Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pardon Me, Your Epidermis Is Showing...

..."I couldn't help but notice your shade of melanin."

This past weekend the family and I went home to Maryland for two family reunions. One was on my mother's side and the other was my stepmother's family. Fortunately for us they happened the same day, not too far from one another, and we were able to enjoy both.

My stepmother has a large wonderful family and I have grown up with them. My late Aunt Lena, her sister, had seven children who now almost all have children of their own. Her brothers have grown children as well and I was able to see a lot of my cousins.

As a child I was very close to Lena's children and whenever I was with my Dad and Stepmom, I would hope to be able to see them. They were a great family and I wanted a family just as large and loving as theirs.

This weekend I got to introduce Eazy and Iggy to my cousins for the first time, as some of them live on the west coast or just not very close. My cousin Margie stayed at my parents' with us and got to spend more time with them. At one point, she was holding Iggy and I was noticing how her coloring was barely a shade lighter than his.

Both of my foster sons are hispanic. Iggy's bioparents are from Puerto Rico, as is Eazy's father. His mother is Spanish. They both have darker skin than I do, but in varying shades. Frankly, I could not care less. This weekend, I realized that my boys have a wonderful gift.

My cousin Margie and her six siblings are half hispanic. Their father, my uncle, is Puerto Rican. Because I grew up in a very diverse world, this was never odd or strange to me. The fact that my uncle had an accent and darker skin was natural to me. So natural that I forgot the significance to my boys until I saw the same coloring in Margie and Iggy.

More than likely these two little ones will be part of my family forever. Although we are a diverse family with varying skin tones, there will be no doubt to the boys as they grow that their skin is different than Mommy and Daddy's. But not Margie's. Or my 6 other cousins and their children who sport darker skin. They will have people who look like them in their family.

They may never care or feel out of place. That is my desire. But just in case, the Lord has provided them many family members that do look like them and share the same heritage. He is so good.

dc Talk - Colored People

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