The One Thing You Should Know About Our Multiracial Family
Hi, I know I’ve been keeping this on the DL for the nearly 7-years I’ve had my blog but I think it’s time to just put it out there in the open… I have a multiracial family.
Some of you perceptive readers may have gathered this before today. I mean, sometimes I post pictures of this hot white guy who happens to be my husband, and as you can tell from my bio pic and whatnot, I’m black *gasp*.
Yes, my husband and I are in an interracial marriage and we have two adorable biracial kids (who are adorable because they are adorable, not because they are biracial).
I don’t bring it up (it being the fact that we’re a multiracial family) much. Or make this blog about all that, or shout it from the rooftops. Not because I’m embarrassed or anything, just because… Well, I think I forget sometimes. I mean, I don’t REALLY forget. Occasionally I’m reminded when the Facebook status updates and crazy headlines try to pit blacks against whites or make it seem like we’re in the middle of some kind of Civil War. Don’t get me wrong… Things aren’t perfect. Racism is still very much alive and well. We face it from time to time but by golly… I try to find the rainbows.
There are plenty of blogs and websites dedicated to discussing the social injustices, and heartache in our society and I’m grateful for so many of them. So grateful because so many things they write are words I either can’t find the strength to say, or simply can’t say with the power and beautiful fury they can. They are words that help inspire the change that still needs to come. The change I hope to see for my children.
However, here, in my space. I choose to just be. To just be us. To share our experiences as they are, even if most of the time it’s just as ordinary and boring as any other family.
So… Imagine my surprise and delight when Alex Barnett, comedian and host of the Multiracial Family Podcast asked me to be a guest. Actually, it wasn’t just out of the blue. It’s a funny story how he found me that started with him swiping a photo of us and posting it on his page (without him knowing we were a “real family” (apparently we are picture-perfect)) but you can listen to it and hear the whole “how we met” (for both Alex and I and my husband and I).
I also delve into a few more things which I’d like to clarify for those people who are A. Visiting after listening to the podcast or B. Mormon, and wondering what the heck I was going on about. or C. Generally super confused after listening to my rambling.
1. Although I’m a journalist, I’m used to being the one asking the questions. It was pretty awkward being on the other end of the spectrum. Especially on the topic of being in a multiracial family because like I said, we’re just people. I don’t necessarily feel any different than any other family because it’s all we know. Trust me, there are times that I’m outraged and upset about something that’s happened, but it’s not very often, so it’s hard for me to recall those terrible instances that I usually try to block from my memory, or turn into something silly.
I mentioned a time someone called my daughter a mutt, and a when someone accused me of cheating on instagram. Silly stuff you know? Here on my blog I also have shared some of my daughter’s comments about how she identifies, and other stories that have to do with being in an interracial marriage and having a multiracial family, but it’s not the main focus here right now.
2. As far as being black and Mormon. It was my fault for totally not expecting that, especially talking to a comedian, and bringing up the fact that I went to BYU. I love the Lord and I love my church. Nobody’s perfect, and even inspired leaders can mess up. Though I totally fumbled around the topic of blacks not having the priesthood prior to 1978 there’s a great essay released by the church on the topic that I love to reference for those who have questions about the murky history.
3. There are totally more than 30 black people at BYU. I knew AT LEAST that many personally but there were hundreds. Alex had me laughing at the idea of there only being 11 of us, and I probably should have clarified that it wasn’t that bad. BYU seriously rocked! Of course not everyone has as great of an experience as I did, but I can speak for myself. I really hope our kids decide to go there some day.
4. I hint to this multiple times in the podcast but if you couldn’t gauge after listening to it, I’m an extremely positive person. Even when I do encounter negativity whether it be race related or not, I try my best to rectify the situation if I can (either by addressing the person directly if face to face, or deleting a rude comment) or choose to let it go. I pick my battles, and I don’t like to fight.
In a perfect world our family would really be seen no differently than any other family, and hopefully some day that will be the case. Until then, I’m going to keep sharing our lives that are mostly just as typical as yours, and sprinkle in some of the uniqueness of our multiracial family attributes when they come up.
I mean… I might as well now that that cat is out of the bag.
All the cute photos in this post were taken by Jordan Huntington Photography and Kristen Jansen Photography.
Absolutely enjoyed your interview with Alex Barnett. I too have a multicultural family and Alex is right, sometimes its just nice to interact or get a glimpse of how families like ours live. And although our lives are just like any other’s, from time to time I can relate to experiences that tend to be uniquely experienced by multicultural or multiracial families. I will say, I started following your blog mainly ’cause for the longest time I’ve gone back and forth on turning on the baby making machine switch. It’s on now :).
Ahhhhhh!!! Congrats Mrs JK! Keep me posted!! I’m so excited for you! And yes, I’m with you, it is fun to see other families like ours especially since they’re not as common. And it is helpful to see those unique experiences and how others handle it 🙂
Such a personal and wonderfully written article. The rate of multiracial couples marrying is on the rise which is great news and hopefully an outdated way of thinking is replaced with “you fall in love with who you fall in love with”. My husband and I are both white but he is from a country that did not at all accept him marrying outside of it. I lived with him in his country for a few years and dealt with his family, friends, community members, everyone telling me to go back to America and not marry him. My blood is no good is what they told me. It was heart breaking and I became extremely depressed. I really felt that I could connect with you in this way. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Hi Shaina, I’m so sorry you had to experience that when you and your husband were getting ready to get married! How heartbreaking. I hope that things have gotten better since then. Thank you for sharing your story, what an interesting perspective I never thought about.
What a lovely post and such a beautiful family. You are like any other family and it’s lovely to read your posts x
Thanks so much Susan.
You have a stunning family and you are beautiful inside and out. I love your positivity and your smile can just light up a…well I’d say a room but let’s say a blog post. 😉
P.S. It’s been a while since I’ve visited I think, I love the new blog look!
Haha, you’re the best Maria, thanks! I love brightening up blog posts or computer screens when I can 😉 And thanks for noticing my new digs! Been trying to make it more cozy over here!
Ok, I will not admit it…..My niece and nephew are biracial. There I said it. I really didn’t think about it because I loved them so much that I let the love I felt for them get in the way of me seeing that they were biracial…..AND I hope that I only see them for the wonderful, lovely, sweet people they have grown to be. I noticed that your husband was white, but what I noticed more was that you talked about the love you had for your family, your children, your faith. Like you I hope that in the future, the fact that you are different skin colors shouldn’t matter who you should or shouldn’t love. Keep those rose-colored glasses on. It’s better to look for the good and not focus on the negative. Now, I’ve got to go and clean off my rosy glasses.
I’m not gonna lie, rose colored glasses can be nice at times. I love who we are and both of our backgrounds, but we are just ourselves first and foremost.
You two make some beautiful children. Those smiles are enough to light the dark room up that is filled with hurt and anger right now, pitting two races against each other.
Honestly, I believe there will be a day, in the future, far far far into the future, where “mixed race” will be the only race. There will be no more “black, white, Asian, Native American, etc” – it will just be the human race. Maybe then we can stop fighting and start working together.
Thanks Tarah! You know, I’ve wondered that… Like in 1000 years if an astroid hasn’t hit our planet what the human race would look like. I think our differences are part of what makes us as humans awesome, but not when it’s at the center of contention, which unfortunately so often it is.
I’m sorry, i don’t understand… You’re what? A Family? That’s all I see!
I will go listen to this!
I live in Utah and went to BYU. I’m not sure if I encounter more weird comments/questions because I am the caucasian one in the relationship, but I get asked at least once a week where my kids are from or if they are adopted. If I ever go out with my black sister in law, people automatically assume that they are her children, despite the fact that they are clearly brown.
Haha Marie, I remember seeing a lot of multiracial families in Utah. Multiracial through adoption specifically. Is your sister-in-law married? Maybe they’re assuming her husband is white 😉 My husband seems to get more questions/ comments these days than I do. But he’s way less concerned about it than I’ve been. Maybe it’s a mom thing. haha.
No lol, she is a single mom. People have assumed that her and my hubby are the parents when we all go out together
Oh my GOODNESS!! Yes that’s a different story. haha. That would bug me too. 🙁
I have not listened to anything yet, but I wanted to say love sees no color and if GOD made us all why would he just in this last few decades introduce black people into church, really I think people should pay attention to the region of the Bible, and guess what I am a mixed race to even though I have blond hair and green eyes, I am mainly Indian, but mom is Norwegian, German. you can tell more from my oldest sister and baby brother, but the rest of us are fair. there is discrimination no matter what color you are, so that don’t mean a thing to me, and I found out when my kids were in school that I was the minority because I was married, this world we live in is very sad, but I learned just pray for them all. GOD bles
Multiracial POWER!!! 🙂 … I loved going to BYU too. Even though I’m living right smack in the middle of Utah County, I’m surrounded by black folks on the daily since we braid/cut hair, so there’s totally more than 30! … I love your beautiful fam, but yeah – really, most of the time it’s just normal boring family stuff happening… not specifically multiracial family stuff. The only time it really comes up is when someone from an all-white family is surprised by us and stumbles around trying to grasp the concept of an interracial relationship. Lol. And that just boggles my mind that to some it’s still such a foreign concept.
Haha Alice, you know errrybody there! I was trying to say I knew at least 30 in BSU but I’m sure there were more on the books 😉
And yes it’s crazy that it’s still foreign to some. I guess I’ve become so spoiled by our surroundings.
It never makes sense to me when who somebody marries is an issue in this day and age… love is love is love is love.
(Except maybe the blink-and-you-miss-it marriages of celebrities…giving you the side-eye, Britney & Kim.)
Although my husband and I are both black Africans we still get stares in most places we go, I honestly think people are shocked to see an entire black family. People are either overly friendly or awkward around us when we take our son places. I understand that feeling of just wanting to be “just us”. To escape the stares and questioning eyes *sighhhh*
Beautifully written & Beautiful family. I’m African American & my husband is from India. We are expecting our first biracial child in September. We get many stares & comments, mostly from people questioning how an Indian man could possibly be married to a black woman.
We’ve been married 5 yrs and together for 7. We too, just see love.. Not so much color. We plan to raise our daughter to embrace who she is and pray for those who can’t see past her genetic makeup.
Try being a black and Asian couple with blasian kids, that will get lots of stares. We mess with people most days when we go out since they never put us together. I always stare at mixed race couples because they are so beautiful. Just like you, we are just being a family, trying to thrive each day
I can relate on so many levels. My family is interracial but I don’t blog about it or talk about it. We’re just another beautiful and happy family. We haven’t faced any racism together. We both attended schools with different ethnicities. Not predominantly one race and so do our kids.
I finally had the chance to listen to it last night! I’m so proud of you Jenn, and honored to call you a friend. Answering personal questions and being on the other side is HARD. I think Alex is an interesting person with good intentions, but his style of questioning left me feeling a bit icky. I don’t know why exactly (maybe the porn joke? or how he mentioned that dating is challenging for mixed raced women?). He just did.
i just stumbled across your site- but, I totally feel you! It can be a challenge, especially helping the little ones to understand without crushing their lovely little spirits. 🙁 When were you at BYU? It’s a wonder I didn’t know you!! I was there 2004-2008.
I’m surprised I didn’t know you! Were you in BSU? I was there during that time as well.
I went every once in a while, but not with any real regularity. Should’ve gone more!! I was trying to find where your family is living right now. We’re in DC- are you anywhere close by?!
Thank you for posting this! I will listen to the full podcast in a bit, but your post was hopeful & inspiring. I think about race pretty often as my dad was transracially adopted and that has come up almost daily in my life (since my skin doesn’t match my culture). I like that you mention your kids are adorable because they are adorable, not because they are biracial, and that while you encounter prejudice you look for the rainbows. I will have to remember that and try to do the same.
Beautiful family. I expect to see more families like this. My sister’s dad (we don’t have the same dad) is half Mexican and black and she had a child who’s father was white and black. I don’t know much about my nephew’s Caucasion part of the family of my sister’s father’s Mexican heritage.
Thank you Leah! I think we’ll see a lot more families like ours too!
I love seeing all types of mixed race families. It makes me excited to see people getting along regardless of race. 🙂
You have a beautiful family. My wife is black and i am white we were fixed before we met 28 years ago. We always talk and dreamed about what our children would be like if we could of had them together.