My youngest daughter had a recent encounter that has compelled me to write about. Here’s the cliff notes version of what happened: We were at a local high school football game. She was playing with her friend under the bleachers where the other kids play. When we were about to leave we noticed that she was surrounded by older kids from a neighboring school and what seemed to be innocent was not at all. They had surrounded her and her friend and were saying mean things to them and not allowing them to leave. When we approached and said it was time to go – the older children scattered like ants (so we knew there was something fishy) I am not certain what transpired before we walked upon it – what I do know is what my daughter reported that those kids were saying to her and her friend. One statement in particular struck me to my core, so much that it has prompted this post. They told them “If you were adopted I bet your parents would want to return you to the adoption center”. Now…. I am certain that none of those children knew Mia was adopted. However, they weren’t teasing her because she was adopted or they even suspected that she was… they were using the “adoption dig” as something just plain mean and degrading to another child regardless.
Please teach your children to be kind. Raise them so that when they are away from you and your watchful eyes that they will always do and say the right thing. Be an example of kindness as well, in your home and your community – your kids are watching you. Kindness is easy. Teach your children Adoption is beautiful and should never be looked at as though it is a “bad” or something to be ostracized or used to ridicule someone.
If you are reading this take time today to have a conversation with your children about kindness and the beauty in all people.
For me, this was the first time that I had to admit that my children just may be targets of prejudice and hateful things that are said and done because they are different. A worry that no mom should have to carry with her.
I am thankful that we attend a school that has some diversity in its student body and teaches kindness and recognizes the beauty in being different. Being a part of this school for 14 years I know that those qualities are embraced and supported throughout the school and it shows in the student body. The world however hasn’t come that far yet. So please do your part…