50 Years.

All photos on this blog are courtesy of a Nikon D3100 camera that has been gifted to the FullPlateFamily in exchange for photo credits and user reviews of accessories.  I have always used a Nikon camera, but never properly.  Thanks to some really great upgrades and proper instruction, my pictures are so much more crisp and I can capture my baby’s faces so much better, before they are no longer babies.  

Hi Kids!  
I haven’t written directly to you in awhile.  Life keeps us busy.  I try to write about the momentous events in our lives, about our take on current affairs, about where we were, and what we were doing when really important things happened.  Today is one of those important days.  
50 years ago today this man, who I am proud to say all of you recognize on sight (well, maybe not the Diva, she plays the “I don’t know” card a lot when things don’t directly relate to My Little Pony or LaLaPoopsy, M-M’s name, not mine), stood in front of a crowd of approximately 250,000 people and gave a speech about his hopes and dreams for race relations and tolerance in the future.   

Kids, in some ways things have changed so much, and in some ways, they haven’t changed at all.  This week has been fraught with reminders of how far we have to go.  We traveled north last weekend.  North for us means entering rural, white territory.  Your dad and I, ironically, had a discussion as we drove down the highway toward our destination about whether or not taking our large, rather distinctive family to these places is worth it anymore.  
We question it because of the ignorance we encounter.  
This is ignorance is largely based on how we look in comparison to how you look.  A couple that looks like this, who met in high school, fell in love, went to college, got married and wanted a family….
FPD and I at age 19 and 20
Is now raising children that look like this…
and this…
And, we’re raising EIGHT of them.  
People don’t get it.  So, they look for what must be wrong with us.  Because there are so many of you, you must be ill-behaved and have really poor manners.  Because some of you are African-American, you must have been born drug addicted and be developmentally delayed.  Because some of you are Chinese, you must be off the charts intelligent, especially when it comes to math.  Because FPD and I have so many kids we must either be “Jesus freaks”, “compulsive child hoarders” or doing this for the large paycheck that accompanies being foster parents.  
We know that none of you have poor manners, none of you were born drug addicted, the only child that’s delayed is our Asian one (and only because she has lingering effects from living so long in an orphanage), that FPD aren’t “freaks”, can’t “hoard” people, and do not now, and have never, received a check for caring for any of you because we were never anything but your family.  
People still judge based on the color of our skin.  It hurts me, more than anything, that this is the world I’m sending you out into.  I’m so sorry.  If I could take it all away, I would.  There are only small things I can do though.  I can write this blog so that people understand us, and you, better.  I can continue to speak up.  I can keep fighting for us, even on weeks like this, when it all feels so hopeless.    
So, that’s what I’ll do.  
Someday, I hope you’ll read this with disbelief and wonderment because we’re past all this and you live in a world where the only thing you’re ever judged on is the content of your character.  
All my love,
Mom

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