We were eating muffins at a cafe this morning when a guy approached us, held out his phone, and asked us what colors we saw.
“Um…gold and white?”
He replied, “No way! No! It’s black and blue!” He walked away laughing; we sat there stumped.
We thought he was just a weirdo until Evan came home from school and showed me the same picture and asked the same question.
Apparently, this silly picture has nearly broken the Internet since yesterday. In 6 hours alone, this picture of a dress got over 16 million hits all from people arguing over what colors it is. Our own family has been duking it out this afternoon.
Experience is reality. When we see gold and white, it’s gold and white; anything else couldn’t possibly be. It doesn’t matter that the person next to us swears it’s black and blue. We just tell her she’s wrong and roll our eyes when she tries to tell us the same thing.
So, what color is adoption?
The black and blue abounds. Hearts spill out via words on screens about the emotional cost, the trauma, the brokenness, the loss, the hurt, the hard starts that beget more hard. I’ve read them; I’ve wrote them. And, I confess that when I have been focused on the black and blue, it’s pretty hard to see any other colors. There may have been glimpses of gold and white; a change in color for just a moment that caught my eye. But, moments later, I talked myself out of it. No, I was wrong. It’s really black and blue. I must have been seeing things.
8 years into our adoption journey. 5 years into parenting a child who joined our family through adoption. 4 years into ministering to other families built via adoption. I know the black and blue; the black and blue is real and on some days seems like it can be tangibly felt. But, I know the gold and white better. And, I’ve seen how the gold and white is fully able to overcome the black and blue.
Adoption is family. It’s redemption in loss. Adoption is hope despite the unknown. Adoption is connection and relationship. It is courage and resilience. It’s beauty so intense it can be tangibly felt and breathed in. It’s power to overcome. Adoption is delighting in each other. It’s being intentional to focus on the gold and white even in the midst of black and blue.
It’s amazing. life changing. an opportunity for healing. a blessing.
It’s everyday. It’s life.
What color is adoption?
It’s gold and black, white and blue, and every shade in between. Don’t even try to convince me of anything different.
Kelly has a passion for supporting adoptive families, specifically to encourage parents to be intentional and understand their own hearts more clearly as they seek to care for their hearts of their children. Kelly cofounded The Sparrow Fund with her husband Mark in 2011 to serve adoptive families. After a long time using her Master’s degree in counseling informally, Kelly recently joined the team at the Attachment & Bonding Center of PA as a cotherapist. Married to Mark since 1998, they have 3 biological children and 1 daughter who was adopted as a toddler from China in 2010. You can learn more about their adoption story, how they’ve been changed by the experience of adoption, and what life for them looks like on Kelly’s personal blog, My Overthinking.