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Why “Dear White People”

I wrote my previous letter to white people. Because I wanted white people to understand what people of different color go through on a daily basis. Addressing ‘white’ people, I, in no manner insinuated that all white people are racists. I did not even try to claim that. My letter was to try and educate. Not racists, but all white people to try and explain to them that people of color are being treated differently, if we want to except or acknowledge  it or not. I am not saying YOU (the person reading this) is the racist, I am saying there are racists among us and that my one child is being treated differently than the other one because of their skin color. No other reason. I have two amazing, beautiful daughters, but they are treated differently because the one has a darker skin.

The letter did not say – dear white people you are racists, the letter said – dear white people please try to understand. Liberal or racist. Either way, until you have loved a person of color or lived with them in one house or have been out with them in public, you will not know. I never knew how much racism there were until we adopted. I have never been a racist, but I was just never aware of the amount of hate towards people of color there were. It shocked me to the core. And by “black people’ I meant every person of color. I have personal experience because my daughter are black. If she was brown, or Indian or any other color I would have written my letter from that perspective.

So please don’t think I am calling people out a whole nation as racists, I am trying to let a whole nation understand that this is happening and that is why people are upset. Not because of one silly woman with a facebook account that went finger happy. It’s a daily thing and that’s why people are upset.

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Dear White People

I’m going to try and explain how I feel, best I can. Today I am angry, sad, upset – but mostly angry. And I’m trying to not let my anger get the better of me. So I am writing you a letter to maybe, just maybe make you understand why it’s not okay to call a black person a monkey – or any other race any other name.

Put yourself in my shoes for one minute. I’m sitting here with my beautiful child playing around my feet. She is loving, intelligent and compassionate. She and her (white) sister is the lights of our lives. The two are the reason I get up in the morning and the reason I don’t go to bed at night.

Okay, so here you sit, with your innocent child playing around your feet. All of a sudden somebody comes up to you and tells you that your brainless idiot child’s skin (and those of her friends – I quote Penny Sparrow: black on black skin, what a shame) is a pain to her. But it’s okay, at least she is a cute little brainless idiot – we all know that is what she meant by the word monkey. Putting a nice spin on it, does not make it okay. And don’t tell me not to take it personally, I quote her again:” from now on I shall address the blacks of SA as monkeys.” That includes my child. And sure as hell, if you mess with my child you mess with me. Don’t tell me to not take it personally, Don’t tell any other person of color in this country not to take it personally. She personally attacked each and every person of color in this country.

Most white people in this country have NO idea what it is to live ‘on the other side’ of the color barrier. You don’t have to worry that your loving child might want to hug another child, because you never know if their white parents might freak because your little ‘monkey’ touched their child. You don’t know what it is to walk in a mall and hear somebody call your child a kaffir or a pittekop. You don’t know what it is like to have to be nervous around other white people because you never know what comes out of their mouths because they believe they have the ‘right’ to just say the first thing that comes to mind. To be told in your face that it’s your and people like you, who is at fault for the state of the country because you treat ‘those barbarians like people’. They should have stayed in the bush where they belonged.

This is not somethings I am thinking ‘might happen’, these things and lot more happened in the last 2 years. My child has been called a black beauty (and not in a positive way), all of the above mentioned names, ‘that thing’ etc. She has NEVER harmed anybody in her life. Her only ‘fault’ is that her skin is black. She has no idea of all of these things happening around her and it’s my job to keep it like that. So don’t tell me to ‘chill’ about it. If it was your child, would you?

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Happy birthday Sky

Today two years ago Sky was born, in a taxi, on her way to hospital. The biological mom went in, signed what she needed to sign and went home. Nobody knew she was pregnant and nobody to this day knows. But she did the right, brave thing. She gave life to our beautiful, happy, funny little diva. Things could have been so different if she decided to have an abortion. But she did what was right and gave us an amazing gift. For that, I say thank you. You truly blessed us beyond words with your selfless gift.

 

To Sky: Today you are 2 years old. You were born into this world – alone. I could not hold you for the first 2 months of your life. You didn’t have somebody to call mommy that first 2 months but you grew strong and you survived. But then a miracle happened and you became our little girl. From day one you only brought us joy, happiness and laughter. You are such an amazing little girl and we can’t wait to see what the future holds. You have so much potential and no matter how rocky your start was, we know you are destined for great things. We are so proud of you. Of who you are, of your heart and your spirit. You really do live up to your Xhosa name – Limyoli (One that brings joy). Never loose your sense of wonder, your wicked sense of humor and your sparkle. You are meant to stand out, never try to fit in. We love you to the moon and back.

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I’m back and even more determined to have healthier children. Our little one is 3 weeks old today and she is just adorable! BUT – she is allergic to milk. Because she was prem and is just soooo small she just could not breastfeed. I was very upset about the fact that we just could not get food into her and I made a decision to put her on formula. I was crying so much the poor nurses had to calm me down! I wanted to do what is best for her but at that stage getting food into her was my main goal. She dropped a lot of weight and she was just not getting anywhere with breast. In any case – we put her on formula and that started 2 weeks of chaos. Nothing worked. She kept on screaming every time she had milk in her. The pediatrician suggested a few things and we ended up going with soya as the milk just did not work with her. She’s still cramping a LOT but it’s much better and I know we have to just let it work through her system.

With all of that going on Sky’s allergies got so out of control that she had a seizure and stopped breathing in my arms. I’ve never been so scared in my life! Luckily hubby was home and we got her to ER in a few minutes. But almost week later I still see her lifeless eyes looking up at me and her breathing just stopping. It seems the allergies gave her airway infection that we just did not pick up.Her fever spiked to over 40 without warning.

So yes here I am with two amazing girls that I need to do the right thing with to make sure they are healthy. One thing this has taught us is that no matter if one of our daughters are not our biological child, we love them the same. When this happened to Sky we just rushed to ER, nothing else mattered at that stage. We left the doors of our house open as in all the chaos I could not find my keys. I did not care if they took everything we had, as long as my child was okay.

Sky is still struggling to deal with the new baby. She’s really moody and tantrums are plenty and not so far in between…The first time she saw Abby she told me to put her back in my tummy and her feelings seems to be the same 3 weeks later. She will come closer now when I feed Abby and she seems to be more at ease with her in the house, but she’s really acting out. We have had some epic fights the last week…. But we know this too shall pass…. And we know that we would not change anything, we are just so blessed to have to amazing daughters.

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Last stretch…..

This is really the last streeeeeeeeetch… I know it’s only 3 more weeks to go officially, but it feels like forever until Abby is here. And it might even be sooner. Not to go into too much details but I’ve been to the doctor and the ‘process’ has started and she seems to be very ready to come out. I’m showing signs of going into labor and we are watching and resting…. Well resting as much as I can. I’m so uncomfortable just sitting is a mission. But so is sleeping and standing and eating and walking and breathing….

 

I must admit I’m a bit freaking out about the next few weeks. I still have a wedding to do next weekend and I’m not sure if I’m up to it. I do have a back up if I’m not up to it, but back ups cost money and we are saving every cent we can at the moment to make up for the time I won’t be able to work. But I believe there is a plan for this little miracle and that the Lord will provide.

 

Sky is still very jealous and she’s so aware of my body. She’s aware of every change in my body and comments on it, wants to touch and asks questions. I try to answer her as honest as possible on her level. She seems very excited that there is a baby in my tummy. Let’s hope the excitement stays when the baby actually becomes ‘real’.

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If it makes you happy, why the hell are you so sad?

I’ve been asking myself this a lot the last while. My biggest wish ever was being pregnant and feeling a baby inside me. My BIGGEST dream has come true and I’m miserable… If is because it’s not as ‘magical’ as what I wished for? Or is it the fact that I’m FREAKING out about having another baby after only adopting Sky less than 2 years ago. I’m going to have 2 children under the age of 2 and I’m not ready. And yes. I have been beating myself up about this. I feel like a spoiled brat that is upset because everything is not going like she planned. In my heart I know that God has a plan. That Abby is part of such an amazing miracle and that our 2 daughters are going to be one amazing power couple. I mean, they are even color coded! 🙂

With all of this going on in my mind and emotions I’ve really been searching deep and I have no idea where and why I lost my joy. This is not me. I have so much to be thankful for – I have an amazing husband, wonderful little girl, a little miracle on the way and wonderful friends.

I find myself having to make a physical decision to be happy. To enjoy this last month. To focus on the fact that I have exactly one month left and then Abby will be here and our lives will change once again and it will be for the better once again. So please excuse me if I’m not always in a good mood. I’m really working on it. But I’m also going to stop beating myself up about it. I’m as big as a house, struggling to walk and I’m still working every day. I suppose I am allowed an hour or so a day to feel miserable. But I’m only allowing myself an hour, then I’m just going to put this big girl panties – and damn they are BIG, on and deal with what life has decided to give me – a pretty damn amazing life filled with people that loves me.

 

 

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Breastfeeding dilemma

Being 8 months pregnant is causing a lot of decision to be made that I never thought I would need to make. Including if I’m going to breastfeed. My first and instant reaction is HELL NO! But the research is there – breastfeeding is best. And with both our medical histories I know the right thing to do is to breastfeed. But I’m totally freaked out by the idea. I’m going for a workshop next week and then I will have to make the final decision although I know what my decision should be….

 

The other part of this decision is – am I then going to bond differently with my two children? Will this affect Sky? How will she cope with this? She is all of a sudden VERY protective of me. She won’t allow anybody to touch me. It’s just ‘mommy mommy’ and she will even push the cats off me if they try to sit on my lap. We have some plans for when Abby comes, but the breastfeeding does bring in a whole new level of debate. Hubby is amazing and supports me in whatever I decide. Even when I decided to op for a c-section rather than normal birth he just went with my decision without asking why….

 

I am becoming more open to the idea of breastfeeding that what I used to be. I am so in ‘awe’ of women that find this natural. To me it’s such a foreign subject. I can’t even imagine doing it. The closer we do come to due date, the more open I am becoming to it, but still the idea gives me a sinking feeling in my stomach. What to do, what to do……….