Never think you completely know yourself.

MarilynBeads

To become a licensed fostercare parent in the state of North Carolina you have to go through a series of steps. 1st step is the information meeting, 2nd step is a preliminary application and background check. 3rd step is 30hrs of MAPP (foster parenting) training.  For us, this has meant 5 Saturdays, 9:30-3:30.  We are now more than 1/2 way through our training. Our class is full of a diverse group of people; single, married, different races, ages, male, female, rich and poor. One thing unites us all…our desire to give a child safe landing place for awhile, or forever.  We have learned all about the ‘worst case scenarios’, and we have had about 20% of our class drop out so far. One of the goals of MAPP training is to help us develop a profile of the type of children that would do best in our specific home.  One thing to consider is how well we can parent a child of a different race.  I have always considered my life, and how I live it full of diversity. After all, my husband is French-Puerto Rican and my children are Guatemalan. It was eye-opening to discover how non-diverse my life really is.

The Exercise

Everyone was given a small cup of beads. There were 5 different colors of beads in each cup.

  • Gold: Latino/Hispanic
  • White: Caucasian
  • Black: African-American
  • Yellow: Asian
  • Red: Native American or Middle Eastern

Next step is to answer the following questions, and place a bead in another cup to represent the following:

  • Yourself
  • Your Spouse
  • Your Best-Friend
  • Majority of immediate family
  • Your hairdresser
  • Your neighborhood
  • Your teachers in high school
  • The music you listen to
  • Authors you read
  • Movies you watch
  • TV shows you watch

I was surprised when my cup was mostly white.  It wasn’t all white, but mostly.  The question the trainer had us ask ourselves was “How comfortable will a child of a different race feel in our home?”.

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