Layla is the color of coffee with a hint of caramel and cream. In certain lights, you can see a slight deep red tone in her skin. Her eyes are so black, that many times they appear to be whatever color surrounds her. She is always playing with the soft ringlets that sit on her head. She is the perfect combination of hispanic and and african american. She's stunning.
There are moments when we are out eating or shopping that people will stop us and tell us how gorgeous she is. Some strangers have a knowing look, as they take in the sight of our family and smile. Some smile at us with searching eyes; confused and questioning without actually saying anything that might give them away. Sadly, there are still people who look absolutely appalled by us. We aren't typical. We aren't all the same color. We aren't safe. What I see as beautiful can sometimes leave people outraged and uncomfortable. There isn't much of a middle ground.
The sad truth is that we grow up in a society that conditions us to be ashamed of interracial anything. I remember briefly "dating" a bi-racial boy when I was in middle school (Let's be honest, no one actually dates in middle school.) I remember to this day the conversation that I had with my family about it. It stung knowing that I had accidentally broken some unspoken rule. Years later I outright lied to a lot of people and claimed that it never happened. I was embarrassed by the fact that I had ever even considered liking someone of another color.
Fast forward 10 years. God overcame my ignorance. God gave me a precious baby girl that would break apart every barrier that we'd built. She is perfect and her very existence has destroyed our family's masked racism. Now, I'm gripped by the fear that my beautiful Layla, with her coffee colored skin, wild hair, and infectious smile might one day fall in love with a boy whose parents don't approve of her. What will I tell her then? Will the love that we instill in her in our home protect her from the outside world? No. But I'm constantly praying that the love of our Father will always be enough to convince her she's beautiful and wonderfully made.