An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children

Every morning I wake up by the alarm that is my 3 year-old stomping down the stairs. She then burrows herself in our bed and is nothing but chatter as she boasts about how she has slept through the night all by herself.  I then get up, get myself and the kids dressed, let the dog out and kiss my husband goodbye as we head off to our respective jobs with a mouth-full of whatever we have grabbed to eat on our way out of the door. Day after day pretty much the same routine with rarely a thought about being a black woman married to a white man raising bi-racial children.  We live in Houston, Texas which is a beautiful melting pot of multi-cultural goodness and I love that my kids are able to grow up in such diversity.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

The other day my family and I were at a popular restaurant when and older white gentleman, maybe in his early 70’s, came up to me and said “you have a beautiful family”.  As I saw him approach our table, I have to admit, out of nowhere I got the feeling of wanting to protect my children from hearing  something hateful that he might say. I had never really experienced this before, perhaps too comfortable in my daily routine bubble, but this fear gripped me out of nowhere.  How beautiful it was to hear him say such a complement especially knowing that the generation that he grew up in would not have been so accepting. After replaying this over in my mind it made me think about the lives of my children as they grow up and how much progress (and how far we still have to go) has been made in the acceptance of bi-racial families. I wanted to share with them an open letter that they are too young to understand now but one day will appreciate from their black mother married to their white father.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

1. It Wasn’t Always Acceptable

It’s always baffling to me that it’s only been 51 years that bi-racial marriage has been legal and recognized in the United States.  My 60+ year old parents and in-laws and the man that approached us as we ate our breakfast lived in a time where what we have was not acceptable.  Where families like ours had to hide or only go out in certain places at certain times. Even when daddy and I were dating family members told us that what we were doing was “taboo” and that our children would have a hard life if we continued our relationship into marriage.  Your great grandfather whom you will never meet and who I barely knew was disapproving of me and daddy’s relationship.  Even on his death bed I chose to stay in the background because I didn’t want the thought of his grandson marrying a black woman to be a sad thought during his last days. Although my grandparents were gone before I was born, who knows, they may have felt the same way about daddy being on our family tree.  Life goes on and each day the love that our family shares despite race becomes more and more the norm. Never take for granted the people that have paved the way to make that happen.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

2.You NEVER Have to Choose

People may ask you if you are more black or more white. You NEVER have to choose. The answer is that you are equal parts awesome! Don’t let the confines of check boxes on applications put YOU in a box. When I was in school I remember people telling me that I “acted white”. And you know what, I wore that “oreo” title like a badge.  I know better now.  Never let people tell you who you are or that you act a certain race. And on a separate note, good grammar is not a race thing it’s just good English.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

3.You Can Do and be Anything

When daddy and I think about the times when a few people said if we had children they would have a hard life, it gives us a big laugh! You kids are blessed!  Not because you are bi-racial but because you live in America with family that adores you, and you never have to worry about anything.  You were born at a time where there was a bi-racial president and a bi-racial American girl turned Duchess of Sussex over-night.  You can do anything you put your mind to and mommy and daddy are going to do our best to present you with opportunities as you grow to watch you thrive.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

4. Always Expose Yourself to Different Cultures

One of me and daddy’s favorite things to do together is to travel.  We can’t wait to do more with you guys and watch as you discover new and exciting things. We promise to show you the world starting at a young age so that you grow to appreciate different cultures, and languages, and foods, and music.  There is so much to see out there! Learn Italian!  Get really good at making sushi! Study abroad! Take in all this world has to offer. My hope for you is that you always keep an open mind.  Open hearts and open minds is what allowed mommy and daddy to be together in the first place.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

5. People Will Be Curious

People will ask to touch your hair or ask you “what are you” or “what are you mixed with”.  People wanting to touch your hair will be weird.  You don’t have to be shy in sharing who you are with people.  Say it proudly! Always take time to educate and inform others. You could change their whole perspective! Sometimes when I am out with you guys people will ask me if you are my kids.  I am so proud to tell them that you are (and have gotten past the feeling of being slightly offended that someone would even ask!)

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

6. Your Family Loves You No Matter What

You have such a big support system of family and friends that are basically family that there is no way that you could possibly fail at life.  5 aunts,  3 uncles, 6 grandparents, 9 cousins, and 6 dogs that love you very much. Although there are times when family members disagree, one thing is for sure, we can all agree that we want nothing more than to see you thrive! My biggest prayer for you is not that you have all the riches in the world but that you grow up to be kind, decent humans. That you love others and that you take care of each other.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

In closing my loves, be proud of who you are. Your curly hair, your mocha skin, your gapped teeth, your nose like your Grand, and eyes like your dad. You were made with love and I hope that mommy and daddy can serve as a guide for you when you fall in love. Don’t be afraid to shake up the family tree! Whomever you choose to marry, I am probably going to give them a hard time anyway because I am your mom and you are my baby.

An Open Letter To My Bi-Racial Children multi-cultural family mixed race family bi-racial children multi-cultural children

Special thanks to Willow & Pine Photography for taking these gorgeous pictures of my family.  You captured all of us so beautifully and we will cherish these photos forever.  If you are looking for excellent family photography check out Willow & Pine or check out this special offer just in time for the holidays with a set stylist that has designed for Junkin’ Gypsies, Miranda Lambert, and has been featured on HGTV!

 

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11 comments

  1. I grew up in SB,In my siblings and myself were adopted I am black my siblings are biracial we grew up going to Catholic school and I went to the private all girls school I was called Oreo,white girl now please look at me my siblings all married white we never saw white or black so embrace your family and love them you would not believe some of the names I was called. I was taught by nuns proper speech and Annunciation was essential .
  2. It was so touching. Brittany I cried, Laughed and begin to open my ears to everything about the story. So Sweet the world has truly came a long way. Much love...
  3. I’m so very proud & honored to have you married to my son & call you my daughter in law!! I’m NEVER with downcast eyes, rather with head held high, big smile on my face when I’m with my family. Why? Because you make my son smile & you make him happy. You have been the answer to my prayers since he was born that God would prepare the perfect woman He had for Cameron to walk through life with & parent children with. And that is you. Thank you for being such an integral fulfilling part of our family! God did an excellent job in choosing you for our son!!! Thank you for loving our son our wonderfully perfect grandchildren. And when I met Clark, he loved all of my kids & their families, saying proudly after we got married that WE now have 6 children. No questions asked. He’s proudly talked about HIS grand babies to everyone as if they were from his own kids because that’s how he loves too & is all inclusive & has a big loving heart too. And for your kids for Easter, we went shopping & he wanted to buy everything 😊 & even wore bunny ears while holding Cami & taking her Easter egg hunting. We’re all very proud of your family & don’t consider any of you as black or white or mixed. You’re just family & WE LOVE YOU!!!!!! 😘❤️😍
  4. Omg thank you so much for posting this! Being adopted by a black family, I always associated myself with being Black only. Not one time until the age of 41 did I finally start staying I was biracial. It’s almost like I didn’t want to be. Maybe because I didn’t meet my biological parents? Not sure. But this here puts it all into perspective. Thank you for posting this. I’m allowing myself to be me and free in my own skin!!
  5. Brittany, I remember the day your husband came to Klein Forest to propose to you. That was a beautiful day. Continue to encourage your children by showing them that they are loved! You and your family look so happen and may you continue to share the love that I see in these pictures forever!!!
  6. I agree with every single word you said!!! As a biracial family living a multicultural life, these are the very discussions we have with our son each and every day. We strive to live the example we want him to follow, to grow in love and courage together as a family, and to educate ourselves and those around us as we travel the globe. Thank you for this open and heartfelt letter to your children. I pray its message resonates in the hearts of mindful parents everywhere!! With love, from Albania!!!

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