Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Kate Gosselin, You Are SO Wrong!

You know, sometimes we go along for weeks or even months at a time, where adoption is never mentioned or thought much about.  The kids are older, we are out of "adoption mode" as we feel our family is as complete as God wanted it to be, and in many ways we have moved on to Stage 2 of our life together.

This week has brought issues to the forefront, and once again we have had adoption related conversations almost daily around the kitchen table.

We live in a largely rural area, where the Asian population is minimal.  I mean, less than 150 people out of 40,000.  Our three sons are part of a super minority.  Most of the time it is a non-issue, this week though, Kenny had an encounter while volunteering that reminded us of our difference, and it happened to occur during a week when former reality star Kate Gosselin also got called out for the same thing.  While working, one of the local older teens fulfilling community service requirements didn't like Kenny  offering minor direction as the teen was going about something incorrectly.  By all reports, Kenny was not bossy and simply explained why we didn't do the work that particular way.  This teen who was with other "friends" for whom he needed to show off decided it would be funny to make slant eyes behind Kenny's back and get a laugh out of his peers.

His laughter didn't last long when he found himself on the receiving end of a tongue lashing from Angela!!  She put him in his place, telling him he ought to be ashamed of himself for doing something so racist, and it made him look ignorant.  I didn't witness this, instead I heard of it later on second hand.  Angela and I spoke at length about the episode later, and she simply cannot understand why anyone would make fun of another person for their skin color or eye shape.  It makes no sense to her at all.  It also disturbs her to see her brothers whom she deeply loves being teased or taunted.  She has witnessed this on several occasions with all three boys, and she worries that they are made fun of but she and Olesya are not.

How does one explain such juvenile behavior when someone who is in the public light whose own CHILDREN are Asian does exactly the same thing?

I am sorry, Kate Gosselin, your immaturity and disdain for your children's heritage shined through. I have to put this bluntly, you are an idiot. You can justify it all you want in People magazine, but it was wrong...completely and totally wrong.  Why don't you just call them "little gooks" and be done with it? What you did is equally offensive, regardless of how you've tried to normalize it.  I would bet you $100 that if you caught a kid on a playground making fun of your child's race, you'd chew them out, but somehow it is acceptable for you to do it?

I am well aware that everyone gets made fun of for something.  We all got teased as children.  I was called Four Eyes, Smack, and a few other lovely terms.  I was lucky in that most of the teasing was fairly benign.  I know it has somehow become an acceptable part of our "kid culture" to say "kids'll be kids" and you just need to buck up and handle it.  What a double standard though that we accept this from our children as just part of being a kid, but we immediately call for firing someone like Paula Deen for saying a derogatory word about African Americans.  We hold adults to a standard we don't establish for our youth, but when do you think that behavior or language is overlooked so it became ingrained?  If we don't call our kids out on it now, they grow into adults we then hold accountable for something that as children they were forgiven for.  After all, they're only kids.

Adoption conversation entered our life through biology and health yesterday as well.  Wow...talk about some tough stuff.  Try having an educational conversation about the damage caused by alcoholism when sitting at your very table are two children whose mom and dad were both so severely disabled by it that one of them committed a heinous act in front of those very children and then had their rights taken away.  Try talking about Fetal Alcohol Syndrome when several of your children were at risk of having it, and one it is still questionable about whether it has played a part in his struggles in life.  Or try talking about Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the consequences of unplanned pregnancy with five orphans sitting in front of you whose parents couldn't take care of them or may not be alive to do so.

The living proof of the validity of these concerns was sitting right next to us.  It takes the conversation to a whole different level, one I doubt few would expect.  Try answering if you think someone's birth mom could have ever gotten sober enough to take care of them, or try looking your son in the eye as he asks, "So mom, do YOU think I have FAS...is that why my brain is so messed up?"

We are matter of fact about it all, as is our custom.  We talk about possibilities, we talk about mistakes made...and yes we do call it a mistake...I do not dress it up in pretty language, we talk about how alcoholism often runs in families, about risk factors, about what is unknown history for some of our kids.  I don't ever try to help them view it through rose colored glasses.  It is not my job to hide their history from them, it is my job to help them understand who they are and where they came from, but most importantly who they can become and who they don't automatically have to become.  The conversation grows quieter, more hesitant, and ever more real.  It is what it needs to be, but it is still very difficult to work through all of it.  It is times like these, no matter how much heartache it brings me, when I am glad we are having these sorts of discussions here at home, and they are not in a crowded school room surrounded by 30 other kids as they are trying to process this sort of information that hits so close to home.

Yea, it's been a long, hard week already, and it isn't even half over.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can barely see to type, my eyes are so full of tears. What did you say to him?

I think I might say, "Yes, Son, sometimes I do think that when your birth mother was carrying you, she drank a lot of alcohol and that had an effect on your little body as it was forming. Yes, sometimes I do think that. We may never know or understand all of your birth mother's choices or addictions. And, perhaps even if we could go back in time and travel to that place where she was, we could not change or stop the choices she made or the hold that alcohol had on her, even though she was pregnant with you. Yet I also know that when you were hidden in that place, God saw you and knew you... and loved you. He formed your body and mind, and saw all your days, before one of them came to be. You are fearfully and wonderfully made! I am so thankful every day that He watched over you and protected you and guarded your life."

Here's hoping and praying that your children will find refuge in Christ -- and who they are in Him -- when those around them are hurtful.