"" Life A Bit Sweeter: Ask Anything! A Safe Place for Vanilla Moms & Dads Raising Chocolate Children

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Ask Anything! A Safe Place for Vanilla Moms & Dads Raising Chocolate Children

Verme Family Blog
I remember before we started the adoption process, I would sometimes see Caucasian moms and dads with African or African-American children and yes, I would stare....not real hard. I'd try to do it on the sly. I didn't want to be a gawker but I was so curious. Were they their children? Had they adopted? Were they children of some friends they knew? Were they in a big brother/big sister type of program? If they were their kids, how were they teaching them about the African/African-American culture?

Darling Family Blog
Yes.....the questions, the questions, the questions I had. What I had not considered is the awkwardness that the parents and the children themselves must have felt every time they went out in public and perhaps even in private with their extended family members. I've always believed that love has no color and ALL DAY LONG, I'd rather a child be in a loving family than stay in an institution or system just for the sake of them waiting for a family of the same ethnicity to take them in. I believe this for all children -- African, African-American, Asian, Caucasian, and the list goes on.

Wanderer Family Blog
During this adoption process, I've learned that while I've had questions in the past about Vanilla Moms & Dads raising Chocolate children, they have just as many sometimes too. Here's the problem, there's no safe place that I've identified where they can ask them. On two separate occasions, neither of them ever knowing, two of my friends who have adopted internationally, both named Jenn (and Jen), have inadvertently talked with me about creating such a place and I'd like to begin providing it sometimes via this blog. It's a place where moms and dads can ask REAL questions but have never had a safe place to do so without sounding racist, insensitive, or getting a potential tongue-lashing that says, 'Well, why did you adopt them anyway if you wouldn't know what to do?!'

You know questions like....

  • Why can't I wash my child's hair everyday like I do mine?
  • What's this whole hair thing about anyway?
  • My daughter's hair is hard to manage? What do I do? Should I put a relaxer in it?
  • The lotion we use still makes my child look dry and ashy? What should I be using?
  • How do I safely find African/African-American men or women who can pour into my child about their culture in a way that perhaps I can't?
  • How do I deal with issues when my child wants to identify more so with the rest of our family who has straight hair and blue/green eyes? 
Tennant Family Blog
So here's the deal. I'm no expert. Just a mama with a heart for adoption regardless of ethnicity mix. I have a bit of knowledge and when I don't, I have friends who are pretty wise. Send your questions to me at michelle365@me.com. Trust me when I say, I won't tolerate blatant ignorance from anyone. That's not the intent here. At the same time, if you're an adopting parent, don't feel like your questions will offend me. If they come off the wrong way, I promise to lovingly share perhaps a better way to word it so that if you ask the question of someone else in the future, it's taken for the heart of what it's worth. Ready....let's roll!

(BTW: I'm now turning on my comment moderation option so that this blog remains a safe and loving place. Smile. Love y'all!)

More pics of my sweet friends....love them so!
Matthews Family

Reynolds Family
Hammons Family Blog


Meliski said...

I have a great question and keep trying to type it but keep deleting it. The main problem is I need time to figure out how to word it. I will be back with a perfectly-typed and very poignant question!

Cynthia said...

Tiff shared this with me. LOVE IT!!!!!

Michelle said...

Hey @Meliski! No need to feel like you need to type and delete. Write it exactly how you're thinking and e-mail it to me at michelle365@me.com. I promise I won't love you any less or think any less of you. It's all good love!

Michelle said...

Thanks Cynthia! So glad you popped over.

Tracy said...

GREAT idea Michelle!! And funny that you have SO many vanilla friends that grace your page, we all love ya!

jody said...

Thank you for being willing to open up to us white mommas! I'll be getting a few questions together. :-)

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