Our fall favorites are here! 🍂

Dear Michael Rose-Ivey,

You made me cry. I watched your press conference and immediately tried to hunt down some kind of contact information for you because I just wanted you to know how proud I was of your statements in the face of such hostile public pressure. Since I couldn’t find a way to contact you directly, I thought I’d just write you here where maybe someday you’ll find it.

I am a white mom raising a black son and I am ashamed and saddened by how long it took me to understand and believe the things you so eloquently stated. There are issues in this country that can’t be fixed by “pulling up your pants.” It is about more than just personal responsibility, but about realizing the responsibility we all carry for the current state of things. I know this is hard to hear and believe for many people who haven’t been faced with the realities of systemic racism and injustice. Many people will fight against how this changes their view of the world. They want to believe what you’re doing is dividing us, when the reality is the divide already exists and you are asking for us all to acknowledge it. The fact that your quiet act of protest brought out the most vile response from people who would probably say things like, “I’m not racist, but. . . ” is just heartbreaking. But it’s not surprising.

I learned how wrong my little view of race relations was last year when I wrote about what my black son needs from his white friends. This touched a nerve. That post brought people into my world I had never dealt with before. One of those people wrote about what a “thug” my son (who is 9) must be and how my son is the reason this man carries a gun. I did not allow that comment to be publicly posted on my blog, but I have left the little notification that it exists up where I can see it– a reminder that this fight is ongoing and it is frightening to those who have the most to lose. 

I have heard it said that your quiet act of protest is divisive, but those people don’t seem to have the same level of outrage about the divisive way this country treats its citizens of color. Your act has been called “disgraceful” by people who seem to have no words of condemnation for the serious issues that caused you to feel like protesting in the first place. I have heard it said that this was not the appropriate time and place– that when you step on the field you represent Nebraska and your own agenda should be left at home. But you knew what you were doing and the response it would get. My hope is that by doing this in such a public way, you have allowed people a window into what life is like for you, a black man living in America. Living in Nebraska. 

I’m sad that the 90,000 people who say they love you, want your autograph and cheer you on each week care so little about the issues that actually impact your life. If you were lying on the field after an injury, these are the people who would be actively praying for your health. But when you’re just another black man dealing with the pain and fear of racism, these same people don’t seem to care and are openly outraged that you’ve made them think about it through an act they find offensive. We are a predominately white fan base cheering for a predominately black team and we just want you to win games and not bother us with your personal pain or convictions. 

But not everybody feels that way. The words you said matter. The beautiful way you used Scripture to support this gentle act of defiance is just what I needed to help explain to my son why men who look like him are kneeling in prayer on behalf of our country right there on the football field. I respect your right to kneel. I honor your choice. If my son some day chooses to protest through prayer, I will be nothing but proud. And I imagine Collin Kaepernick’s white parents feel the same way. We know our whiteness doesn’t protect our children from the realities of being black in America. We pray that their upbringing in our home never impedes their ability to be compassionate and empathic towards those who are suffering in ways they haven’t experienced. As my mom (a Midwesterner, a proud Swede, a woman with ancestors and relatives who bravely served our country, and a grandmother to a black grandson) said after watching your press conference, “I seriously think our nation would be in a posture for healing its deep wounds, if we ALL knelt to pray for America as the National Anthem is played.”

My allegiance is ultimately not to a king or a kingdom. It is not to a song or a flag. My allegiance is to my God and you are my brother. I am with you and for you, not just as a Husker, but as a human. If I have to pick between my patriotism and my brothers and sisters who are suffering, I pick you. If I could find you today and give you a hug and drop off cookies or a casserole, I would do it. While I don’t know what choices you make in your private life, I heard the words you spoke and they are words of integrity and character. They are the words of a man who I would love for my son to emulate. You are a role model and I am thankful for how you’ve used your platform.

I love my country, but I love it not because of its symbols and songs, but because of the freedom and protection it affords its citizens. You exercised your freedom to draw attention to the differences in how black Americans and white Americans experience life in this beautiful country. I heard you. I hope many more people will hear you, too.



(Lincoln Resident, Husker Fan, Mom)

 To read more stories written from the heart –  follow Her View From Home on Facebook.

Photo via Matt Ryerson Lincoln Journal Star via AP


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Maralee Bradley

Maralee is a mom of six pretty incredible kids. Four were adopted (one internationally, three through foster care) and two were biological surprises. Prior to becoming parents, Maralee and her husband were houseparents at a children’s home and had the privilege of helping to raise 17 boys during their five year tenure. Maralee is passionate about caring for kids, foster parenting and adoption, making her family a fairly decent dinner every night, staying on top of the laundry, watching ridiculous documentaries and doing it all for God’s glory. Maralee can be heard on My Bridge Radio talking about motherhood and what won't fit in a 90 second radio segment ends up at www.amusingmaralee.com.

3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child

In: Adoption
3 Things We Learned While Waiting For Our Adopted Child www.herviewfromhome.com

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a baby in the baby carriage. Remember that old nursery rhyme? I can still hear it playing in my head. Growing up, I had always assumed that would be my story. The love and marriage part certainly happened for me in an amazing, storybook ending kind of way. However, the baby in the baby carriage didn’t come as quickly for my husband and me. As a few years passed, we began to feel a little restless and disheartened. However, God opened up His perfect plan for our family by leading us to...

Keep Reading

I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I Didn’t Let Go

In: Adoption
I Chose Adoption For My Baby, But I didn't Let Go www.herviewfromhome.com

  I am often asked, when people find out I am a birth mother, “Why did you decide on adoption? Didn’t you want her?” In the tidy nutshell version of my response it was the logistical factors of being pregnant at just 16-years-old that was my why. Being a junior in high school when I saw those two pink lines in October of 2004, I still needed to graduate, plus I wanted to attend college. I did not have a job to support us. In fact, I did not have my driver’s license or even the few dollars it took...

Keep Reading

Dear Mama Reading This Right Now, You Are Amazing

In: Adoption, Child Loss, Miscarriage, Motherhood
Dear Mama Reading This Right Now, You Are Amazing www.herviewfromhome.com

To the one with healthy children in your lap, YOU are a great mom. Whether you work full-time or stay at home, you are amazing and deserve to be celebrated every day, but especially today. You sacrificed your body and your own well-being over and over again and I know you don’t regret any of it. You are enough and you are appreciated even when you don’t feel it. To the one holding a child someone else carried inside of her body, YOU are a great mom. Whether you faced infertility, surrogacy, chose to adopt, or have biological and adopted children,...

Keep Reading

4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know

In: Adoption, Journal
4 Things a Birth Mom Wants Adoptive Families To Know www.herviewfromhome.com

The minutes on the hospital clock dwindled as I swaddled my infant daughter one last time before she was permanently placed in the arms of her adoptive family. In those final moments, I thought my heart might shatter into a thousand slivers without any hope of being mended. I was broken. Scarred. Devastated. When I left the hospital without my baby, it felt like someone was pounding on my chest with both fists and I couldn’t catch my breath. The emptiness that followed was inconceivable. A piece of me, my daughter, was gone. I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of my...

Keep Reading

No Matter Life’s Season, God Provides What We Need

In: Adoption, Faith
No Matter Life's Season, God Provides What We Need www.herviewfromhome.com

When my husband and I adopted our older daughter Lilly 15 years ago, she was nine-months-old and weighed about 17 pounds. That might not seem like much, but she was a chunk of a little girl—so much so that people we met in elevators and restaurants in China often mistook her for a two-year-old. I had worked on my cardiovascular fitness in the months leading up to our adoption trip, and my regular runs on the treadmill prepared me to traverse the Great Wall with relative ease. My upper body strength, however, was a different story entirely. My arms and...

Keep Reading

Acknowledging the Loss in Adoption

In: Adoption
Acknowledging the Loss in Adoption www.herviewfromhome.com

  “Don’t do it! Adoption is the worst!” His voice echoed through my entire body, his words hitting every unprepared bone, and I clutched the full glass of ice water ready to plunge it in his direction. There were hundreds of people in the darkened bar room, on dates mostly, sitting in the crowd enjoying the comedy show. My insides twisted and lurched, I heard nothing but the reverberations of laughter, and my mind kept envisioning myself walking over to him and punching his face in. When the comedian began working adoption into her show, my body began tingling and...

Keep Reading

Adoption Is Love

In: Adoption, Journal
Adoption Is Love www.herviewfromhome.com

  I pull around in the car line and scan the group of kids for my daughter. Usually, I can find her easily, chatting it up with her friends as she waits for me to pick her up from school. Today, though, I don’t see her. I look again and I finally spot her. She is slumped on the curb, her head in her hands and her eyes downcast. My momma radar instantly goes off as I watch her slowly get up and drag her feet to the car and I can tell that something is wrong. She slides into...

Keep Reading

The Ache While We Wait to Adopt

In: Adoption, Faith
The Ache While We Wait to Adopt www.herviewfromhome.com

  There’s a persistent ache, but sometimes I can ignore it. I can turn up the volume of what’s around me and drown it out for a bit. I play hostess and invite the noise to come in: come fill up my heart, come fill up this empty nursery, come fill up this planner. I’ve got two kids, and they are experts at noise, so my days are full of it, and it works. The noise narcotizes the ache, making it manageable, day by noisy day.  In my former life as a teacher, I used to make my students write...

Keep Reading

How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father

In: Adoption, Journal
How Being Adopted Made My Husband a Better Father www.herviewfromhome.com

My husband’s earliest memories of his adoptive mother are as blurry as the black and white photos he has taped inside a leather-bound family album. He recalls the gentle hands that tucked him into bed each night and the smell of her lavender scented soap, but these memories are intertwined with the last and most painful of all: sitting on the cold hospital steps, muffled whispers in the hallway, and the tight grip of his adoptive father’s hand as they made their way back to the car without his mother. Death was an abstract concept that he was unable to...

Keep Reading

Adoption Has Made Me a Better Mama

In: Adoption, Journal
Adoption Has Made Me a Better Mama www.herviewfromhome.com

I remember etching our family plans into a napkin at our two-year anniversary dinner. We were eating at Rio in Sisters, Oregon and I couldn’t wait to get back to the little cabin we had rented to watch Harry Potter and dream about babies. Weird combo? Probably. First we would conceive and carry a miracle baby in my actual womb. Then after a bit of time had passed, after we got “the easy one” birthed, we would enter into the adoption world. I think back to my barely 20-year-old self and think about how naive she was—I still only have...

Keep Reading