Sunday, November 22, 2009

Life with Talitha: How would our families feel?

I promised a series of thoughts and stories about our becoming a multi-racial family. I am going to do that, Lord willing. But the holidays are here. So I'm going to pick up the series in a few weeks.

In the meantime, today I'll combine a bit of the holidays and "Life with Talitha." Today I am filled with thanksgiving for our extended families.

Quite some time before Talitha, I wrote to my father wondering about maybe adopting from Asia. Daddy assured us that he would welcome any child of ours. But he discouraged us because he wasn't sure how some of the extended family of his generation might react. (Daddy hasn't met Talitha yet, because he was already with his Lord when she was born).

When we told Johnny's dad that we were going to adopt an African-American daughter, he was hesitant for several reasons. But he was content to wait and see how God led us.

So how did our families respond to Talitha?

1. I've already written about my Mother's enthusiastic welcome.

2. Our fair-skinned, redheaded, 7-year-old nephew, Luke, was adopted in America and raised in Africa. When he got the news by email, he said, "Cool! We could use a little more color in the family."

3. When Talitha met Johnny's dad, she was in one of those shy-baby-no-strangers stages. Despite that, she lunged from Johnny's arms into her Opa's arms. And Opa just laughed.

4. At my family's reunion--with my siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, and cousins by the dozens--the squealing, cooing, caressing, and head-patting was the same as for every new addition to the family. Neither then nor in the years since have I seen a hint that anyone has a problem with our adoption. And considering how sensitive my antennae were back then, I'm pretty sure I would have noticed.

And so I say to God as I have said hundreds of times for thousands of reasons, "Thank you for our families."
Talitha and her Opa (above). Piper reunion (below).


Coriander said...

Thanks for sharing this lovely story.I look forward to hearing more!

Kelly said...

Hi Noel :) We just recently became a biracial family through the blessing of adoption. We have loved watching God knit our family together and how much our extended family have welcomed our newest little girl, as well! Your story is such an encouragement to our family...praying our sweet Selah grows to love us as much as your sweet Talitha loves you!!