We always knew, when we adopted CJ & Mia, that race would be something we would discuss. Explaining that there was absolutely no difference between us due to the color of our skin, just seems like a no-brainer.

An added wrinkle came along last year. One that wasn’t supposed to happen. Melody gave birth to Ollie. While everyone sees only the blessing, they might not realize the possible strain this can put on our older two. The simple fact is, Ollie looks like us. Children, visual creatures that they are, draw conclusions based on that simple fact. We spent Melody’s entire pregnancy re-iterating to them, “even though Ollie is being born, we love you just as much as if YOU came from Mom’s belly.” We told them constantly. So much they finished the sentence for us towards the end of those 10 months (9 months is just a lie they tell you, to get you through that last one).

Even so, there was a point, after Ollie was born, when I asked CJ if he thought I loved Ollie more than him. He said, “yes.” Now, this probably had a bit to do with him being in trouble at some point, or the fact that he is SO melodramatic, but I wasn’t sure that was all of it. I think there is a sliver of doubt in him, (and probably ALL adopted children), that you are going to love your birth children more than them. I wish he understood this just isn’t true. Heck, at this point, Ollie is a distant third in my ‘LIKE’ department, as lately he’s screaming his head off for no apparent reason. It’s nearing the point where I couldn’t like him LESS.

As far as I’m concerned, CJ IS my first born. I truly feel that way in my heart, and try to treat him as such. He was recently reading his comic Bible, (you can check it out here, it’s awesome), and he asked me what a birthright is – and why Esau lost his to Jacob.

I explained that in many cultures the first born receives all the power and wealth of the father. And in many cases, with him being adopted, Ollie would have ‘stolen’ his birthright from him. After detailing the fact that I had little to leave him, I let him know that I wouldn’t have handled it this way. Implicitly, I told him, I consider HIM my first son. If I were King, I’d write an edict that he be given full rights as such.

This seemed to set his mind at ease, at least for the time being. As Ollie is just an infant, we spend many hours holding him. Giving him body contact out of necessity. I try to make sure I do the same with CJ and Mia. All kids crave, and DESERVE, physical touch from their parent. It’s just another chance to tell them you love them. Another opportunity to say, “you’re important to me.”

Do you want to prove that color/race/gender doesn’t matter in your love for someone? Reach out and hug them. It will go a lot further than words. Of course telling them so, helps a lot too. Their true birthright is no different than yours – a creation of the Divine. A creature made to travel this earth in love and worship. Treat them as such.