I recently finished reading Black Baby White Hands by Jaiya John. He is an African-American male who was adopted as an infant by a white couple. He has three white siblings, the biological children of his adoptive parents (one older, two younger) and another African-American adopted brother.
As a child, his family never discussed race. He says that this lack of conversation, the failure to state explicitly what was implicit in the family dynamic, was not "color-blindness" but rather a refusal to acknowledge an important part of him.
I confess that I was troubled by some of what he wrote. I felt often that he was looking for proof that people were racist and therefore finding racism where there was none. Nevertheless, it made me think and challenged my assumptions.
And, to some extent, it challenges a fundamental tenet of Judaism: that once a person has converted, you are not supposed to mention the conversion. Considering conversion metaphorically (that is, not that adoption equals/requires/implies conversion) conversion and adoption are both versions of joining a family). This would indicate that what is significant is one's membership in a family, not the method by which one joined the family. However, John's experience counters this.
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