Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Circus is Here

Madison had a free night tonight, with no ballet practice tonight, or piano.  It'll be a good night's rest for her, and that's a great thing.  She's been up late a lot, and with school really getting going, it'll be better for her to get a lot more rest.

She's pictured above with a 'head basket' game, one we found for our circus-themed series at KidPak.  We were wanting to have some fun games for the kids, and this simple idea worked wonderfully.  We had two of these on top of volunteers' heads, and the kids of two teams would try to score as many baskets as possible.  It was loads of fun, with lots of noise and excitement.

Speaking of "head baskets" and "the circus," we were talking this morning with Madison about the climate in this country.  Or, at least the perceived climate.  You just don't know anymore.  I mean, back in the beginning of November, based on websites, radio and television, you thought you knew the direction this country as a whole was going to.  But that was obviously different, and surprisingly so.  Therefore, it's difficult to gauge what's going on for us as a whole.  The obvious answer is to trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.  Do the best you can as a family, and don't look to media to bring you peace, because it will never happen.

The spark of this train of thought comes from our recently reading a few posts by other families adopting children from China, particularly ones we know elsewhere in the country, ones that even went to China with us.  As you know, there's a change in leadership coming to our country.  Parents are posting about their children being terrified of being ripped away from their current homes.  As much as I'd like to say this is an exaggeration, these posts are real.  I can't say if their children actually feel that way, of course.  It could be the hysteria of parents upset at the election results.  But if these children actually feel that way, there's a lot to be concerned about.  As a disclaimer, obviously not all parents of children with China are like-minded.  In fact, I have no idea the percentages.  I just know of enough, and some personally, and this justified a short conversation with Madison.

Yes, we had a small talk with Madison about racism.  It's an easier one to talk about for Daddy and Mommy, certainly easier than any of those biology lessons that send Daddy scampering out of the room in terror (now that's something to be fearful of!).  Madison has about four or five classmates in her room that are of different color or race.  And she knows she's from China, and she knows she's different.  She had a conversation with someone the other day in her class, someone who thought she was from Mexico.  "No," she said laughing, "I'm from China!"

One thing to note about that response.  She wasn't upset or angry at the other person, nor did she call the other person a racist.  She laughed about it, because she knew the heart of the other person, and knew the other person meant no harm in that assumption.  And Madison didn't jump to the assumption that it must have been a racist comment, one she had to be offended in.

She's told us she's never been treated differently because of her race.  She's ten.  She's never felt like people treat her differently in this school, or in her church, or in ballet, or in piano, simply because she's of a different race.   That's what she said.  Now, certainly there may be some undercurrent somewhere along the line from someone inflicted with racial prejudice.  But in all these places listed above, she's never picked up on anything racist, she said.  She knows their hearts, having spent enough time with all these people.  And she believes that not one has ever set out to intentionally hurt another person based on race - not in her classroom, not in her piano class, not in her ballet classes, and of course not in her church.

So she doesn't have this fear.  Not here.  And that's a big deal, when you consider the reputation the Deep South seems to have, especially Forsyth County.

Now obviously, racism does exist.  Just as drug dealers do, and just as drunk drivers do, and just as any other criminal element does.  We told Madison about racism, and how ridiculous it really is.  And she agreed.  If you judge someone based on skin color or nationality, that's obviously a bad thing.  It seems as if most people feel this way.  But again, you wouldn't know that based on hearing the news lately.

Madison said she agrees that judging people based on their skin is a bad thing.  And she agrees that those who do that aren't too bright.  And what do you do when you encounter racism?  She does the same thing she does when she encounters any other sort of wrong behavior.  You tell your authority about it or you get away from it, or sometimes you call it out for what it is yourself.  It just depends on the situation, of course.

But she doesn't have to spend her life living in fear of it.  And I think that's the thing that worries us currently, that there are children living in such fear.  Again, this could be the perception gathered from reading only a handful of posts from hysterical parents who are upset their candidate lost the election.  But if it is true, then where is that fear coming from?  How does a ten-year old get that sort of fear?  Is it from school, or is it from home?  Or is there somewhere else?

This country will not degenerate to that level, at least not any time soon.  Presently, we don't see any evidence that it could, given the checks and balances the Founding Fathers put in place.

Anyway, Madison knows what racism is.  We're grateful that she hasn't experienced it firsthand in all her time here in Forsyth County.  While racism does exist, the many people she knows in her life have good hearts.  We're very thankful for that.

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