“I wish it was as simple as LOVE ONE ANOTHER!
I have four daughters. My third daughter was adopted and within a few months, I was pregnant with my fourth – a girl, of course. I always dreamed of girls and wasn’t sure I would know what to do with boys. I have four brothers so I’m sure I would have figured it out.
In these times of sadness and heartbreak, I am reminded my daughter’s skin isn’t just a beautiful color of brown but that because of the color of her skin, she may not be as safe as I am in certain situations.
When she was put into my arms almost 23 years ago, the only thing I saw was a beautiful baby with huge eyes and the longest eyelashes I had ever seen. I also felt my heart make room for my third child – she was mine.
Over the years, I watched a little girl in ballet class. I listened as she discovered her love of music and singing. I watched as she matured with love and kindness as a church camp counselor over a few summers. And I have savored the blessings she brings into my life. She is a sister, a niece, a cousin, a granddaughter, my daughter, and so much more. But this week I saw her color, too. But in our family she is not alone. We are a family of many colors.
When I was growing up, my parents adopted four of the six of their children. We always knew some of us were adopted but it never mattered – we were all their children.
In 1974, the sermon at our church was about sending money to help support Asian children in Vietnam. At our Sunday lunch around the table at home that afternoon, Mom and Dad started a conversation about adoption. They didn’t want to donate money with a chance it wouldn’t be used to help those in need. Instead, they knew they had a home and a heart to make another child their own. And the process began…
It took almost a year, but the day finally came for our family to grow. Not by one, but by two. In 1975, my two brothers arrived from Vietnam. They had the same Vietnamese mother and different American fathers. Their skin color was different than ours. It made no difference to us, but understood it might to some. Even in 1975, we thought we were moving forward and the line between black and white was on its way to being part of our past history. I don’t think any of us would have believed at the time that in 2020, the color of their skin might still matter.
It is now 45 years after my brothers completed our family and 23 years since my daughter completed mine. We are in the 21st Century, but we are still faced with a reality that although they may have survived so far, that does not mean they are safe. We do not have a rear view mirror to see how black lives had to fear for their lives from police who should have been protecting them because it continues to be in front of us. We can’t talk about police violence towards black people in past tense. We can’t tell our children about how far we have come. Black men cannot walk out their door and assume they are safe. Mothers and fathers cannot stop worrying because they know their child may never come home again.
I have a daughter and two brothers who have a skin color that may not keep them safe. A safe I have been handed by the color of my skin at my birth. It is hard to grasp that in 2020 we still need to remind people that BLACK LIVES MATTER. It is so sad we have not come further than this.
It is time! It is time for protests, for gatherings. It is time to be heard. It is time to say enough is enough. Only when we come together can we make it end so we as human beings can move forward in peace and protection for all, and mother’s cries will finally be silenced.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Becky Gacono, 57, of Pennsylvania. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.
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