There is something beautiful and enriching being the only white face sitting and chatting with some of my African-American friends as my son gets his hair cut on a Saturday morning. There is also something wonderful in the relationship that is built as my wife asks a black friend on Facebook how to care for our little biracial daughter’s hair. The beauty of a multi-ethnic family is found there, in the fact that the differences are the very thing that make ours richer and fuller. It forces you to think in a new way about the way you think, speak, act and live.
But, we knew, especially in the South, that a white couple with non-white children would draw a myriad of different reactions. There will always be the older white woman in Walmart who stared at us with sheer disgust, or the African-American mother who looked at us and just shook her head. However, there was also the young black girl who wept when we told her this little boy with her skin color was our son, and the older white doctor who lovingly prayed over him and held him so tenderly. These latter experiences were rays of hope reminding us how far our country had come, while the former experiences reminded us how far we still need to go.
Quite a good read. My wife and I faced similar reactions when we married and she announced that she was prego. Fortunately, I was active duty Army, so moving her from a place where those "older white women" openly showed feelings of disgust to an active military base with where there were many like her, Plus getting shipped to Germany, where she saw nothing but blended, mixed and interracial families, helped her prepare for those issues that she had not practiced -- like our daughter's hair, or how to answer the "race" question.
This couple will receive my prayers. Mississippi (if that is where they settle after all of their evangelical work, will be very daunting enough.