Would you kiss THAT?

Democracy, rainbow nation, colourful. All sweet sounding words to sugar coat a rather bitter tasting pill. As a mother of two adopted (black) children I am painfully aware that we have not moved forward since 1994, or ever, when it comes to racism and bigotry.

I’ve had so many comments directed at me, from complete strangers to a few family members. The first was just after Emma was home with us and we were out at a park. A woman came up to me and very angrily expressed her opinion about me ripping Emma away from her biological mother and not raising her according to her culture. I’ve had people comment about me being a k***** lover and that I’m trying to be Madonna or Angelina.

A little closer to home I’ve had people tell me that Emma is very clever…for a black child and the first time Emma rolled off the couch onto the floor, a well-meaning ‘friend’ told me not to worry because their heads are much harder than ours.

People have asked me whether Emma is “healthy” (yes, in inverted commas) because all black babies have HIV / AIDS. I have been asked if I’m going to get Ben circumcised according to his cultural beliefs. Of course I am, because we send all the boys in our family up to the hills when it’s time and they come back as men.

And more recently I had a person comment to her friend, while I was kissing and cuddling Emma, ‘would you kiss THAT?’

There is also discrimination from black people. In their opinion I am trying to ‘colonize’ my children. On one occasion when I actually entertained a conversation on whether a black baby is better off in a ‘shelter’ or with white parents, I was told that the baby, without a doubt, should remain in the shelter. I, as a white woman, cannot teach a black child their culture or traditions and therefore am robbing them of their identity. Sitting in a home and getting stuck in a system that neglects children is a better option than being with me? Because I’m white? No identity is better than growing up in a home with parents who love them, regardless of colour? Really.

I battle with this narrow mindedness. I did not open my heart and home to two children to make a statement, political or otherwise. The cards I was dealt meant I couldn’t have my own children but that did not take away my need, want, love to be a mother.

As far as I’m concerned, our diverse little family is creating our own culture, one where respect, kindness and love is encouraged. Surely that’s all any family wants for itself. Regardless of race, colour or creed.

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Author

Melinda Connor

Melinda Connor

Melinda Connor, an imperfect working mom to 2 perfect (adopted) little beings. When she’s not changing dirty nappies, cleaning UDO (Unidentified Dirty Objects) off walls, floors and my clothes she’s trying to find a little bit of sanity whenever and wherever she can. Read her blog about her parenting journey

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24 Responses

  1. I'm truly sorry that my fellow human beings have said such dreadful things to you and your kids. I'm embarassed to be a homosapien

  2. The worst for me are the paternalistic do-gooders who tell my daughter in full shops how luck she is and how grateful she must be for having found a mom who adopted her and saved her from a life in misery. It's then up to me to tell them that she actually "saved" my happiness by making me a mother and giving me a family.

  3. Thank goodness that beautiful Emma and Ben have found the most amazing parents and that you have found your two miracles. The delight and love should overcome the nasty, short sighted and uniformed comments. I hear you, we get it as well, perhaps not as much but the reality is that you surround yourself with people that love and accept you. And be mindful that you have given two children a chance to have a Mom and Dad that truly love and adore them, and vice versa, adopted, biological or not there are are too many children in our country that need what you have done for Emma and Ben. So ten out of ten! The universe workd=s in wonderful ways.

    1. Legacy of an adopted child: Once there were two people, who never knew each other.

      One you do not remember, the other you call mother.

      Two different lives shaped to make yours one.

      One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

      The first gave you life, and the second taught you to live it.

      The first gave you the need for love, and the second was there to give it.

      One gave you nationality, the other gave you a name.

      One gave you the seed of talent, the other gave you aim.

      One gave you emotion, the other calmed your fears.

      One saw your first sweet smile, the other dried your tears.

      One gave you up, it was all that she could do.

      The other prayed for a child, and God led her straight to you.

      And now you ask me through your tears, the age-old question through the years. – Which are you a product of?

      Neither my darling, neither – Just two different kinds of love.

      .

  4. Wow. That is just unbelievably sad. Screw 'em, Melinda. There are so many more of us out here who believe as you do that children are to be loved, than there are those hateful fools who spew such drivel.

  5. Love the pic of your family.. Ours is also different and it's hard to always be calm in the face of peoples sometimes bizarre reactions and words.. But you're not alone : ) and there are normal humans out here too! X

  6. I take my hat off to you, even more so because I am a big sissy. I have wanted to adopt for quite some time but I do not know that I can do what you have done and therefore I will only raise my daughter to not be so small minded and judgemental. Due to many things, I have already been marginalised and been on the wrong side of peoples judgments and sharp tongues and I don't know that I could withstand the onslaught on my child without ending up with a charge of assault or maybe worse and probably enjoy it. Once again, I applaud you and wish you and your family well.

  7. I dated a divorced dad who had 2 adopted Indian children. After about 2 months I asked her if she was ok that his children were a different race to her. She looked at me with a total blank look on her face and said "oh, are they?". She hadn't even realised that they were "different" to her! How awesome.

    1. Love it. One day a friend and I were discussing whether Emma might be asthmatic. My friend, not even thinking, asked whether my husband or I have it cos then there might be a chance Emmahas it too. She doesn't see Emma and I as different. We are simply mom and daughter x

  8. Melinda, this article rings true from our experiences too. People mouth off far too often without thinking. I would never change anything about having my 2 adopted children. If society would start embracing and celebrating our differences, instead of knocking people down, we would all be better off.

    1. Good article!
      I think your two little ones are adorably, beautiful and happily loved. It is so sad that even today people are boxed in by skin colour…because really God made us all equal no matter what skin we have. What does make all the difference is the love, care and nurturing poured into each child no matter what colour their parents are!

    2. You know cuz, i have a theory that at the end of the day people are finally going to realize that it is not the colour of your skin that matters, but rather the colour of your SOUL, and you, dear cuz, have a beautiful soul. Your kiddies are gorgeous and loved and the rest of the pompous poopholes, along with their self-righteous and ignorant bullsh*t should seriously get their heads out of their butts and join the real world, where LOVE and not colour is what counts! Mwah! xxx

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