White Parents, Black Children, Humility Required
Even in today’s allegedly “post racial” America, it seems there are still problems when white parents adopt black children. The child can feel marginalized in a world where he or she is the only African American around, and living with that feeling every day can lead to mental and even physical health problems.
White parents who adopt black children should be prepared to immerse themselves in black culture, by surrounding themselves with black friends and neighbors. Then their child will be able to feel like a normal person, instead of the odd one out. At least this is the theory of Darron T. Smith and Cardell Jacobson, authors of White Parents, Black Children: Experiencing Transracial Adoption.
Their approach does make sense, but we have one additional observation.
In the UPI article linked above, Smith is quoted as saying, “It’s never a question of love. The issue is, can white parents sufficiently humble themselves and do better socially and culturally for their adopted children?” But this comment betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of love and parenting.
If Smith is correct and love is not an issue, then it follows that humility will not be an issue, either. Genuine love is always humble, as the apostle Paul so beautifully explained:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Any parents who consider it a burden to move their child to a better environment clearly do not truly love their child. Conversely, any parents who truly love their child would never consider it a hardship to make such a move.
Perhaps there is a need to better educate white parents in this situation. Perhaps there is a need to help them move more easily into a mixed race world. Perhaps the African Americans around them could extend a hand. But genuine love and true humility are inseparable. So if there is a problem here, and if it’s really true that love is not the issue, then we should look for something other than an increase in humility to meet the challenge.