Karina just left for prom, we took pictures of her in front of the huge tree at my mom's house, just like my sister had taken, I had taken, and my brother had taken. After she left, I cried the whole way home. I love her so much, I feel like I was able to help raise her a little, and she is utterly amazing, given all that she has overcome.
I remember Karina being born at the end of my Junior year of high school. She was such a blessing to our family and I learned so much about the world thru her life. Karina is obviously bi-racial. I used to think Oprah Winfrey was crazy when she talked about people being racist or discriminated against. I guess I lived a pretty protected life and was not exposed to a lot of this. My mom and dad taught us to love others the way Jesus loves us. I mean He made all of us, every race, disability, imperfection, shape, language, etc. He didn't make us all look the same. I have never understood why any race would be so proud of the color of their skin. The color of my skin is something I have absolutely no control over. I did not choose to be white. I wish people were proud of their accomplishments in life. I would love if I never had to check what race I am when I feel out any kind of paperwork, it shouldn't matter, period. I believe that because we keep making it matter, this breeds racism. Why do I need to know how the Hispanics scored on the TAKS test versus the Asian group? Why can't we just say, "All the seventh graders at such and such school scored in the 90%"?
I am on my soap box because when Karina was born, suddenly I had an accelerated education in racism and it hurt, deeply hurt me. I would be out with Karina and people would say, "It is so nice to see people adopting children from THAT race." Huh, are you kidding me? First of all, what if she was adopted, but we had not told her yet, you moron? Secondly, is it really any of your business in the first place? We heard other mothers say, "Get away from the n#$@%r kid!" I have never been so angry before. How could you say that, teach your child that, or be so ignorant? My mother handled this lady before my sister or I had a chance. I just remember being heart-broken. I mean, even if you disagree with inter-racial dating, IT IS NEVER THE CHILD'S FAULT! My heart hurt for the lady's child because she was being raised to be the same way. On a funny note, Karina went thru a stage where every time she saw a black man in public, she would say, "Daddy, Daddy!" It was hilarious to see these guys reaction!
We struggled with how to handle certain things like: doing her hair, what to call her (black/white), intermingling with her other side of the family, etc.. Well, it took a lot of mistakes, but
we, I mean Karina finally figured it out. She told us that she is brown. She was so matter of fact about it. She said, "Look at me, my skin is brown." Her father's side of the family is very nice and it has never been awkward, but I wish we saw them more often. If you don't already know, Karina is completely deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other, but she is awesome at reading lips and handles this with such grace. She is strong, strong like her mother. You see, I could never have done what my sister has done. She is the best single mom I know! She has been kicked out of a rental house because the owners did not agree with a biracial relationship. She has had horrible things said to her from family and close family friends. But, little did they know, Karina is worth so much more than any of those relationships. I, honestly, have never once been ashamed of my niece or my sister. I feel nothing but unconditional love for them both. There is one other statement I have heard more than ten times and it irritates me to no end. "It is okay to be their (other races) friends, but you can't love them." Again, I want to scream. I was taught to love all people, not races of people. And, by the way, I love my friends, so I don't know how to not love my friends. I could not have stood up to all the haters, like my sister has. I could not have raised a kid by myself, it is hard with two parents.
All of this soap box to share pics with you of my beautiful, kind, loving niece, Karina.
Karina and her boyfriend Daniel
Karina and Thomas
Karina with MeeMee and Pawpaw
Karina and my sister
Karina and silly Daniel
Please live your life loving people for who they are on the inside, and remember that no one gets to choose their race!