Sunday, April 5, 2009


Here it is... my newest obsession. A home. We may have the opportunity to move soon - as we now have only two bedrooms and with another babe on the way, we feel like we may need three. So, with house prices being so low, we thought we'd start looking. About 5 minutes into 'looking' online, I realized that this was not going to be easy...

You see, when we started our adoption, we had to complete some questionnaires about race. One of the questions was, "How likely are you to move to a neighborhood that is more racially diverse?" Of course we answered, "Very likely." (I think that was our answer.) So, in our house quest, I began to look in neighborhoods that I hoped were more diverse than our current one. I began to realize that our city is not good for this. It's terribly segregated.

When I went to high school it was far away from the city - about 30+ miles. But, our city had a de-segregation program at work, so kids from more diverse neighborhoods were bussed into the county schools. This was good in two ways - the first being that the kids from the city neighborhoods were able to receive a top-rated education, regardless of where they lived. Secondly, because it forced black kids and white kids into learning about each other, hanging out with each other and basically helping to create situations of understanding (at least in my high school).

But, it was negative in one very important way - it was taking much needed funds from the inner city schools and funneling them out to the county schools. The city schools continued to get worse. A decision was made some years ago to end the de-seg program in our city by 2010. At first I was pissed off about this. I had such a positive view of the whole thing (a positive, but very sheltered, and very white, view) that I felt angry that the future generations wouldn't get the benefit of it. But then I learned about the economic factors and how the city schools would get the money back (that they so desperately need) and I changed my tune...

And now it's time for us to choose a new home, in a school district, somewhere in the county or the city. My obsession - WHERE? Do we move to the city (with more diverse neighborhoods) and then send Micah to private schools (which may end up being mostly white)? Or, do we stay in the county and hope that by the time he starts school, our neighborhoods will grow more diverse? I once had an African-American woman tell me, no she commanded me to, "not let him be the only black child in his class." I remember that moment and I am trying my best to honor it.

So, as I continue to fret and worry, here are some recent pictures of our amazing child singing along with his tiny guitar...

P.S. - Kevin took these pictures, so blame him for not getting actual video of this.


  1. Love the pics!!!!!!!!!!
    I think I'm glad I am stuck where I'm at for the moment. The weight of the moving decisions is somethin' I can do without right now! good luck!

  2. The eternal question of where to live in this city. We are lucky that we live bought in the city. While our neighborhood is close to 90% white there are more and more black families moving into the neighborhood.

    I don't hold your same view of the deseg program and it's ramifications are one of the reasons I won't move into the county for school. I don't want people assuming that my black kids are deseg students, etc. There is a different treatment given to those students and different "rules". It's sad but true.

    We struggled with where to send out kids. We of course chose private school as city public schools aren't an option. We chose a school that has some diversity--about 20% but we felt that if we didn't send our kids there becasue it wasn't diverse enough then we were just perpetuating the problem. It is possible that Noah will be the only black kid in his class. That is his reality. He is often the only black kid in many situations and it is going to be part of his experience. I had to let quality of education outweigh diversity.

    Look into UCity--its super diverese. It's schools aren't the greatest but you will get diversity. there is a great house for sale across the street from us. It's been on the market for over a year--bet you could get a great deal on it.

  3. It is a tough decision. I am African American and I purchased a home in a predominately White neighborhoods because the schools are so awesome. I realize that it will be difficult for my child to be in such a minority position. In some cases being the only black kid in the class, but I have to give her a great education. My state is very segregated. If I was in a metropolitan area like New York, I could live in diversity and choose private schools which would probably be predominately white too. Its really sad at the despairing differences. Education is so important and of course Race Matters.....
    YUCK... I say definitely buy a new house... but it's a hard decision either way!!!

    And pics are great!


  4. I'm not glad you're having to weigh this decision and I KNOW it's heavy on your mind/heart, but I'm glad to read a post about it. We're living in Hawaii for the next year (at least) and while this is not a mostly Caucasian place, it IS a next-to-no Black people place. Our children are beginning school tomorrow where they will be the only non-Hawaiian kids. Then, in the fall, we will hopefully be sending them to a private school next to my work where they will be one of the few non-Japanese children.
    Unfortunately you have to weigh your options and perhaps make a pro/con list. But, just because you put him in a school/neighborhood where there are other African American little children doesn't mean he'll befriend them!!!

    I hope you find a wonderful house in the most perfect of places (is it possible?!) and that everything works itself out.

  5. Micah is so cute! We are going through the same moving situation...very stressful to think about.

    Thanks for the book recommendation. I can't wait to read it on the plane!

  6. The school stuff is tough. I don't have any answers. But something we can all agree on...The cuteness that is Micah!

  7. Hmmmm.... difficult decisions!! Personally, I'm all for city living. I know that things are different in the UK but i really value that we live in the city centre... there are people from everywhere here. Ten minutes drive out into the suburbs, and it's a sea of white white whiteness. Right now, I feel like i NEVER want our family to live out there. But when our baby/ies actually arrive and we actually have to make decisions about schools... who knows?? Is there even ONE inner city diverse school with a good principal and committed staff? If not... hmmmmm. Tough decisions. Keep us updated!!

  8. Cheers to house hunting. SO FUN, YET SO TIME SUCKING! When we were looking and out house was up for sell (which never sold :-( ..) Jeff and to litterally rip to computer away from so I'd stop looking at houses lol! Its fun fun fun! I love love how you are going deeper and looking into the neighbor hoods though...kuddos momma! Leul seriously needs to come play at Micahs house he has all the cool toys!

  9. ADORABLE pics!
    We are also considering a move, and are taking into account the school/neighborhood diversity issue. Its tough, but you'll find your way and it will be the right thing for Micah and baby sis.

  10. This is a tough question. Both good education and diversity are so important! I hope you can find both!

  11. I love these pictures of little M man. He is SO cute with a bit of sass thrown in. Lucky, lucky you! Kisses to Micah, hugs to his mommy....

  12. I was going to say Magnet too - I just saw Theresa's post above. We live in a very white suburb of NYC and were struggling with the same decisions. Especially, since Sophie is already the only black person in a family of 6. Next year a great magnet school in the town next to us is opening to out of district. I am ANXIOUSLY awaiting the "lottery" results, which should come any day. The public schools in the next town are not good, but ours are great - so we just couldn't justify moving for diversification only. I'm really praying the big kids get in next year (then no more lottery if you are already in), and they will benefit from being a minority in one facet of their live, where Sophie will be part of the majority. It's so hard! Do check into Magnet schools though and I will keep my fingers crossed that a magic solution appears (I really feel like it did in our case, so you never know!) Good luck!

  13. Tough decision Stacie. Just keep plugging through house listings, you never when or where the house that was meant to be will pop up!

    And omygosh, that last picture of Micah? Too cute with that grin!

    An p.s. my word verification looks surprisingly similar to Cullen. LOVE IT!

  14. Going through the same struggles here in regards to preschool...searching for the "perfect one"!

  15. We've been talking about moving too. Can you just tell me where to find the perfect neighborhood? I think that's the most difficult thing. Everyone says they want diversity, but most of our neighborhoods and schools don't seem very diverse.

    I like your super cute guitar player :)

  16. Stacie,
    We just went through this process earlier this year. We lived in a pretty diverse neighborhood but the schools were awful. We ended up settling for a good school district (not the best) that had some diversity. I think the trade-off was a good one. You're doing the right thing in looking into this and trying to find a situation where Micah will not feel alone, I personally think it's very important. I can hook you up with some good neighborhoods if you want to move to Atlanta!