"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

01 August 2013

Its Not What It Looks Like...

A few years ago, I reconnected with a friend I had known since middle school.  Upon seeing a photograph of my three kids (all of whom were born in the years when she and I were not in contact), she gently asked me "am I right to assume that the youngest is adopted?"  She was apologetic, not wanting to pry or give offence, but curious.

I replied, "well, since you know my husband, either you are assuming he's adopted or you're assuming I'm having an affair." 

Yes, he's adopted.  Its obvious.  He's Korean, the rest of us are not.

An acquaintance, the father of a few biological kids, a biracial adopted kid and an internationally adopted Haitian kid, told me how his wife gets dirty looks when she walks down the street.  People in our semi-urban town assume that she's a "baby mama" with multiple daddies.

Yesterday, a very young looking woman told me what I hear from so many young moms, that she, too gets dirty looks from people who assume she's "too young" to have a child.   She frantically assured me that she was old enough, assuming I would judge her, too.

And all of those people who make assumptions and give nasty looks to "baby mamas" in the streets... every one of them is contributing to the rise of abortion, parental depression, and poor outcomes for those kids.

Every. single. one.

If you're old enough to produce a baby, you're old enough to be a parent.  There's no age limit.  Where we fail is in enabling those parents to BE parents. 

The same day I met the twenty-four year old mama, I met a divorced, tattooed, pierced, (etc!) single dad, who told me how much he treasures the times he gets with his son.  He didn't look like the kind of guy who would bother to be the dad, but when he walked around with that kid on his hip, he made a bold statement... he was a dad.  He was young, and "cool" and whatever else he wanted to be, but he was also a dad and he was going to be the dad every chance he got.

Yes there are moral laws governing how we should express our sexuality, make and raise babies, and generally live our lives.  But a lot of time those babies come outside the system of moral laws, either because the parents don't subscribe to those laws or because they have at some point stumbled.  But babies, all babies, are a blessing.  And when parents (birth and adoptive) step up to BE the parents, how dare society judge that.

I want to say to every "baby mama" out there, every presumed loose woman who has a multitude of multiracial kids in tow whether via adoption, marriage, or moments of human frailty.. don't be afraid to stare the world back in the eye and be the mama (or daddy).  

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