The Love Story
When I met Antonio, I was the single mother of two small children; I think I had given up on love. My first real relationship was with my children’s father, a refugee from South Sudan who was emotionally and physically abusive. Though my dad is a wonderful man, somehow I thought they just don’t make men like that anymore. Inside I felt like men don’t have emotions that they really don’t care as much as women do. I was very sexist, very feminist and though I wanted a good relationship I didn’t truly believe I would ever find anyone that I would truly be happy with. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to trust anyone again.
I moved to Florida from Maine in 2005. I started working at Dell Financial services, which was directly behind Virgin mobile. I would get tired of sitting at my desk and stand up at my cubicle and notice this guy always dancing around his desk and having fun. He had the cutest freckles and the hugest smile. I was so shy I didn’t even dare to talk to him so I messaged him on the pc and told him that I worked with him and was too shy to introduce myself, we started hanging out shortly after.
Antonio wasn’t looking for love, he had been hurt by his first love that cheated more than once, and he wasn’t willing to risk his heart being broken again. I had been so hurt by my children’s father I felt the same way but we decided we would be friends. Antonio loves his family and talked so much about them, he showed me pictures and movies and introduced me to his loved ones. He is into art and poetry, loves babies, loves family and though I intended to just be friends I was falling for him! He showed me that men are just as sensitive as women and care just as deeply. I trusted him with my heart and, trusted him with my children.
Antonio treated me like a Queen, in the period of 2 years we went from being friends, to a couple, to being husband and wife. I was so happy on my wedding day I could barely speak the words through my tears. A fairy tale ending was something I had never had before, and as cliché as it sounds, I found my prince charming!! More importantly my children found a father figure who is a man of integrity, a caring man who would do anything for them! They finally found a man worthy of being called “Dad.”
We have been through so much loss in our first years of marriage, the death of his little brother, my pulmonary embolism, and unemployment. Who new through sickness and health, richer poorer, good times and bad would come so quickly? Together we’ve made it through! All the difficulties and trials have brought us closer together, strengthened our love and our faith in God.
On Being An Interracial Family:
I am very passionate about supporting interracial families and, promoting racial equality. It’s funny that I often talk about race on my blog, and other social networking websites but I get tired of people always wanting to discuss race with me offline. Like say, at the grocery store or social events and parties.
I’m not super polite when it comes to ignorance. Some people just always have the “right” answer and know how to say it in the gentlest possible way. That’s not always me. I get tired of being stared at, I get tired of stupid questions, get tired of being asked if they are my children and at times I come back with some pretty sarcastic answers. If you’re racist and you’re going to come at me with racism, I’m likely to come back at you with anger and passion because racism is something I don’t accept, don’t understand and will spend my life fighting against. If you’re looking for the nice girl with all the answers concerning race, that isn’t me. Yes I consider myself a pretty nice person but I have no room in my life for hatred.
Since my children were born I have tried to fill my home with positive black and biracial media. I bought books, posters, pictures, knick-knacks, dolls and toys all black or biracial. I figure when my children are out in the world they are faced with all these images of white people but in my home I would teach them to be proud biracial people. When my daughter first started pre-school in Maine I was dismayed to find all the dolls and books were white. She and I went on a shopping trip and bought multi-racial baby dolls, Barbie dolls and books. It’s unfair that the toys in schools, daycares, doctor’s offices quite often only represent one race! That’s why at home my children always have positive black and biracial role models to look at!
Though black and biracial resources and toys were more difficult to find in Maine, the atmosphere was definitely more accepting. I never faced any blatant racism. North Florida has been a very different story. I remember racist jokes at work, which caused an uncomfortable work environment, especially when I refused to remain quiet and pointed out the woman’s racist comments. On one occasion my children and I were at Wal-Mart, my husband was at work and an older white man stopped me and said, “Your mother must be so proud of you with those little half breeds.” I laughed at first, because I have never been faced with such ludicrously in my life! I informed him that my mother was very proud of me and my children and walked towards my car. When I looked down and noticed my son crying I really became angry, I turned back to give this ignorant man a piece of my mind but I couldn’t find him.
We live in a primarily black community and here we have had no problems racially. My kids fit in fine in the neighborhood and no one point them out as different. People really don’t stare like they do when we are out of our neighborhood. We go to a mostly black church and feel at home there. Sadly to say the only place we really have any struggles is when we are in a predominately white neighborhood in the south. I can understand why white people think that reverse racism exists but it’s not so much reverse racism as a reaction to a perceived threat. Just because you are white doesn’t mean that you’re going to be prejudiced against my family but it does increase the odds. We are more guarded around a group of white people because we have faced many racist incidents and want to protect our children for exposure to more.
Whatever we face, or what people perceive that we face, I wouldn’t change my life for anything. My family is beautiful. Biracial families are beautiful. My husband is light skinned with adorable freckles. My daughter has sun-kissed skin and when she smiles her dimples make me laugh. My son has these long black eyelashes and beautiful eyes. They are beautiful. They are my blessings. They are my Heart! I thank God for my family everyday!