Parenting is never easy, but these days, it seems more challenging than ever. In the wake of George Floyd‘s death at the hands of a police officer and the ensuing protests, Katherine Heigl has struggled with how to discuss inequality and injustice with her adopted daughter, who is black.
Heigl and her husband Josh Kelley adopted Adalaide in 2012. They also share Naleigh, 11, who hailed from South Korea and Josh, who is 3.
She opened up on social media, saying: “I've debated posting this. I don't typically use my platform or social media to say much when it comes to the state of our country. I keep most of those thoughts to myself. I act quietly and behind the scenes. I let those with far more experience, education and eloquence be the voices for change. But I can't sleep. And when I do I wake with a single thought in my head. How will I tell Adalaide? How will I explain the unexplainable? How can I protect her? How can I break a piece of her beautiful divine spirit to do so?”
The star continued, “I can't sleep. I lay in my bed in the dark and weep for every mother of a beautiful divine black child who has to extinguish a piece of their beloved baby's spirit to try to keep them alive in a country that has too many sleeping soundly. Eyes squeezed shut. Images and cries and pleas and pain banished from their minds. White bubbles strong and intact. But I lay awake.”
She added: “Finally. Painfully. My white bubble though always with me now begins to bleed. Because I have a black daughter. Because I have a Korean daughter. Because I have a Korean sister and nephews and niece.”
Heigl continued: “It has taken me far too long to truly internalize the reality of the abhorrent, evil despicable truth of racism. My whiteness kept it from me. My upbringing of inclusivity, love and compassion seemed normal. I thought the majority felt like I did. I couldn't imagine a brain that saw the color of someone's skin as anything but that. Just a color. I was naive. I was childish. I was blind to those who treated my own sister differently because of the shape of her beautiful almond eyes. Or her thick gorgeous hair. Or her golden skin. I was a child. For too long. And now I weep. Because what should have changed by now, by then, forever ago still is. Hopelessness is seeping in. Fear that there is nothing I can do, like a slow moving poison, is spreading through me.”