Adelyne with Tia, Wujek, Onkel, and Attai
My daughter has grown up in Poland. And for the majority of her life, she has known her American family, aunties, and uncles, and grandparents—but she has been raised by her other aunties and uncles.
Or shall we say, she has been raised by:
& Aunties and Uncles
You see. My daughter has grown up on the hips, in the arms of, on the laps of, and in the presence of many aunties and uncles from around the world.
Some of them have the same color of skin as she does.
Most do not.
And, yes. My daughter has noticed the differences ever since she could talk.
Adelyne and her cheeky twin, Seun
Here’s an example. Most of my daughter’s first influential aunties and uncles in her life come from Africa. These countries to be exact: Nigeria, Zambia, Botswana, and Ivory Coast.
And it was one day when she was with her Auntie Toria (for Victoria—Toria was the name that Adelyne gave her auntie) that she pointed at both of their arms, hers and Victoria’s, and asked, “Auntie Toria, how come you have skin this color and I have skin this color?”
Auntie Toria was stunned. After all, here was a little wee one that has always been family. And now she was supposed to answer?
Since she didn’t know what to say, she hollered loudly, “Pastor Richard! Come here.”
And come we did. Victoria told us the conversation and so we looked at Adelyne and said, “Some people have skin the color of coffee. And some the color of milk. But you know what’s great? Both are awesome and they go REALLY well together.”
That seemed to make sense to our little 3-year-old. And off she and Auntie Toria went to play again.
Another time, Adelyne pointed to Auntie Mwanso’s skin and said, “Ciocia Mwanso, I want a sister with your color skin.”
It also makes sense. After all, a large majority of Adelyne’s “family” growing up had skin the same color as Ciocia Mwanso (again, a beautiful black skin). So why wouldn’t she want a sister with the same color skin?
Lastly, Adelyne has an African twin, Seun. You see, they both have the perfect set of cheeks. And so she and Adelyne quickly became “Cheeky Twins” (it’s what we called them). And it is this very Auntie that Adelyne is off to see this week in Botswana, helping her celebrate her wedding to Kwesi!
But it’s not just Africa…
A yi Annie and Adelyne…Best of Friends
Adelyne also has so many aunties and uncles from Asia, Taiwan mostly.
In fact, Daniel Chen was Adelyne’s first boyfriend. There could be a room full of people, but Adelyne would only have eyes for Daniel. She would stare at him for hours. Of course, he’s much older…so it would never work 😉 But she would stare nonetheless.
By the age of 2, Adelyne could count to 10 in 3 languages, 1 being Mandarin.
When she wasn’t in the arms of her African aunties and uncles, she was in the arms of her Taiwanese Aunties and Uncles.
They have been with Adelyne through all of her important moments in life: Christmases, birthdays, Easters, school beginnings, lost teeth, and so much more.
Skin color…it’s a beautiful thing.
And Adelyne recognizes that each special person in her life is unique.
She sees beyond the skin color. No, she doesn’t dismiss what makes each person individual—but she sees the skin color and recognizes that the world is full of beauty. And differences. Fantastically wonderful differences.
And, most importantly, she sees their hearts.
And that is what makes us one.
One big family—all around the world.