So the conversations about color have continued...
A couple of weeks ago, Nate and I were in Target and a number of the employees were black. As we walked out of the store, Nate was telling me about how he had seen a bunch of black people and here is how our conversation went...
"Hey Nate, do you think that those men knew that you are black?"
"Even though your mommy is white?"
"Yeah, I think so."
"Do you think that any of them have white mommies?"
"Yeah." [big pause] "But I think most of them have black mommies and daddies."
I was pretty impressed by this. The fact that he understands that most black children would have black parents when he doesn't. I hadn't expected him to understand that.
And then I had Matthias last week...
Lucy came up to me in the hospital and said, "Huh. I thought he was going to be brown." So much for all those conversations we had had!!
But Nate has taken things in a completely different direction. He didn't expect Matthias to be brown, but the other day, I was talking to him about his brother and it went like this...
"Isn't your brother so cute?"
"Yeah, but I wish he was brown."
"You do? Do you wish you had a brother or sister that was brown like you."
"Yeah, but Lydia will be brown when we adopt her from Rwanda!"
Lydia. This is what Nate is focused on right now. Don't get me wrong, he is thrilled with his baby brother, but 9 times out of 10, if you asked him about his new baby brother, he is going to mention something about Lydia. (And monster trucks, but whatever.)
Now, we have spoken about Lydia a lot over the years. The kids all know that we have every intention of trying to adopt a little girl from Rwanda when it reopens. We have spoken about her as a part of our family FOR YEARS, just as we did Matthias. (Only God knew he would join our family the way he did!) And yet, it wasn't until we had Matthias in our arms that Nate started talking about her. And he talks about her constantly. It seems as though she all of a sudden became really important to him and he is continually checking in to make sure that we don't forget about her. Lydia, his brown sister.
We have tried to remind the kids to just enjoy the fact that God has given us Matthias for right now, to not focus so much on what He has not given us. But the reality is that I think having Matthias has only heightened it for us all, this sense that we are so much closer to completing our family. That all but one of the stockings will be hung up this year. It feels so close one day and so impossible the next.
The truth is that I have no idea if we will be able to adopt again, but oh how we have been hoping and praying. And now, with Nate's new focus on his "brown sister", well, I am finding myself on my knees even more. It was something that I have always felt would be important for him, to have a sibling that understood what is was to be black in a white family, to be adopted, to share this common beginning...but now I'm beginning to think that even at 4 years old, it is also important to him. And that changes things in a way. I have to fight a new sense of urgency that is creeping up in my heart and just take it to God, which I have always done, but now I do so knowing that there is a little brown boy there beside me asking for the same thing.