Media outlets remind us of the inequality and injustices facing children of color every day.
And every day, as a white mother in a transracial family, my heart sinks.
This letter was written to moms like me, who wonder and worry how–or if–their children will make it in a world where so many people who look them don’t.
While coming to grips with the racial divide in this country is a heavy load for me to carry, I fully acknowledge this weight is nothing compared to those who live and experience it every day.
To the white Momma of a black child,
We may not know each other, but I understand the worry deep within your heart.
The worry that nearly suffocates the dreams we have of our children growing up in this broken world.
I want you to know I’m in your corner, and you’re not alone.
I know not everyone recognizes the inequality our children face.
Some people pass it off as no big deal.
Others are in denial that racism and discrimination still exist.
I know how badly you want those people to understand the unfair deck of cards stacked against your child.
I do, too, friend.
I do, too.
I know it’s overwhelming thinking about how you’ll tell your sweet, precious, beautiful daughter she’ll be looked at differently because of her skin color.
That she may have to work twice as hard to make it in this world because she has black skin.
I know it’s painful to your core trying to come up with words to teach your sweet, precious teenage son he’ll need to prove his innocence in this world time and time again.
It’s worrisome thinking about him walking home at night wearing a hooded sweatshirt in your neighborhood.
And heaven help him if he plays with a toy gun in broad daylight.
This whole mom thing is hard.
As mothers, we’re tasked with the great responsibility to teach our children how to navigate this world, yet we’ll never really know what it’s like to weave through it in the skin our children live in.
While being in a trans-racial family is beautiful in so many ways, it adds an extra layer of uneasiness because we–as white moms–will never understand what it’s like to be in our children’s shoes.
We will never be able to experience what it’s like to be treated differently because of our skin color.
But I bet your loving Momma’s heart wished it was the other way around.
I bet you’d do anything to remove the criminalized lens so many people view our sons and daughters through.
I would, too, friend.
I would, too.
When you’re up late at night with thoughts of a mountain you feel like you can’t climb, I want you to know I’m awake, too.
And when you’re holding your child safely against your chest with tears streaming down your face because you don’t want to let her grow up in this unfair, broken world, I am, too.
I’m here to remind you—and encourage you—that you’re not in this alone.
Even in your weakest moments, you are stronger than you think you are.
You are braver than you sometimes believe.
You were chosen for this journey not only because you’re capable of raising this child, but because you’re competent at being his well-protected advocate in this messy world.
Keep being a voice for our beautiful children.
I’m right here along with you.
And please remember this:
Your child is loved.
And so are you, Momma.
So are you.