Are you my mother?

I took my 3-year-old to story time at our local library this morning, and as expected with Mother’s Day approaching, the librarian read stories about kids and their moms. It was a sweet time for Wesley and me as he snuggled up close and we listened to the stories together. At least for a little while.

After a few stories, I began to shift uncomfortably on my carpeted seat in the small amphitheater. All the stories seemed to be about kids (or animals) who are searching for their mothers. And just like in P.D. Eastman’s classic Are You My Motherthe little one finally finds someone who looks like him and rejoices that he has finally found his mother.

Sweet stories. Until someone is calling you mama who looks nothing like you.

ImageWhat do you do then? Avoid all the books about searching for mothers and steer clear of those which celebrate family likenesses? I tend to do this, but I’m not sure it’s the best way.

As I looked down at that adorable dark, curly head I found myself feeling about a hundred things at one time. Hope that Wesley will never feel uncomfortable calling me mama even though my skin is lighter than his. Fear that he will be confused about who he is because most of the kids and mommies around him “match.” A little anxiety about the day when he might express interest in searching for his birth mom.

But mostly I just felt… grateful. So, so grateful that God called me to be Wesley’s mom. Awed that racial reconciliation is beautifully possible through the gospel. Privileged to be called to such a task.

As I hugged Wesley closer to my side this morning, I decided against the avoidance strategy. Instead, I decided to embrace it all… everything that goes along with transracial adoption: the difficult questions, the curious strangers, and the less-than-stellar children’s books. We’ll face each of those things together, side by side, as mother and son.

And if he ever wakes up one day and asks me, “Are you my mother?” I will pull him close and say with gratitude, joy, and wonder, “By God’s grace, YES!!”

I love children’s books and am always on the lookout for books and stories that include multi-racial children and families. I’ve decided to start a list of these here on the blog. Feel free to pass on this list to any other multi-racial families you know. And if you have any book suggestions to add, please leave a comment and let me know!


10 thoughts on “Are you my mother?

  1. Lindsay,
    Such a beautiful message. I am so glad that you were called to be Wesley’s mom…and what a witness you are and such an example to all who encounter your beautiful family!
    ❤ you!

  2. I was showing my mom this post and she said that you could write one of those books. Now there’s an idea…

  3. Lindsay, I came across your blog post by “a friend of a friend….”, but I’m so glad I did! I have enjoyed your dancing at several Trinity Arts programs and now I see that you are a fellow adoptive parent! I have two beautiful daughters from China and I also have experienced the feelings you had at the library that day. How beautifully you expressed everything! I wanted to suggest a wonderful book for young children – “A Mother for Choco” by Keiko Kasza. It does start out typically with Choco searching for his mother and everyone suggesting that he look for those with features like himself. However, the mother that welcomes him into her family looks nothing like him and neither do any of her children. It’s a sweet book, very easy to read and both my girls love it! Congratulations on your adoption!

    • Thank you for that suggestion, Donna! I now have it on my wish list. 🙂 So glad to hear that you have enjoyed the TAC performances as well as my little blog here. I’d love to meet you and your girls sometime! Blessings to you and your family!


  4. I so agree….YOU should write a beautiful children’s book about a multi-racial family!! I could hook you up with my friend Lois Sprague, an amazing & kinda famous-ish children’s book illustrator….

    Watching your lives -reading your words – continues to inspire me, my friend!

  5. I stumbled upon your blog today and feel moved by your words. I am a previous foster child, and my husband and I were foster parents for awhile and have two little ones (one is a previous foster daughter — age 11– who’s mother graciously “shares” her with us after all these years) and the other is almost 4 — who we adopted. Both are of different cultures than we are and I often see the curious glances and puzzled expressions (like yesterday at the airport when I returned home from a business trip and they flew into my arms calling out, “Mooommmmy!” It was a precious “mommy” moment but could I sense what others were thinking by their curious glances at the kids and then at my husband and me (very blond parents). I know the questions will come up for our little guy, but I don’t mind. I just simply say, “God chose you for us and us for you. Adoption is “Family grown in the heart.” Your children (and your new little foster boy) are blessed to have you.

    • Thank you for the encouragement, Trish. And I’m also glad to have found your blog! Your writing about foster care both saddens me and gives me hope for the difference the gospel can make in hurting child’s life. Thank you for your honesty!

      • Thank you for your sweet and kind words. God has given me this story to share with others, and I pray that at least one person may find a blessing in it.

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