My first born son is a high school junior this year. It’s hard to believe. I think back to the time when I first discovered I was pregnant with Jaren. Yes, he was unexpected. Yes, he was not planned and under my own limited human perception, unintended. And even with all that, I was not afraid of my future or our future together; despite his father’s lack of enthusiasm.
Even my family was happy for me. Until…
Until about seven months into my pregnancy, they learned that my future son would be half of another race of a man that they did not know nor ever met. Jaren’s father was mostly African American along with some American Indian. They acted as if I had done the most horrific thing. And although I was thirty-four years old and lived more than a thousand miles away, they began to scheme on ways to talk me into getting rid of my baby who had not even been born yet
Then the phone began to ring. This is how coercion begins. Mom’s sister called first. I had not talked with my aunt or seen her in many years. However, she is calling me not to congratulate me or support me or to ask me how I was doing; no, none of those things. She was calling me to ask me to “give up” my future infant for adoption. She was very persuasive in her argument. Even though just months before she had supported my pregnancy and was a guest at a baby shower given in my honor by my family back home, race had now played a very big factor in my decision to parent my own child. She thought it would be more difficult to raise a bi-racial son as a single mother. Apparently raising a white infant is easier than raising a bi-racial infant, especially if the race includes African or a darker skinned race.
It’s not like I didn’t know how my family felt about race. I remember as a teenager, my mother had a variety of cabbage patch dolls. One of them was a black cabbage patch doll. When my niece was a toddler, she would play with the cabbage dolls and carry them over to my step dad. He would allow my niece to place them in his lap except for one. Whenever she placed the black cabbage patch doll in his lap, he would throw the doll across the room and call it a derogatory name. Not the n-word but other derogatory names. My niece would go get the doll, give it back to him, scold him, and they would repeat this performance several times.
So I knew my family didn’t really care about my role as a single mother. Neither was their concern that this new offspring that extended from our family tree would get adequate care under my supervision. They were masking the truth. They didn’t want to be the family with the daughter who got pregnant by a black man. They wanted that branch to be removed or at the very least hidden. If they could just talk me into getting rid of my new baby boy and hide him away through adoption, they would have succeeded; they would have won the coercion battle.
But God had different plans for my son and me.
You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. Genesis 50:20
I don’t know where I would be if I had allowed my family to convince me that parenting my child was wrong. I’ve thought about that many times over the years. What if Jaren was somewhere out there in the world and I had no idea where he was? It’s heartbreaking to think about. Thankfully, I was stronger and God was louder and I am so very thankful I listened
God has been my source of empowerment and has continued to support and guide me all these years. I won’t say it’s been easy as a single mother but most things in life are not easy. But parenting my son has been worth it. As for the racial aspects, I don’t think it has impacted my life negatively. I would say I have benefited from the things I have learned as a mother of a mixed-raced family. Sure, I’ve faced race issues but nothing that I have not been able to handle. In fact, I would say my family has caused me more hardship about race than society in general. All of which has helped me learn more about the human race and has increased my understanding and compassion.
As for my son, he is my life. He has brought so much joy into my world. He has raised my soul to another level of conscious learning. I have experienced the greatest love I have ever known. And I am so proud to have been chosen by God to be his mother.