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BIPOC Parenting Series: Totiana's Story

by Stacey Leonard February 10, 2021

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 Totiana’s parenting story about values and choosing love as a first response.

Totiana's Family - BIPOC Parenting Series

 

Two years ago, I received the best transforming news of my life. After a few long anxious minutes, two faint red lines appeared on a stick and my desire to be a mother became my reality. When I pulled the string attached to the box at my gender reveal and blue balloons fell to the floor, I was filled with joy. I was having a baby boy! Even with the smile that lit up my face, there were so many counteracting thoughts that rippled in the back of my mind. I questioned, “How am I going to raise a black boy while silencing the stereotypes labeled against him? Could I possibly be able to guard him from the hatred that he could someday experience in America?”

Simultaneously, while bearing my son, so many media outlets circulated with viral videos of police brutality and hashtags with someone’s colored child’s name proceeding. This was the world I was about to bring my child into. It was heartbreaking trying to fathom what those mourning parents may have felt after losing their loved ones. These sad realities caused me to consider my own; I was about to foster a boy, who would be precious and innocent in the eyes of society at first glance, with the possibly that those same eyes that would gaze in adoration could someday burn with fear, hatred or misunderstanding of who he is. Being a black mother causes me to ponder these unfortunate truths.

I am currently pregnant with my second baby boy and despite the adversities that my sons may face, I am truly grateful to be a BIPOC parent. It requires much diligence and intentionality when cultivating them, but luckily it is a task I am blessed not to have to do alone. I have my loving husband who supports and helps me to instill in our children the key values of self-worth, love, and wisdom.

In our household, it is vital that we teach them as they grow up and begin to grasp the realities of our world, the importance of choosing love as their first response. They will never be able to control one’s opinion of them, however establishing a foundation that highlights the power of response is what we will raise them on. It is also important to us to build up their character by affirming their true identity, loving them and reminding them of the unique purpose they have been graced with here on earth to fulfill.

If you are a BIPOC parent like myself, I want to encourage you to embrace the power of community and the reliability that we share. This is not a fight that you have to face alone! Lock hands with the loving souls around you and let’s embrace our babies together, reminding them of the name they have been called before someone else can dilute it.

 


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.

Stacey Leonard
Stacey Leonard