Child has wise answer when another asks why his mother is white while he’s black

Jessica Satterfield and her husband had been married for three years when they started trying to conceive. But like so many couples, they were disappointed month after month when their pregnancy tests came back negative. After a year and a half, the couple began infertility treatments after they were told their chances of conceiving naturally were very low.

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Nothing worked. There was one final – and what Jessica called – “aggressive” treatment left, but as they thought about it, they happened to attend an orphan care meeting at their church. Now, they were convinced they needed a different kind of intervention.

Jessica said:

“We immediately started the adoption process through a local agency. We were scared, broken, and very raw. But God used those short months of waiting for our daughter to balm our hearts and began a work of healing.”

On December 21, 2013, they met their adopted daughter, a 6-pound 5-ounce beautiful baby girl the couple named Selah Grace.

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Shortly after that, they had an adoption fall through but then got the word that Selah would have a sibling, Micah.

Now, the couple has three children.

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While the Satterfields are white, their children have black birth parents. And as you might imagine, people’s manners surrounding the situation haven’t always been people’s strong suit. (Why is it that people feel compelled to ask?!)

Jessica took to her blog in a powerful post recently about parenting black children as a white mother and it has gone viral for the wisdom she shares.

She began:

“My family doesn’t look like most. I am a white mama to three beautiful, brown children. And although most of the time we don’t notice, others around us do. We walk into stores or restaurants and people stare or give us a double glance. I choose to believe it’s because they think our family is beautiful and are curious of our story.”


Sure, their children don’t “match” their skin color, but what does that matter? Jessica says that she and her husband share plenty in common with their children in terms of mannerisms, but they’ll never be the same color. But that doesn’t make them any less their children.

While Jessica is careful not to erase ethnicity and open to talking about it with her kids, it’s hard for her to remember sometimes that her children are anything less than her’s.

“I glanced in the mirror one night when I was putting by children to bed and suddenly remembered that I didn’t grow them in my belly when I saw our reflection staring back at us. It might sound weird that I forget that my children are adopted, but I do. Because to me, they’re just my children.”

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Jessica and her husband have made their home a safe space for kids to ask questions about their differences – there are also hair issues to consider and even multi-colored band-aids that match every skin color in the home.

But they make it work. And most of all, they want to honor their family’s diversity.

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“It’s important to me that we give our children language to describe our family. I want them to know how to talk well about our differences and what makes us unique, so that when a situation arises, and it will, they’ll respond to inform and educate with confidence.”

One particularly poignant moment came not long after they took in their foster son (who they have subsequently adopted).

“He was climbing on a jungle gym with another little boy he had met at the park. I heard the little boy ask him, ‘Why is your mom white and you’re brown?’ And without skipping a beat, he said, ‘Families don’t have to match to be a family.”

Who wouldn’t be proud of such a strong statement? One without pause and with total confidence that nothing external could stop them from being a family.

We should all be so lucky to have our differences bring us together rather than drive us apart.

Do they match on the outside? No. But while it’s a cliche, it’s true when Jessica says:

“To the world, our family doesn’t look like we match. But we know, we match hearts.”

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Source: Love What Matters, Grace While We Wait, Instagram