Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a day.

A little over ten years ago I was deemed unsuitable as a partner for P due to my race. Needless to say we were both shocked upon hearing this and it is still a source of pain so many years later. I admit that I can think of a laundry list of reasons why I might not be considered suitable (and vice versa), but race? We knew early in our relationship that we wanted children and well, I can't change (nor would ever want to) where the stork dropped me off so this was a source of concern for us.

Two years ago I was denied a job blatantly based on my race. This led to the realization that there was no way we could raise Baby S in the area where we lived. We had moved there due to P's studies and I hated every single day of the wasted decade I spent in that hell hole. Why stay? JJ liked the area, and for some reason I cannot understand it comes as a shock to people that he is not Caucasian. Must be the pasty appearance he acquired from lack of sunlight (kidding JJ). Coupled with P's last name, well it has made it easier. I recalled looking at a speeding ticket he received a few years ago and under race the officer wrote W. Huh? My kid?

During our wait for Baby S we discussed the repercussions of our baby daughter coming into an already diverse family. There was never a doubt in my mind that I would love her the same as I loved JJ. However, when the race issue would worm its way into our lives, I could not help but worry about her. P never wavered and pointed out that I did not have an issue, he didn't and JJ certainly could not care less. P made it clear from the beginning that a domestic or an European adoption were NOT options for him. We are a racially mixed family and Number 2 (how we referred to Baby S before P named her) would reflect that fact. I still worried, because while P might be color blind, society is not and I was painfully aware of what my children might encounter. When we were informed that Baby S is from the Yi minority group, P and I were not surprised. This child belongs with us, this tidbit was just icing on an already delicious cake.

I do want to note that JJ was well received by his girlfriend's family and his race has never been an issue.

I'm not a political person although I have voted in every election since my 18th birthday. I just choose not to discuss politics and do not get all worked up over things. P is more outspoken than I, listens to talk radio (gag me) and enjoys talking politics. One of the biggest arguments we have had involved voting. I had worked a wicked week with way too much overtime and we were babysitting two amazing but very energetic children overnight. I was beat and P just kept nagging me about voting and quizzing me on the propositions. It is the first time I seriously considered not voting. What freaking difference does it make? In our case, P is probably alive today because I voted. Had I stayed home, I would have ripped his heart out with my bare hands. ;)

P was understandably surprised when I told him back in November that it was important to me that Baby S voted with me. I told him that we could take turns voting with her, but as women and racial minorities, it is something I had to do. I knew it was a symbolic gesture that she would not remember and I'm not that sure how much it will matter to her in the future. Luckily for us, we got the only electronic booth in our voting place. Baby S's first vote was on Proposition 8; as I guided her tiny index finger to the screen, I told her that I will always be proud of her and her brother and that I want them (if they choose that path) to marry the person who makes them happy regardless of gender or race.

That night, when 0b@ma was confirmed as president elect, we were watching with Baby S. For the first time I felt, I don't know, different, it mattered. We texted JJ, told Baby S and got her on video attempting to say 0b@ma. We held each other and cuddled Baby S, and I found myself teary eyed. It mattered because of our children and their future. JJ and Baby S, aim high, dream big, work harder, there is one less obstacle in your way. I'm not foolish enough to think race is no longer an issue, but watching the inauguration today (a first for me) with so many beautiful different looking faces made me feel good.

All that being said, how cute is 0b@ama's niece? You have to be darn cute to upstage B0no. Her mother, 0bama's sister is Caucasian and Indonesian, and her father is Malaysian and Chinese. How's that for diverse?

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