Saturday, September 20, 2014

white mama at the black salon and beyond...

Y'all.  You'd never believe it, but this white mama might be able to learn a thing or two after all.

 Fourth hair cut today, and there were miraculously NO tears, NO screams, and NO attempts to hit me or the stylist.

(Can I just get a high five?  Thank you.)

And no, it wasn't the mound of crackers and the toy violin bow in his hands that made the difference.  (though those didn't hurt, I'm sure)  And it wasn't even the fact that I took him to a different barbershop this time.

Wanna know what saved me?

Some EXCELLENT advice from a woman who owns a black beauty supply shop here in town.

You won't believe how we found this lady.

One Sunday after church-- of course, the day when Jameson's hair was ESPECIALLY dry and "nappy"-- a black woman approached our table at the restaurant and kindly told us we needed to go see this lady.  Like, she was pointing us to the Yoda for black hair care, I suppose...

Honestly, it was hard to not take her comments personally at first.  Even though I knew this woman's intentions were to be nothing but helpful to our family, it still felt like she was telling me I didn't know what I was doing.

Well... she's right.  And I just needed to get over myself.

We need help.  (As transracial parents, we'll forever need help, and for a whole lot more than hair!) Marc and I decided to track down this infamous woman, and we are so, SO glad we did.  She couldn't have been any more helpful and encouraging to us, understanding what type of look I was wanting and showing us exactly which products to use in his hair and in what order (kinky hair is a process to care for!).  She was nothing short of a godsend!

So you wanna know how I've been messing up as the white mama at the black salon?

I've been naively taking Jameson into the salon with dry, tangled up hair, fully expecting the stylist to wet, detangle it and prepare it for cutting.  Yeah, that's a meltdown waiting to happen.  Who knew that if I took the time to wash, detangle, condition, and brush/pick out his hair at home right before heading out the door, we'd have NO problems at all.
Not even a whimper.


The little casanova himself...
You know, our move downtown to a diverse neighborhood has been everything I'd hoped it would thus far.

Honestly, since Jameson came into our lives, it just amazes me how much more comfortable and "at home" I feel with and around African American culture.  I am surprised at how "out of place" I feel when there are little to no black folks around.  I can't believe I'm becoming fairly comfortable talking about race now, either, because in white culture, we're just supposed to ignore the topic altogether.  Who am I??  :)

I love how God is maturing and transforming me through transracial adoption.

It makes this little white mama's heart SO happy to see my son playing with other children that look like HIM.  From the outside, that may not seem like a big deal, but when you're the minority-- in your country, in your city, in your church, and especially in your own FAMILY-- it's a big deal.

 A few of you have asked about Caroline's transition to a diverse neighborhood.

"Mom, I've noticed that there are a lot more chocolate skinned people downtown than in our old neighborhood," she observed from the car one day shortly after we moved.

"You're right, Caroline!  There ARE.  That's one of the things we love about downtown.  It's got people with chocolate skin," as I pointed to someone walking on the street, "and people with light skin," I pointed to another person out the window, "and all different colors in between.  Downtown looks more like God's family, which is made up of all different kinds and colors of people."

"Yeah," she said.  "It's so great."

The move has really been just as good for Caroline as it has for Jameson.
I love seeing her make friends with the girls in our neighborhood.

Jameson has the benefit of being around his own culture.

Caroline (and Marc and I) have the benefit of entering into relationships with people who, in some ways, are different from us.  What a blessing to have a bigger perspective than that of your own.

God has beautifully designed us all in His image.

He is at work in bigger ways than I ever imagined.

And I consider myself so privileged to join this crazy journey called transracial parenting.

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