Maria of tobeanaturalista.com writes:
Amy Ford is a new blogger on NaturallyCurly.com. As conotated by the above title, Amy is white and her adopted children are black. Her contribution to Naturally Curly is to write about the things she learned to be able to properly care for her girls naturally curly hair.
I've been coming across many stories as of late, about white mothers with black adopted children who go through hell and high water in order to learn how to properly care for their daughters hair. There was the dad who learned how to braid his Ethiopian Daughter's hair. Not only was he a guy doing his daughter's hair, he was a white guy!
In my son's (overwhelming white) swim class, there was couple who had adopted a black daughter. On the last day of class in the locker room, I overheard her pointing out my "Thank God I'm Natural" tote to her 4 year old. I stopped so we could talk and she told me they are dedicated to the Youtube community for learning about how to take of the girl's hair. She asked me, a perfect stranger, about wrapping her child's hair at night. The mother stopped using scarves after waking to find the scarve slipped over her daughter's face in the night. I told her a cap or a satin pillow case would solve her problem. She was ever so grateful. Sherelle, the co-creator of Naturalistas, works in a child development center and mentioned to me about a little girl who is also adopted. The parents try very hard to enforce the beauty of the little girl's hair, but the girl insists that her hair needs to be straight like the other black women who also work at the facility. Sherelle, of course is natural. But at what point did the girl make this revelation I wonder?
More interestingly, I find, is the dedication of these mothers who love their children so much, and have no aim to change who they are genetically, that they are doing whatever it takes to make sure the girl's hair is taken care of properly. Maybe it is different with adoption? One could reason these parents may feel they have more to prove since the children are not biologically theirs irregardless of their skin color. But what about the whole Angelina and Zahara debacle? The brown masses of the US were demanding Angelina "do something" with Zahara's hair while others, including many naturals, thought her naturally curly afro was adorable and appropriate for a little girl. That Angelina and other mother's allow their little girls' natural hair to shine without submitting it to the heat of a hot comb or worse, to chemical relaxers so very early on in their precious lives is a beautiful thing.
My own mother, African-American, may not have gone out of her way to purchase numerous books and there were no Youtubes for her to watch, but she was very protective about my hair. It was always in braids. There were no free pony tails for me, no one, including my self was allowed to "play in" my hair and I slept with a scarf for as long as I can remember. Now, when I got to be 9, all that was undone with a relaxer, but I still wasn't allowed to touch my hair. Doing my hair was both tedious for my mother and loathed by me, but she had no qualms about taking the time and effort to do it. So what is it about many ( I said many, not most or all) young black mothers opting to take the easy route and slap the creamy crack on their babies heads?
I know, through my own witness, many heads roll when they see yet another white couple with black children. But it's just skin and it's just hair and obviously they are providing that child with love and care that the biological parents could and or did not. I say kudos to Amy for not only going the extra mile for her child but for sharing her journey publicly.