11/18/2013

Confession: I Look At Black People Differently

I have a confession:

I look at black people differently.

Let me preface this post by saying I don't want to sound racist.

Because I'm not.

But I'm more culturally aware.

And I'd be lying if I said I don't look at black people -- especially girls and women -- differently
since Olivia joined our family.

Not better or worse.

Just diff erently.

Like in an, "I wonder if Olivia will have hair like hers?" kinda way.

Let me clarify...

I don't know what it's like to have a biological child.

If I had a daughter with red hair, would kids and women with red hair stand out more when I'm
at the grocery store?

Would I still ask myself, "I wonder if my daughter will have hair like hers?"

Or is this something unique to me because my daughter does not have my genes is quite possibly
the cutest girl on the planet?
Another note...

If I hear someone tell me, "So-and-so adopted a black baby and he's the whitest black kid you'll
ever meet,"
one. more. time ...I'mma whip out my Momma bear claws.

Olivia will know her culture.

She will have black role models.

If that means we have to take her to dance class in a diff erent neighborhood or city, so be it.

If that means we have to be the only white people in a church, we're doin' it.

She will know her heritage.

She will be proud to be African American.

She will NOT be a "white version" of a "black baby."

Comments like these have made me wonder how long this type of prejudice has existed all
around me, and why I haven't paid attention chose to ignore it until our sweet daughter came along.

One more thing...

I never noticed Band-Aids only came in a beige color [or some funky cartoonish design] as if to imply that people with black skin might not want a "flesh-colored" Band-Aid for their skin.

[And before someone says, "They make clear Band-Aids" -- check again. Look at the center of the
strip. That ain't clear.]

A final note...

The point of my post today isn't a rant necessarily.

It's that I'm noticing how things in my life have changed since becoming a Mom -- especically
since becoming a white Mom to a beautiful black baby girl.

And frankly, I'm disappointed in myself.

It's frustrating that at 28-years old [Sighhh. Yes. 28. Y'all know my age now.], I'm just starting
to notice people say things like, "She was black" when that detail adds nothing important to the conversation.

I'm just starting to notice some of the salons and spas that I've frequented my whole life don't
have someone who I could trust with my daughter's hair or skincare because the product lines are designed for white women.

It's frustrating that these things have probably been happening my whole life, and I haven't paid
attention.

Until now.

Perhaps most of all, it's frustrating because I want my daughter to grow up in a world where people are treated equally, but I'm realizing it might not be that easy.

11/11/2013

The Cunchy Crouton Incident

The other day, we were swamped with appointments and meetings.

And more appointments.

And more meetings.

We narrowed down an attorney who will finalize Olivia's adoption [YAY!] and met with his assistant [also an adoptive Momma!] for the first time.

In between our appointments, we grabbed a bite to eat for a late lunch.
Olivia was so alert and happy and smiling.

((sigh))

I love those days...

She's going through this phase of "stancing" where she likes to stand and dance kick her feet.

So picture this:

I've got one arm holding her up on my leg while she's "stancing," and my other is shoveling salad in my mouth.

As I'm crunching on a crouton, I hear this woman from across the restaurant ask YELL,

"DID YOU ADOPT HER?"

I crunched my already crunchy crouton louder.

I looked up at rolled my eyes up from my salad to Chris.

He looked at the woman and nodded his head with a half smile / half what-the-heck-are-you-yelling-for type of look.

"What's her name?" she asked politely yelled.

"Olivia," I said with remnants of that crunchy crouton in my mouth.

"Where's she from?" she asked yelled again.

"Texas," I said, fully anticipating she'd make a comment like, "Oh, I figured she'd be from Africa..."
but thankfully, she didn't.

Some days I just want to stand up and say:

YES, THIS IS MY DAUGHTER.
YES, I KNOW SHE IS BLACK AND WE'RE WHITE.
YES, YOU CAN STOP STARING NOW.


The fact of the matter is this:

If I see a family with kids at a restaurant, I don't ask them how they were born.

I don't ask things like, "Did you give birth naturally? Or with an epidural? Vaginally or a C-Section?"

Those would be an awfully strange questions, don't ya think?

It's similar to people -- strangers -- asking us questions about Olivia, if we adopted her and why we adopted her.

Do those same people ask other moms and dads, "Why did you get pregnant?"

Doubtful.

Please -- swoon over my daughter and love on her all you want, but don't ask yell nosy questions from across the room about how she came to be a part of our family.

I love talking about our sweet lil' gal and the day we laid eyes on her, but next time just come over to our table and talk about how cute she is first ;-)

11/02/2013

Operation: Diaper Wipes

Two ingredients + water + 1 roll of paper towels = diaper wipes, friends!

A few people shared a recipe for homemade diaper wipes, so Chris and I decided to try 'em out.

And because I think they're so fabulous, I wanted to share with you all!

[Because what Momma doesn't want to save money?!]
Cut roll of paper towels in half.

Make sure you use a durable roll of paper towels (we used Bounty).

Cut the roll in half.

Set aside.
In a bowl, mix 1 cup water with 1 tablespoon baby wash and 1 tablespoon baby oil.

Put half of the roll of paper towels in a container and pour the mixture on top.

Let soak for 5-10 minutes.

Pull out the cardboard core and walah!

You've got wipes!

Store in a ziplock bag or container with a lid (we actually used an ice cream bucket).

You're done!

Seriously.

I'm not kidding.

These work EXACTLY the same as store-bought wipes.

And it's SO easy.


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Homemade Baby Wipes
1 cup water
1 Tbsp baby wash
1 Tbsp baby oil
1 roll heavy-duty paper towels (cut in half)
Mix liquids in container. Dump over half a roll of paper towels. Let soak for 5-10 minutes. Take
out cardboard core. Store in air-tight container.

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