good people who are religious fail to understand the confusion and pain of adopting black children into white families ?
Asher D Isaacs writes in his article “Interracial Adoption: Permanent Placement and Racial Identity – An Adoptee’s Perspective” for the UCLA National Black Law Journal this –
I am the product of an interracial adoption. My birth father is Black and my birth mother is white. At the age of eighteen months, I was adopted by a white Jewish family which lived in a predominately white suburb of Buffalo, New York. My adoptive parents believed that the world should be color blind, so they raised me in the same way as they did their three biological children. My family never addressed the fact that my skin was brown or my hair curly. Nor did they discuss with me social and political issues relating to the African-African community. My parents did not see a need to expose me to Black culture, history, or role models.
However, despite my achievements, I was still exposed to racism. Strangers occasionally hurled racial insults at me, and white parents attempted to prevent their daughters from dating me. Thus, although I was outwardly successful, this period in my life was difficult and confusing. I could not understand how I could be popular at school, an excellent student, live in the same neighborhoods as my classmates, and yet be subject to insults and rejection because of my race. “What was wrong with me?” I wondered.
For a greater understanding of the potential harms, before you go and adopt a child who looks nothing like you and your biological children, you should read his entire paper at the linked article title above.
2 thoughts on “Jesus Loves The Little Children”
Understanding the need for representation—I would love to use the image with this article. Is it yours? Can I have permission? It would be in a newsletter and bulletin in our parish to advertise Chilldren’s Liturgy of the Word.. Thanks for considering. Julie Sutton, St Michael the Archangel Parish, Canton, OH
I found it in Google Images. The artist is Jennifer Boeke and it was on the Pixels platform.
Her website is https://jenniferboekeart.com. She would probably welcome your use. Best wishes.