Monday, April 11, 2011

Identity of My Biracial Son

Being adopted when I was four days old into a completely white family I never really identified as being black. My mother was one that hated and still hates when I get my hair braided. The type that has many black friends but in her eyes I was white. While growing up in the Appalachian Mountains was an experience that I wouldn’t trade because these mountains are home to me back in the 90’s growing up was a trip. I had kids that came up to me when I was in first grade asking me what a nigger was which led later to me being pulled out of public school to be homeschooled. Even after I got older I still run into the occasional misuse of the word thrown at me or still here the occasional opinion that all black are “monkeys.” But even still the moment I hit my teenage years and realized that I was indeed adopted and half black that became the side that I embraced but even still I receive comments of “you’re the blackest white girl I ever met.”

Now I am 22 and a mom of an almost 18 month old boy and I wonder what his life will be like growing up. I never really thought about the color of his skin much. But that doesn’t stop the fact that race is still an issue in society. When I was pregnant it was in the back of mind that it was completely possible that even though his father was white that he could come out completely black but mostly I had in my mind that he would come out with skin the color of mine, brown. So when he came out light skinned as could be and never really got darker besides what looks like it is going to turn out to be a light tan when in the sun I was a thrown off.  The questions of “is that your baby?” or “why is he so white?” that were once something I didn’t think I would ever be asked became a reality soon enough. And let me be real with you all when I say that it has taught me a lot of patience when I would love nothing else to snap at those who ask questions. 

My son is his own person and already his personality it developing into his own. Because he is ¼ black doesn’t change the fact that he is a lover not a fighter and a quick learner.  I will strive to ensure that he knows his entire heritage but when it comes to how he identifies that is something that when he gets old enough he will have to decide for himself and I will support whichever choice he makes. Race is still an issue in society but I refuse to let it be an issue within my home.