Story 20/24: Until I brought my son, Nathan, home from the hospital, I didn’t realize how monochromatic my world was. As Nate grew older, his skin color got darker and darker, and the difference between his skin compared with his dad’s, his sister’s, and mine got more obvious.
One year my parents bought us a Christmas gift of four carolers; a mother, a father, a sister, and a brother—all decked out in Dickenson attired and all super Caucasian. My parents meant nothing by it, other than it was Christmas and it was a family of four—but it wasn’t what my family of four looked like. So I took some acrylic paint, something that resembled gorgeous dark chocolate, and fixed the family.
Another year, some friends of ours were living in Brazil. They knew we had adopted an African American child and came across a Nativity scene they felt we needed to have.
In the scene, all the wise men, the Shepard, the Angle, Joseph, Mary, and the baby Jesus have darker skin, black hair, and big beautiful lips. They look like miniature Nathans! They were right, we needed that Nativity! It’s our Nate-tivy, and we put it out, front and center, every Christmas.
I admit I’m more sensitive about Nate fitting in than he is—which I’m glad about. However, if there is anything I can do to make him feel that he belongs to me and I belong to him, I’ll do it!