"Survivor" of the fittest

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Guest blog--Dr. Georgia Purdom, AiG speaker and researcher.

Another interesting TV show this season is the latest installment in the “Survivor” series on CBS. This one subtitled “Cook Islands” has an interesting twist. The teams were initially divided into tribes on the basis of “ethnicity” (the CBS website for the show seems to avoid the controversial term race): Asian-American, Caucasian, Latino, and African-American. Here are some memorable quotes from the first episode:

“I’m a little worried that it might play out to caricatures and stereotypes.”- Yul from Asian-American tribe.

“Different ethnic groups…I mean is that kosher?”- Parvati from Caucasian tribe.

“We’re a mixed group ourselves within the Asian community.”- Jenny from Asian-American tribe.

“I’ve never been accepted by the Asian community—take one look at me! This is a very dangerous position to be in.”-Cao Boi from Asian-American tribe.

I am shocked that people weren’t more upset by the apparent premise of the show. When I first heard about it my thoughts were that this was an attempt to show through various challenges the superiority/inferiority of different people groups (AiG prefers this term). Although the teams have now “integrated”, I still can’t help but think that this thought is in the back of the players’ minds and those watching the show.

Having adopted a child from China (Asian people group) this matter strikes home. Our family and many other inter-cultural families formed through adoption work very hard to help our children understand both the similarities and differences within our families. But we don’t view our children or treat our children any different than we would a biological child. This past summer I was at a family reunion and was playing with Elizabeth (my daughter) when a young girl came up and asked me if I was Elizabeth’s mommy. My first thought (which I did not express verbally) was “Duh, of course I’m her mommy”. But then I realized she was asking because we look different. I assured her that I was indeed Elizabeth’s mommy. I knew I had definitely come a long way from when we first started the process of international adoption.

At first my desire was to adopt from Russia. I think subconsciously I wanted to because the children would look most like my husband and I. For various reasons that didn’t work out and the Lord led us to adopt from China. I can remember consciously thinking that this child will look very different from us and can we handle that. Ken Ham came to our church shortly thereafter and gave a talk on the origin of the races and then I read his book One Blood. It really changed my thinking in this area when I realized that even though it was distant, I was biologically related to my daughter in China because we all descended from Adam and Eve! What a life changing experience it has been from the beginning of the adoption process to recently celebrating the birthday of our very active 3 year old. Praise God that we learned to be “color blind”. I pray that those watching and participating in Survivor will also see that we are all “one blood” (Acts 17:26).

If you want to hear more about our adoption journey, plan to attend the 2007 AiG Family Conference and you will hear my talk on this exciting adventure. Thanks for praying! Georgia.

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