Celebrating our Biracial kids!

Halle Berry’s custody battle has stirred some discussion about race and raising biracial children. In large part, pop culture and the media seem to accept biracial relationships and even biracial children- hell, they even make it seem “cool” to have a black or mixed baby. Just look at Seal and Heidi, Hank and Kendra even the United States President is of mixed race! I remember back when Paul and I met, we got lots of looks when we were together. Even now, when we stand at a cashier or in a store, no one assumes we are together unless we hold hands. I will never forget how many comments I got when I was pregnant about having a “cute mixed baby” and even the nurse in the hospital told us “she had always hoped to have a mulatto child because they are always so gorgeous”.  Are we really as accepting as we think we are?  Are these statement not racist in nature?  Race and skin colour is a regular discussion around our house. It is very clear that we are all different in our house and that’s always okay and celebrated. We never shy away from the questions or ignore how the kids might be feeling about being “different” from others or even from their parents. Instead, we take it as an opportunity to open the dialogue with our boys. Not only so they feel comforted in being unique, but also so that they know the topic is never something to ignore or be embarrassed by. Adopting African children might also mean that Sandra Bullock, Madonna, and Brad and Angie could have issues of acceptance and identification in their home as well.  I hope they are brave enough to share them with other parents so that we can open the dialogue.  At our house, our boys consider themselves “brown”…in terms of colour, they know that they are not white like their mom or black like their dad.  Ty often asks us why he is darker than his brothers or why he has curly hair. I couldn’t believe that at 5 years old he was really aware that being “lighter” or having straight hair would really be more desirable.  We acknowledge how he feels but then explain that God got it right when he took his mom and dad and found a shade that would show both colours! The truth is, that while our kids are half white and half black, the world will see them as “not white”. While Halle’s comment about the “one drop (of black)” was out of spite, it makes a good point. The world sees us in terms of clear racial identities and not in those of many different shades. Is there a biracial “box” to check? Should my kids check the white AND black box?  Or are they “other”? I hate to admit that this is how the world works, but it does. I truly hope this changes.  Like many other things changing in our society, our definition or even need to define is changing too.  Our kids might choose to identify with more of their white or black side, as they grow up and find their way, but as a white mom, I will never really understand how being of mixed race might feel to them now, or in the future. My job is to teach them about acceptance, tolerance and how to celebrate differences in all people! Judging someone for their character and not for the colour of their skin is a wonderful lesson that Martin Luther King passed on to us and to our kids…and we practise this daily. I just read a spectacular poem that Maureen Turner heard at her daughter’s school assembly (read her full post to understand why her daughter also needed to hear this poem)! I have printed this off and put it in Ty’s scrapbook so that he may look to it one day and believe in who he is and why, while some people might put him down for the colour of his skin, God had a different plan and made him just perfectly! Prayer  Why Did You Make Me Black Lord? Lord, why did you make me black? Why did you make someone the world would hold back? Black is the color of dirty clothes, of grimy hands and feet, Black is the color of darkness, of tired beaten streets. Why did you give me thick lips, a broad nose and kinky hair? Why did you create someone who receives the hated stare? Black is the color of the bruised eye when someone gets hurt, Black is the color of darkness, black is the color of dirt. Why is my bone structure so thick, my hips and cheeks so high? Why are my eyes brown, and not the color of the sky? Why do people think I’m useless? How come I feel so used? Why do people see my skin and think I should be abused? Lord, I just don’t understand… What is it about my skin? Why is it some people want to hate me and not know the person within? Black is what people are “Labeled” when others want to keep them away… Black is the color of shadows cast…. Black is the end of the day. Lord you know my own people mistreat me, and you know this just ain’t right…. They don’t like my hair, they don’t like my skin, as they say I’m too dark or too light! Lord, don’t you think it’s time to make a change? Why don’t you redo creation and make everyone the same? God’s Reply:Why did I make you black? Why did I make you black? I made you in the color of coal from which beautiful diamonds are formed… I made you in the color of oil, the black gold which keeps people warm. Your color is the same as the rich dark soil that grows the food you need… Your color is the same as the black stallion and panther, Oh what majestic creatures indeed! All colors of the heavenly rainbow can be found throughout every nation… When all these colors are blended, you become my greatest creation! Your hair is the texture of lamb’s wool, such a beautiful creature is he… I am the shepherd who watches them, I will ALWAYS watch over thee! You are the color of the midnight sky, I put star glitter in your eyes… There’s a beautiful smile hidden behind your pain… That’s why your cheeks are so high! You are the color of dark clouds from the hurricanes I create in September… I made your lips so full and thick, so when you kiss…they will remember! Your stature is strong, your bone structure thick to withstand the burden of time…. The reflection you see in the mirror, that image that looks back, that is MINE! So get off your knees, look in the mirror and tell me what you see? I didn’t make you in the image of darkness… I made you in the image of ME Author Unknown

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