So I need to take a moment to vent. Tensae takes dance class at our local park and rec center. She really likes it but I have to say I am having a difficult time with some of the parents, or I guess it s actually the grandmothers who I am having a hard time with. Last fall I show up for her first dance class with a new teacher. She is so excited and after she goes into class a particular gradmother sits down beside me and says "So __ was in kindergarten with your son and I don't remeber him having a sister. Are you foster parenting?" I say no. She then proceeds to inquire about my daughter so I go ahead and explain that yes we adopted her and where she is from. The lady proceeds so say "Well, isn't it nice that there are people willing to adopt THOSE children." My jaw proceeds to drop to the floor and then I am saved by a nice great grandmother sitting on the other side of me (who is parenting her bi-racial great grand daughter). This other grandma says "Well all children deserve a home." The subject is dropped and then the first grandmother proceeds to ask me more questions which leads to "So she is your first girl. You mean to tell me you had to go all the way across the world to get yourself a little girl." At that point I decided there was no point in even responding to this women and I have not spoke to her since then. I am pretty sure she was just being naive and realized after the fact that she way overstepped her boundaries. What concerned me the most is that I have since learned that this family attends a well known church in town that has several young families in process to adopt from Ethiopia. I hope that they will not encounter the same rude comments.
Then when I thought we were past the rough introductions to this group, just a few months ago I am sitting at the end of the benches and I overhear this from the second grandmother. "Is that other little girl back, oh there she is, I can't remember her name, the black skinned one, her hair is all frizzy today." Again I am sitting there in stunned silence. What shocked me this time is that this is coming from the great-grandmother of the little girl who is bi-racial. Now she is very light skinned so no one would know it, but some day that little girl is going to need to come to terms with her identity and who knows what she has heard at home! Thankfully amidst all of this my daughter has heard nothing and is oblivious to the rude comments. I hope to keep it this way as long as I can. I have been reading the book "I am Chocolate, Your Vanilla" and the well researched author reccomends shielding our children from racism and racial stereotypes for as long as we can. So I am now officially a momma bear on patrol! What matters to me is that she knows she is the most beautiful, smart and talented ballerina I have ever seen! And anyone seeing these pictures, I am sure would agree! My personal assessment of these grandmas: They are crazy and not worth anymore of my time! You keep dancing girl, momma has your back!