White couple describes their experience of having black children
These days, it's becoming more common for a family to be made up of people from different ethnic backgrounds with different skin colors. It's less unusual to see white parents with dark-skinned children, like Aaron and Rachel Halbert and their five kids. But what sets this couple apart is their decision to take multiculturalism one step further.
A few years ago, Rachel had been unable to conceive, so the couple decided to adopt. They live in Mississippi, where racism and racial segregation has long been a problem, so they decided to do something about it: they adopted two African-American children, as it is often harder for black kids to find new adoptive parents.
The two children filled the growing family with life. And adopting children whose skin is a different color from their own led to their parents moving in more multicultural circles. Aaron said, "There is something beautiful and enriching being the only white face sitting and chatting with some of my African-American friends as my son gets his hair cut on a Saturday morning."
"There is also something wonderful in the relationship that is built as my wife asks a black friend on Facebook how to care for our little biracial daughter’s hair. The beauty of a multi-ethnic family is found there, in the fact that the differences are the very thing that make ours richer and fuller. It forces you to think in a new way about the way you think, speak, act and live," he added.
Rachel and Aaron were delighted with their young family, but still wanted to have more children. But instead of adopting babies, they decided to adopt... embryos!
Aaron and Rachel have strong Christian beliefs and think that embryos left over from in vitro fertilization deserve a chance to live. So they went to a storage facility that houses these embryos. Two embryos from African-American donors were implanted in Rachel's womb, but she ended up pregnant with triplets!
The young parents now have five children to take care of, and while the experience is more than gratifying, on some occasions they have to deal with ignorance from strangers who sometimes give them dirty looks or shake their heads in disapproval.
But they have also had positive experiences. "There was also the young black girl who wept when we told her this little boy with her skin color was our son, and the older white doctor who lovingly prayed over him and held him so tenderly," Aaron recalls.
"These latter experiences were rays of hope reminding us how far our country had come, while the former experiences reminded us how far we still need to go," he continued.
And to anyone wondering if they think they have done the right thing, what's Aaron's answer? "If the Lord wanted us to have a fully Caucasian child, my wife would conceive naturally." Let's hope their message of integration and plurality inspires many other families.