Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Good cop/good kid

As a transracial family, we are aware that there are some topics and issues which some of our children will face that The Good Doctor and I have never had to face. I often turn to blogs and Facebook groups to help us navigate this world in which we find ourselves. Unfortunately, too many of these sources write from a place of bitterness, unforgiveness, and hatred. While we can certainly understand these feelings, I know for certain that no one can live a very fulfilling life when a person's life comes from those roots. We are thankful for friends and biological family members that can speak candidly with our children, sharing from their own experiences. We are also thankful that these friends and relatives can speak from a place of peace, joy, and contentment, despite the injustice and racism that they have experienced.

In the midst of posts and news reports of hatred and racism, I think it's important that we share positive experiences of acceptance, love, and community between races.

We live in a fairly white community. Our 14 year old son, from Kenya, had an interesting experience recently that not only renewed my feelings of trust in our local police department but also serves as an excellent example that even though the news may be mostly negative, when it comes down to it, the world really is filled with people of good intention and acceptance. It needs to be shared to remind us all that we can find good around us. And each of us needs to be reminded to treat others as we would want to be treated.

Shoun was riding his bike home from work last week and was startled to find himself being motioned over by a police officer parked on the side of the road in front of him. He lives a fairly sheltered life in our home, community, church, and schools and has so far been immune to racism. But we've talked about it, and older friends and relatives have told him their stories. He was so scared that he was still visibly shaking when he arrived home soon after.

Imagine his surprise when the officer, who is white, merely applauded him for wearing his bike helmet when legally Shoun did not need to do so at his age. The officer took down Shoun's address with the promise that he would return at some point to treat Shoun to Italian Ice at a local shop. Though shaken, Shoun relayed this story with a huge smile from ear to ear. Not only did the police officer keep his promise, but the owner of the shop provided coupons for the treat. And every time we ask Shoun to share his story with someone else, the smile comes back, even bigger than before.

I don't know if that police officer has any idea the impression he made on Shoun and on our whole family. He did something that he didn't have to do for a teen-ager, a teen-ager who fits the profile that on the news is too often at odds with the police. This officer went above and beyond in a simple yet profound statement of acceptance and community.

And since wearing a helmet is an argument we've had more than once in the four years Shoun has lived here, well, let's just say it was a win in the reinforcing parental values category, too.

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