You know, the words you never want your children to hear because they're "bad" words. Well, today was the day that those words were uttered in the hearing of my children, where I was close enough to catch them. One of those words just happened to be the word some stupid person decided to use to describe the lovely shade of brown skin belonging to my oldest. I could feel both anger and sadness boiling up in me as I realized the little boy was probably around the same age as Sawyer and obviously had no idea what the word meant, based on the way he used it. I was angry at whoever used the word in front of him and sad to know that one day he would probably understand it and avoid playing with those little boys again. I was sad as I looked into the face of one of the older boys, who understood the word, and saw the hurt in his eyes. I wanted to hug them close even though they weren't all mine (I restrained myself since it would probably be frowned upon at a public park). Quite frankly, I wanted to jerk a knot in the little boy talking, but again, I restrained myself.
I know that the day will come when my children gain an understanding of that word and the racial issues surrounding it, and it makes me want to cry, punch someone and then hide my children in my house for the rest of their lives, BUT THEN the Spirit gently reminded of a few truths. This is not my home; it is an imperfect world and always will be until he takes us home, but God uses all of it to shape us and mold us to be more like Him. He will use it all for our good and His glory. I'm reminded that we are called to be in the world and not of it. I have to teach my children how to forgive and why we forgive in these moments instead of running or ignoring those people that are brought into our paths, but with the understanding that we don't agree with or repeat the behavior. I need to teach them what it looks like to love even those that are hard to love. I'm reminded, through the words of my Daddy, that the God I serve is BIGGER than ALL of it! I can trust the One who made my baby and I know that He is in control at ALL times, even when I'm not there. And, I'm reminded that adoption is messy. No matter the age or race, there are things you have to deal with as an adoptive family that other families don't; questions, sadness, comments from people who don't understand. Yet, my prayer is that through it all, my kids will gain a greater understanding of God's adoption plan through Christ's death. That in this messy, earthly picture they will see the beauty of a Heavenly Father who sent his Son to Calvary to save lowly sinners like us. Then through that understanding will come a desire to reach those that are lost and wandering in this world. So while, I struggle and wrestle, I pray that this will be the ultimate result, that He would use our family to make His name great and bring Him glory . . . even when it hurts.