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All About the Hair

Hair is a big deal.

We talk about it a lot at Adoption Mosaic, behind the scenes, on the blog, in The Adoption Constellation magazine, and in our workshop African American Hair Care. Whether we like it or not, hair matters.

Here is an interesting perspective from Workshop for Beginners blog, the author is a white adoptive mother of an Ethiopian boy. Here is a quote, but go read the entire post. It’s worth it.

From the post:

“…the truth is, the kids I see who happen to have loose, big hair tend to have mothers like me.  Moms who aren’t Black.

And that, well, that just didn’t sit so well with me.  That general ignoring of culture.  Of ethnicity.

I mean- who am I, the one who happens to be begging for ideas on how to make sure my son grows up knowing how to be Black, if I happen to kick aside words such as those quoted above?  To be ignoring the words of the woman in the merkato?  To be shoving aside the opinions of African American women and Ethiopian American women who happen to live all around me?  Who am I if I ignore these women because I, the European American, want my kid to have big, wild hair… because I think it looks cute and it’s so awesome and isn’t it incredible and so deserving of celebration?”


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  Cathy Heslin wrote @ May 11th, 2011 at 8:05 pm

When I was 18, my hair suddenly started to turn curly. It was bizarre, because just months before I got a perm (it was 1989, after all) and it started to grow out straight, and then it started to get more and more curly.

It wasn’t until I met my birthmother and learned that her hair turned curly when she became a teenager that I felt like I wasn’t going crazy! I had never known anyone whose hair suddenly changed.

Mind you, we’re plain caucasian and don’t have the complexities of a cross-racial adoption, but even just in our history, hair was an issue.

While my hair was changing, I wrote my birthmom about it. She shared her story with me and passed along this essay by Alice Walker on hair, which resonated so well with me. For those of you who haven’t read it, it’s a wonderful essay. I hope you enjoy it.


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