For Jessica Satterfield of Greenville, South Carolina all three of her kids are a reflection of her. Whenever she is out with her husband and kids at any shopping place or at restaurant people look at them with curiosity. Jessica is a white mother to three lovely brown children.
One night when Jessica was putting her kids to sleep, she glanced in the mirror. She remembered and realized 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.”
Last summer when Jessica and her family were on their way back from the beach, they stopped by at a restaurant.
While having their hamburgers, Jessica noticed an older man stating at her family. Jessica was annoyed with his stare and wondered if she and her family could enjoy their meal just as other families.
Jessica says her family doesn’t look like the other families. She said “On the outside, our family doesn’t match.
Jessica noticed the man walking towards her family and she started getting nervous and conscious about it.
The man came up them and greeted Jessica and shook hands with her husband. The man’s eyes were filled with tears as he looked at Jessica’s children and he said, “I just wanted to tell you that you have such a beautiful family.’ As the man walked out of the restaurant, tears rolled by on Jessica’s cheeks, she was overwhelmed with emotions.
Jessica says “The thing is, although my daughter laughs just like me and my youngest son crinkles his nose when he smiles, just like I do, my daughter’s family portraits are drawn with peach and brown crayons.”
For Jessica the saying “Love is colorblind” doesn’t hold true. For her “Love is celebrating diversity, honoring our differences, and respecting our uniqueness.” She says people miss out the little yet great things when they only pretend to match skin.
Jessica says “Celebrating diversity in our family is simply a part of our family culture, it always has been, and it always will be.”
Jessica Says she keeps the kids busy and creates a safe place for them. She makes sure that she has open conversation with her children and talk about the ways they are different and thing that make them the same. Jessica says “My daughter will say, ‘Mommy, your green eyes are beautiful,’ and I’ll say, ‘And your brown ones are too.
Jessica says her daughter plays with brown baby dolls because for Jessica representation matters. Jessica has huge collection of children’s book that helps the family to maintain cultural diversity. Jessica says “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.”
Jessica recalls last summer when her family went to park, her foster was playing with another boy there. Jessica said her son and the other kid were climbing on a jungle gym and that’s when the other little child asked her foster son “Why is your mom white and you’re brown?” Jesica said that her son’s immediate reply was “Families don’t have to match to be a family.
What makes a family is their love.” Jessica say it was a proud moment for her and she was filled joy with son’s response.
Jessica says “When I look at my sweet children, even though we celebrate them, I don’t always notice our differences. I just see my children, the ones I waited on for so long, the ones I prayed for, and dreamed about. Every once in a while, I’ll remember our story in a quick glance in the mirror, and be reminded of how much I really love it. To the world, our family doesn’t look like we match. But we know, we match hearts.”