Out of the Mouths of Babes

It was a Saturday morning.  I was getting ready for my appointment;  she had been snuggling with me in bed earlier and was now joining me in the bathroom as I was putting on my makeup.

She held up the thick brush and with pleading eyes she asked if she could put on some blush. 

It was Saturday, so I nodded and continued on with my eye shadow. 

She brushed with enthusiasm and her little cheeks grew pinker and pinker and she brushed and swirled the blush on her small little face.  She kept chatting and I kept attempting something new with my eye lids.

“Ann’s skin is so beautiful, Mom. Did you notice how pretty her skin was when you saw her at my school?”
I nodded my head and gave some small agreement.  I remembered Ann.  She was the friend that shared her name.

“And my other friend’s skin is pretty too.  So pretty.” 

I decided to enter into this conversation with some motherly words of wisdom, “ Anna, your skin is beautiful. You have very beautiful skin.”  

“But Ann doesn’t need makeup.  I will – just like you.  I have white skin, but Ann has brown skin.  I wish my skin was dark like Ann’s. Don’t you think that black people and brown people have the most beautiful skin in the whole world?”

It was then that I realized what she was comparing –  and indeed she was correct – both of her friends had beautiful brown skin.  I agreed, “Yes Anna, dark skin is absolutely beautiful.  Sometimes when I see their skin I just want to touch it because it looks so smooth.  I think you are right, black and brown people have the most beautiful skin.”        

We stood there for a few moments in silence. I assumed the conversation was done.   She was still swirling and I was still working with the mascara brush.  Suddenly her voice was tense and her words were laced with fear and concern.  There was panic in her little voice when the words came tumbling out, “Would you have adopted me if I had been black?”

 The words hung thick in the air. 

The week she came to live with us. 

As soon as her terrifying words were said, deep sadness filled my heart.  Even the question of us not choosing her as our own caused my heart to skip a beat.  Just the thought of her not being mine caused me to feel like a part of me ceased to exist.  I immediately stopped what I was doing and leaned down close and met her gaze. I looked straight into her big beautiful brown eyes. 

“Yes, Anna.  We would have adopted you if you were black. We didn’t adopt you because of the color of your skin.  We adopted you because we wanted you.    We loved *you* – not the color of your skin.”   

“Oh good!” I could hear the relief in her voice.  “I wish I had black skin; but I’m so glad I have you as my Mom; and if I was black I would still want you to be my Mom.     She continued to talk about how when she is a teenager she will need to have extra time in the bathroom in the mornings when she is old enough to wear makeup.    I assured her that we will be able to accommodate that when the time comes. 

 Sometimes the most profound conversations happen when you least expect them; this one reminded me how all of us are the same.  Regardless of skin color – we all are people needing to be loved and accepted.  Had Anna been black or brown or white she was a little baby in need of a family to love her and care for her.  I am so glad God brought her to us.  I cannot imagine our lives without her. 

Jesus loves the little children
 All the children of the world
Red and Yellow, Black and White
They are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world. 

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