Growing up, I had this idea of the perfectly appearing man. He’d be tall, dark, and handsome. I prayed fervently for that exact man most of my life that I can remember. I had no idea I was praying for the man God delivered to me, and I also couldn’t be more thankful. I am Caucasian, and my husband is biracial, born to an Italian-American mother and a Black father. But God didn’t stop with His blessings there. He also gave us two beautiful black children through adoption who are now five years old and two years old. My daughter, 5, started voicing her observations of our different skin tones around the age of 3. She simply stated, “You have light skin, Daddy has brown/light skin, and I have dark brown skin.” We simply replied, “Yes, that’s right! And isn’t it beautiful?! God made each of us perfectly with our beautiful skin colors.” It has always been important to both my husband and I that we don’t act “colorblind”, because we’re not. We don’t shy away from observing the beauty of God’s creation because it IS beautiful. God created each of us in His own image and tells us He knew us before we were ever born. He intricately wove us together inside our mothers’ wombs, and that beautiful weaving includes our skin and its color.
We enjoy reading many books together that have multiracial characters and different cultural storylines. Some of our favorites are “When God Made You”, by Matthew Paul Turner, “God’s Very Good Idea”, by Trillia Newbell, and “Who’s Toes Are Those?”, by Jabari Asim. We introduce our children regularly to the truth of who they are, perfectly made in the image of God, and that their confidence in who they are is because of Whose they are. Whereas we do not teach our children that they will be hated because of the color of their skin, we do teach that we live in a fallen world, and because of sin, there are many people who do not love others the way God has commanded. We know it is inevitable that our children will meet racism head on at some point in their lives, most likely starting in childhood. It is our hope that by teaching them about how God created each of us uniquely beautiful, they will be better prepared to combat hate with love on that day. We are planting the seeds now to respect others, to be kind, to value others’ lives, and to always treat others the way they want to be treated.
We celebrate diversity within our families and our circle of friends, and pray that it will be ingrained into our children to do the same. Change must start at home. We are here for it.