"Sometimes I'd like to ask God why He allows poverty, famine, and injustice in the world when He could do something about it...but I'm afraid God might ask me the same question."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's Okay To Be Different

Lately, I have had the feeling that I need to make a conscious effort to point out physical differences to Grace, and more importantly, to highlight the super cool things about her that are unique and "different." It has something do to with her hair. She is starting to get more an more annoyed with the process of "doing her hair." She sees how easy it is for her big sister and doesn't like it when I insist on adding moisture to her hair throughout the day and before bed. We took her sister to the hair salon for a hair cut, and there were multiple ladies (and hair stylists) who couldn't help but check out Grace's hair (touching her teeny-tiny little spiral curls, etc). I try to make it an opportunity for others to get some first-hand experience with someone who is African American, but to Grace, it is just getting old. She has told me on a number of occasions that she would like long hair. I am thinking about getting her braids with extensions for summer (any advice?).
Well, I'll continue to use all sorts of books, games, videos, etc. to explain that we are ALL unique and special. I LOVE Todd Parr books and had fun reading It's Okay to Be Different to Grace.
She was so cute. Whenever we got to a page that applied to her (for example, "it's okay to be a different color") she got really excited and said something like... "HEY! I am a different color!" The book even says, "It's okay to come from a different place" and "It's okay to be adopted." Grace got really fired up when I read that page... "HEY! I am adopted!" she said.
So as I continue to search for more great children's books, I will be celebrating our family's uniqueness and Grace's beauty.
Check out these shirts...I might need to order one:


  1. Love those shirts! I think I may need to order 1 for each girl.

  2. A great post, Deena! Those shirts are awesome!

    I'm no hair expert by a long shot, but I'm not planning to do any extensions during the summer for Avé b/c of all the swimming we will be doing. The yarn braids I have done really absorb water (obviously) and I think that would hold chlorinated water up against her hair and not be good for it- hard to rinse all those chemicals out w/ braids in. Plus the yarn braids are really heavy when they are wet and take forever to dry. I am planning on getting her some corn rows and braids to make it easy to add coconut oil before we swim, though- inspired by Grace's braids and beads, of course!

    Other kinds of extensions may not be like the yarn though. So don't take my advice!!!

  3. I'll have to check out the book, and love the shirt! Gwen Oatsvall just shared a story on her blog that she got at the Orphan Summit. Take brown eggs and white eggs and talk about how they look a bit different on the outside and then break them open and see how they are the same. I thought that was great. This will be a long journey of having these conversations with our daughters as they grow up in a white family, surrounded by predominantly white culture.

  4. Love the book! We are going to have to order it. If I were you, I would talk to an African American mom that you respect. A few friends of mine have been so valuable when I have questions.

  5. I will have to buy that book. It looks good. I have a ton of adoption books and can always use more. This is another great book to have: