I am mixed race. I have a white mum, black dad, and I came out brown skinned with curly hair. Growing up with a white mum had it’s challenges, and I quickly learnt that people really had no idea about interracial dating. I could not tell you how many times as a child I would introduce people to my mum or show people a photo of my mum, to then be asked questions like “but why is she white?”, and “are you adopted?”. Or quite often be told “you two look nothing alike”. I always grew up feeling like I had to prove she was my mum. Like as though saying she was my mum just wasn’t enough for some people.
I always found it amazing that people had the nerve to ask such questions. How strangers just felt the right to know more. But really, who cares if I was adopted? What if I was? And why do you feel the need to share your thoughts about who I look like?
I know I look exactly like my mum, just a brown version of her. To anyone that looks beyond my skin colour, you will see we have the same smile, eyes, and bone structure. But to this day, even in the multi cultural city I live in, I still have people shocked when I say where my parents are from.
I think it is natural when you imagine what your child will one day look like, that you visualise a mini version of yourself. Same hair, skin, feet, height etc. Why would you not. I naturally imagined having a brown skinned, curly haired baby before my son came along. Now that he is here, I can’t imagine my reaction if someone asked if he is adopted, or really mine! I really think it’s irrelevant whether he is biologically mine or not, or why his skin doesn’t exactly match mine. He is still my son, and those variables wouldn’t make him any less my son.
So the next time you meet parents and they may look different to the child, or not what you expected, then don’t make it your business to find out why. If someone feeds, bathes, comforts, houses, and loves a child, then they are its parent – full stop. Accept it, and move on. Don’t be quick to judge.