Thursday, July 09, 2009

4th of July 2009

Around here, we have some deep thoughts about the 4th of July. I've posted a tiny bit of them before --- like last year, and the year before. This year what I'm thinking about most, especially as I look through the photos we took over our 4th holiday and reflect upon what they portray, is the concept of "Americana" or "All American." The photos of our 4th of July festivities actually do it justice --- it was pretty close to Norman Rockwell. It was pretty darn near perfectly idealistically glossy cheery red-white-and-blue All-Americana. Except one thing: the obvious-- we are a Haitian-American/black-white/bi-racial/mixed-race/blended/however-you-want-to-call-it family. We're as white-as-white-and-black-as-black can be. And we have a lot of friends who don't look the part of "Americana"/Lilly White families either. In 2005 we immigrated two Haitian orphans. And we've fundamentally changed as a result. We'll never be able to ride on pure privilege again. We'll never look the part of the Norman Rockwell paintings. Our boys-- as "All American Boy" as they are-- will always defy the stereotype of the "All American Boy." We'll never just slip by unnoticed at the Bucks County Pennsylvania 4th of July celebration (or pretty much any other celebration in the country). And you know what? I am so proud of that. I am so very, very proud of that. We fully embrace that we defy the stereotypes. We wouldn't want it any other way. It isn't easy. It is actually really hard. But it is worth every second for the richness, the fullness, the depth that is our day-to-day engagement with the celebration of life. We had a really good 4th of July. I can't imagine it any better. And each year our appreciation for what we've been able to be, as citizens of this country, grows deeper. Photos of two of the major highlights below. And for a whole slew of photos, click here.


Megan said...

Hi! Found your blog while doing a search of white parents, black children. My husband and I are just starting the process to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo. I have really loved reading your story over the last few months. It is great to see how other multi-cultural families are thriving! Thanks for sharing!

Wendy Huning said...

I'm an American living in Italy, my husband is Italian and our son is adopted from Mali. When we were leaving Mali after the adoption, and had to give our passports to the Malian officer, I was so proud to see those 3 passports in his hands - a Malian passport, a U.S. passport and an Italian one. The officer said, in French - "a family from 3 continents, how wonderful!" and I felt - and continue to feel - such deep gratefulness for being able to span those borders and create a family. And I am also very proud of all three of us for doing what it takes to be that family.
Thanks again, for all your sharing.