The Creator of Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care Speaks
1 year ago
White mom creates website to help parents with black kid's hair
When Rory “Hadley” and her husband expected to deliver a healthy baby boy in Dec. 10, 2006, they prepared for the baby shower early.
Unfortunately, the couple -- who asked that their last name be changed for our story -- delivered Logan, a stillborn baby boy three months early.
“We held him, we prayed over him, and with tear-stained faces, handed him back to God,” Rory wrote on Mycrazyadoption.org.
Life went on for the Hadleys and they continued with the adoption process the following year. The couple’s original plan was to have one birthed child and adopt the rest. They wanted a newborn, but were told this was highly unlikely by the agency. They received a call from their social worker exactly one year to the day after Logan’s expected birth, that a “healthy, negative-tox, newborn baby girl” was available for adoption if they were interested.
“Up until this call we had had our minds wrapped around having toddler boys. However, we were totally open to what God had planned for us,” Rory stated. The newborn—who the couple decided to name Zoe—was turned over to the Hadleys.
“She was six days old, healthy, and beautiful. Although she was African American, she had a full face of freckles. I have freckles, myself, and I loved the fact that she did too,” she wrote.
As Zoe continued to grow, Rory realized that maintenance for her daughter's hair was a challenge, which is why she started a blog called Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care. The site is geared toward adoptive/foster parents who are a different ethnicity than their African-American adopted child.
“In addition to chronicling everyday activities such as growing hair, products, and step-by-step instructions, I also talk about what it means to be a vanilla mama of a chocolate girl, and how we explore identity, respect, and empowerment, using hair as our common language,” she wrote on her website.
Here is Loop21’s exclusive interview with Rory about her blog, challenges and reactions from the African-American community.
Loop 21: What made you come up with the idea to start ChocolateHairVanillaCare.com?
Rory: I have been maintaining a personal family blog for many years. I think I started my first one back in 2004. When our daughter came home in 2007, I started another family blog that chronicled all parts of raising our daughter. As she got older, and her hair longer, I would find myself frequently approached by other adoptive families while out shopping. They would ask me so many questions that I could scarcely answer them all in a mere 15-minute public interaction. With encouragement from friends and family I finally decided to separate the hair-related items out of my personal blog and launch a public forum—that way I had an easy place to point people who asked me questions. I had cards made and passed them out whenever I was approached. That was in September of last year.
Loop 21: What kind of feedback have you received so far in regards to your website?