If you want this caption to make sense, take a gander at yesterday’s post first. If you just want to look at this masterpiece of a home by @ozarchitects and ignore this caption; I get it, I can be a bit long-winded.

One day, Mrs. Lusk announced that we had a surprise Show&Tell with a special guest. She asked us to sit on the “sharing” carpet and TA DA! In walks my Mom with my baby brother to talk to us about biracial families, racism, adoption, and other heady topics that my Mother delivered in her straight to the point, tell it like it is, no sugar-coating this shit, kind of way. My classmates had a million questions! I was horrified. I never even looked up. I sat with my head in my lap which felt as heavy as a giant boulder.

My siblings and I were not so gently taught by our parents to not become or tolerate racists. We had plenty of situations to practice this mandate. A Dad I babysat for asked about my Black brother and if I felt safe at home. Classmates at school asked me why a Black boy was living at my house. So many questions! Curiosity maybe, but I could feel the judgement. We knew Black families too and I felt their disapproval as well—a White family isn’t supposed to adopt a Black child. But my parents did and our family is better off for it—we are loving and close and, of course, like all families, it’s complicated.

It has not been easy for my Black brother. He was abandoned by his birth parents, put in foster care, and adopted into a White family. He suffers from dyslexia, he’s been to rehab for drug abuse, and has made choices that combined with racial profiling and a very broken system have landed him in jail—not just a couple nights—months in lockdown far away from home. I can’t look at him and say, hey buddy, you had the same childhood that I had. His experience has been entirely different. And I haven’t always been sensitive to that.

Thankfully, my brother is doing well. He’s the executive chef at a restaurant, has two beautiful daughters and a grandson, and he has the love of an extraordinarily smart and kind woman. And he has us; his loud, obnoxious, and loving family. Couldn’t be more proud of that kid. 📸 by @lisaromerein