Tuesday, June 12, 2007

File under: Racially Skittish

For most men life is a search for the proper manila envelope in which to get themselves filed. ~Clifton Fadiman

One of the best things about the internet (besides the unlimited potential for feeling productive while wasting time) is that you can get a lot of first-hand, primary source information and opinions. The information is often surrounded by Miss Information- she's everywhere, man- but if you are willing to do some dusting off and ferreting out it can be great.

For about a year now I've been researching adoption. This is a touchy thing to look into on the web, because Miss Information's good buddy Screaming Zealot likes to hold forth about the whole complicated issue. I've been pretty fortunate, though, and have floated into some informative, honest sites.

I know I can gather and analyse all the facts and statistics in the world (and I will, Oh yes, I will) but what I need the most is to read and talk to the people who have been through the process. People who blog.

Yesterday one of my favorite blogging women, Mary of Owlhaven and the Ethiopia Blog put up this post, sparking a couple realizations on my part.

First, when I imagine my family including some Ethiopian kiddos, I get nervous. I'm not proud admitting this, but I realized over the past few months that I see the Miriam with an interracial family becoming defensive & shrill, maybe even bitter. I see myself worrying that I would have to justify my kids, my presumption. If the world was made up of me, Jonathan and Ethiopia, I would adopt from there because I see a great need there. How lame is it to care that much about what others might say, and how I might feel, and how I might be changed?

It's a dark kind of wierd to learn something disappointing about yourself. It's also liberating. To admit it, to hear Mary's thoughts (she has been wonderfully generous about responding to comments and email in addition to her well-written blogs), to talk to my friends and especially to spark conversations with J; all these things have brought my thoughts back around to the issue at hand. I didn't feel led toward the interracial thing, but the more I talk & learn, the less I think of it as a problem. The more I can loose my fears and feel like myself.

The loving service which God sends His people into the world to render includes both evangelism and social action, for each is in itself an authentic expression of love, and neither needs the other to justify it.

... John R. W. Stott (b.1921)

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