Thursday, August 19, 2010

Birmingham Alabama

So our only stop on the way to Tennessee - Smokies, was to a great blog friend- Erin & Keith McCoy! When we posted that we were going by them on the way...they e-mailed and offered to host our crazy family. Being that they were that brave- we GLADLY said YES! :)

We spent the evening with them talking, admiring their beautiful girls, and their hearts that have said yes to foster care. What a blessing to see them and have long chats about important matters such as family, foster care, adoption, and living for Christ! These are friends that are worth more than gold.
Since we were going to be in Birmingham....Jason suggested we go ahead and visit Kelly Ingram park. These are statues of real pictures of children- YES you read that right CHILDREN being hosed by fire department hoses! Tortured by dogs, and drug off to jail. 100's of children were put into the jails. In fact there were so many they put them in the jail yards because the buildings were overflowing. Can you imagine your child suffering in this way?
Can you imagine seeing your child in prison because they were marching for freedom. Because they have melanin in their skin? How could these things happen? WHY??? Talking about these things in our homeschool, with our children who have dark skin, talking openly about the hate that happened.....did NOT prepare my heart for this..........
How could anything so awful happen like this? My heart was torn to bits that day. We could not take any pictures of the Civil Rights Institute, but if you ever get a chance to go- DO IT!!!! It will change your heart in too many ways to describe. Even if you have read all about it, heard the stories, and seen a few movies. Even if you yourself have experienced hate- it will impact you!

This is a church - a place to worship God. A freedom we all take way too lightly these days. Except this church is across the street from the park and the Civil Rights Institute......this church is where 4 young girls were killed in a bombing. One was just a little older than Abigail. When she saw her picture in the institute.....she pointed that out. What do you say to that? Yes my sweet daughter there were people so hateful that they killed young beautiful girls your age.
A statue of Martin Luther King Jr. in the park......I have a dream......and seeing our nation working for that now.....makes my heart happy, and yet there is such a long way to go. People ask us a lot about transracial adoption. I have to say- that word irritates me. God only created humans. He did NOT create races.......He created variety, and we took that as something to segregate by. It is as ridiculous as saying that those with blonde hair are evil and those with dark hair are not. I think this could definitely be more posts to come about this later.......
Yes, look at this picture- put your children in this picture. In the jail.......without you......nasty conditions.......scared.......young......not being fed.........this could have been your children. Yet- they were brave. They wanted it soooo badly the children marched. How badly do you want it? Could you allow your children to march if they begged and pleaded and said I know we can make a change. We can make a difference? Would you let them go??? Then seeing them all hosed, attacked by dogs, and sent off to jail...... Again, having people ask - Is it fair to adopt children of a different skin color - won't they be mocked. Will you get stared at? Will they lose their heritage? Will people hate you? Sad that we have to ask those questions isn't it?
This young boy (yes this is taken from a real picture too!!!!! This could have been my Andrew, Joshua, or Matthew. I can't imagine the fear on their faces. I would want to wrap them in my arms and tell them it was all a bad dream. That there could never be that much hate in our society, and yet.....there was. You know it is interesting that so many say oh that is so great that you have taking in 8 children - great YES, but I don't know if they really mean it sometimes??
I am so THANKFUL for those who stood up....the many men, women, boys, girls, fathers, mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers, sisters, brothers.....who didn't stop when things were hard. When they were fired from jobs- "just because" they were standing up for their rights, that didn't ride the buses, that walked miles to schools that were in poor shape, that saw many many many hangings of friends & relatives. I am THANKFUL to all of those that have allowed me the sheer privilege of having our children. I am THANKFUL because even after experiencing the Civil Rights Institute I know I can never imagine what it was really like.....what they really sacrificed.....what really went it really was.......and how much it really hurt - night after night, day after day, year after year..........and even heart breaks as I know there are sooo many more with hate in their hearts.

I lift all of those wounds that are not healed yet up to our Heavenly Father who knows all, sees all, and loves all of us. Who is at work even today to heal and restore and rescue!!!!


  1. Wow. We stopped off at the zoo on the way home but didn't know about this park.

  2. wow...beautiful post..I can't wait to take my children there some day...amazing, kristi

  3. OMGoodness. I have never heard of this museum. WOW.
    I can imagine it would suck the breath out of me to see it.
    I take it so for granted that i was able to foster and then adopt my children, but if not for what those brave Americans did back then, I wouldn't have 5 of my children.
    Thank you for this post and for stopping by my blog tonite. Very nice to meet you :)

  4. thought provoking and heart-breaking. Can't you just see Jesus weeping over the injustice and inhumanity of His creations committing horrible acts against people who should have been welcomed as brothers and sisters?

  5. Man. Can't imagine seeing all that up close like that. So thankful for people who have fought for our children so long ago and those who continue to do so.

    By the way--you ever come through Va--We'd love to host you! :)

  6. Very powerful. My husband and I visited the National Underground Railroad Museum in Cincinnati earlier this year and came away changed. It really opened my eyes to the hatred that existed (still exists!) all because of skin color. What a sinful, fallen world we live completely different from the way God intended it to be. And I totally agree about disliking the term transracial - there is only one race, the human race. Thanks for sharing!

  7. My in-laws live north of Birmingham and they never have mentioned this before and I have never heard of it. We'll have to go next time we visit.
    You write beautifully Dawn, I love reading your posts!

  8. Amazing...Thank you for sharing this. I love how you always make me think. :) I never knew there was such a place. If I am ever in Alabama I may check it out. :)

  9. Wow, what an amazing exhibit to visit. Thank you for sharing, if we are ever in the area we'll have to go there.

  10. What a great place to visit and another great post by you.

  11. It so saddens me to think of this part of American history, but it's so important to remember and be thankful of the people who stood up and fought together to kill this type of hate, in law at leaste.

    Wonderful post.

  12. Ohhhhhh-- Wish I had known you were coming here!
    I would have loved to feed you lunch ans meet you all.....but I was in China anyway.
    Let me know when your out this way again!