When Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the Supreme Court, those persons in support of her nomination have suggested that one of the reasons she should be given a lifetime appointment on the highest court of the land is that she has seven kids. According to Senator Thom Tillis, Barrett is “a remarkable mother” with “seven beautiful children,” “She and her husband have seven children,” Senator Lindsey Graham said in his opening remarks, in case anyone hadn’t heard, before giving her two more. “She and her husband have seven children. Two adopted. Two of Ms Barrett’s children are Haitian adopted. Why is it necessary for anyone to single out the two adopted children? Because they are Black children.
Barrett said her daughter Vivian who came to them from Haiti, when she arrived was so weak that they were told she might never talk or walk normally. But now she deadlifts as much as the male athletes at their gym, and I assure anyone listening that she has no trouble talking. And John Peter who joined them shortly after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, described the shock on his face when he got off the plane in wintertime Chicago. Stating once the shock wore off he assumed the happy-go-lucky attitude that is his signature trait. Barrett also shared intellectual traits of her birth children, such as law career minded, loves liberal arts, math gene, smart, strong, kind, and writer.
It is an insult to our intelligence to think that we did not notice the stark difference in how Barret affectionately describes some of her children. Vivian and John Peter we see you. You are smart, strong, determined, gifted and Black! There are families all around the world who adopt children transracially and internationally that do not feel the need to clarify their adopted children.
Today we offer a scripture and Prayer for the gifted children of adoptions.
Romans 8:14-19 (NRSV)
14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 it is that very Spirit bearing witness] with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
Let us Pray:
Mothering God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, we thank you for the spirit of adoption and for all who bring children into their homes as their own. We ask your blessings of protection and inclusion for all your children. We honor the birth parents and pray for their well being.
Lord, I play the words over and over in my head and I ache for the children sitting under the sound of their mother’s voice. Give the parents new ways to describe their gotcha children. Words that speak life and blessings. Words that affirm and inspire them to be their best selves.
Lord, we also ask that your Spirit moves parents who bring Black Indigenous Children of Color into their homes that they would read and seek out information that shapes their understanding on racial disparities and the challenges that impact the lives of Black and Brown people.
Oh God, give courage to transracial families to advocate with boldness for equity and inclusion.
Lord, you created us all in your likeness. And knowledge and understanding comes from you. Move us towards your light and love that we might truly become the children of God, caring and loving all of your creation. In your name we pray.
Rev. Babette Chatman