Letter to my Unborn (Bi-racial) Child

Hello my child,

First and foremost, I want you to know that mommy and I love you very much and more importantly, God loves you. He is going to protect you through the storms that you will face when you are eventually born. You will probably learn to depend on mommy and me quite a bit. Hopefully, as you grow older, you will take the instruction of your parents and transfer that dependence to God. Trust me, He is much more reliable than us. We’re pretty reliable though.

I already know that you are going to face trials and tribulations in this world. That’s the “bad news.” The good news is that you won’t be alone in those trials. Everyone goes through them. However, some people will assume that you go through more because you are a mix of mommy and daddy and we look different. So will you! I know this may sound weird to you now, but I want you to consider it pure joy, my child, whenever you face trials of many kinds because you will come to know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. As hard as it can be, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Your Uncle James said that in a book once. When you are born I will read his book to you and when you learn to read, I will make sure you read his book on your own.

My child, there are probably going to be times when people will not think that I am your father because we will probably look different. Sometimes mommy and I experience that because we look different from one another. Daddy was painted white and mommy was painted black. I know it seems weird to say that because we don’t look like the white and black crayons in your box. We’ll talk more about why that is later. Anyway, because we are painted differently, people assume that we are not a couple. Unfortunately, people who are painted differently are often treated differently. Because we are treated differently, we often experience and understand some things differently. People who are painted like daddy are often assumed to be friendly, safe, and smart people. Trust me, not everybody who looks like daddy is smart though. There are a lot of dummies that are painted the same way as daddy. Don’t assume someone is going to be friendly, safe, or smart just because how they are painted. On the other hand, people who are painted like mommy are often assumed to be mean, dangerous, and dumb. We know that’s not true, right? I mean look at mommy! She is very nice, she gives you smiles and hugs, and she is the smartest person in the world. Sometimes people might tell you that you should act a certain way because you are painted a certain way. It’s not that simple. One day, we’ll talk about that more.

Well, that’s all for today, my child. I will keep writing you these letters. They may make a lot more sense when you get older. However, I think you’ll appreciate it.

Love,

Daddy

*This piece was originally submitted to Race Speaks!. Race Speaks! is a printed publication developed by Center for Multicultural Affairs at Duke that aims to increase self and social-awareness regarding the role that race plays in everyday life.