BIPOC Parenting Series: Courtney's Story
As a community-focused company, Kabrita USA strives to be inclusive and to continuously celebrate diversity. In honor of Black History Month, Kabrita USA is featuring a BIPOC Parenting Series, for the entire month of February. The BIPOC Parenting Series centres BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) parents’ experiences. Our goal is to enhance greater representation of BIPOC parents in the media, as well as to amplify BIPOC voices and stories.
Today, we are sharing Courtney's story about celebrating the beauty of families that come in all different forms, and most importantly that love makes a family.
What the, girl you are not Black; those kids aren’t Black; you will never be anything other than a white girl; you will never be considered Black; you are a disgrace to the Black community.
Colorism is real! As a light-skinned, bi-racial (Black, white) woman that identifies as Black, I have felt both extremes. Due to my light complexion, I am often sought after and given an “upper hand” over my dark complexion brothers and sisters. However, in the same day, I have been disregarded, disrespected and overlooked, because let’s face it 1% of Black is too Black for many.
Married to a Mexican American woman, there are also challenges she faces being a woman of color in this world. So, one of the toughest conversations we had when expanding our family, was picking a sperm donor. My wife Sabrina carried our triplets, so we wanted our donor to be someone that resembled my ethnic background, appearance, personality and traits. Knowing that our skin tone needed to complement our children, we elected a light skin donor of my complexion.
Being raised by a single Black mother and primarily around my Black family, I have experienced firsthand the disrespectful and hurtful things that people say. Once when I was in the grocery store with my Black grandmother, whom was dark skinned, she was accused of kidnapping me, the police were called and of course nothing happened to the white woman accuser. That has stuck in my mind for over 30 years. So, when expanding our family, we were very mindful of the things that our children could experience when with my mother.
Although, their skin tone makes their race questionable, our children will be raised to know and understand the injustices that may be formed against them when they say they are Black or when they say they are Mexican. Our job as parents of children of color isn’t to shield them of these injustices, but to teach them right from wrong and how to stand up against these hateful things. They need to understand and know how to use their voice in this world, especially with the current climate in the United States against Black Americans. This shouldn’t only be a topic that are held in BIPOC families, but rather all families; the more families that discuss and stand-up for these injustices, the more visibility in brought on this unjust behavior and eventually will result in ending the racial division and hate crimes.
Our family doesn’t only have to prepare our children of the treatment they may receive based on their race, but also the fact that they have 2 mothers. Comments that we constantly receive as their mothers are “who is the dad”, “who is the REAL mom”, “your children are going to be screwed with no father”, the list goes on and on. However, when we hear these hurtful statements, we explain that our family is built off of love, trust, happiness and joy. Many people may not understand and/or approve of our family dynamics, but the beauty in the world is that families come in all different forms. The way a family is created, the differences in their appearance, doesn’t make a family, Love makes a family and our family is filled with an immense amount of love.
One of the most rewarding parts about being a mother of our triplets, is the pure joy they have and the strong bond they continue to grow each day. It’s the big smiles, hugs and kisses, they give us when we are having a difficult day or when we experience hurtful comments or just because they equally love the feeling of family snuggles. As mothers of triplets, we are challenged each day, especially during a pandemic, we have had to limit our contact and help from family, friends and a caregiver, because our journey to parenthood was so difficult that we didn’t want to risk anything health-wise for highly susceptible babies.
Although, we haven’t experienced anything hurtfully in person, being a BIPOC family or 2 mom family, we have received many hateful messages, comments and threats on social media platforms. We either approach them by educating them on the different family types or ignore them based on the extent of threats. We have found much support from our online community, we have built strong relationships with families that look like ours, families that have 2 moms, 2 dads, multi-racial, and they have been a tremendous help using their platforms to stand-up and speak out about the injustices in the world. It’s important to not only educate families that look like ours, but all families need to teach their children of the beauty a different family makes.
To other families that are considering expanding their family with children, to families that have children, to families that look like ours, families with 2 moms, families that are multi-racial, BIPOC families, all families of color… this is our message to you:
We see you; we are you; we understand you. We know the need to see more representation of families like ours, that’s why we use our platform to discuss the challenges, the hurdles and what families can do to educate, understand and be accepting of all families. Our voice matters, our story matters, we are worthy of love, we are beautiful, we are strong, WE ARE ENOUGH.
Kabrita USA BIPOC Parenting Series shares genuine stories written by parents from the BIPOC community. Each story offers a different perspective from their personal parenting experience. To read more stories, please visit our Nourish Blog.