Richard & Mildred Loving
Today is Loving Day, which marks the anniversary of Loving v. Virginia. The Supreme Court decision which legalized interracial marriage in the United States. As you may know (or at least have gathered from the family photos I've shared), my husband and I are an interracial couple (married 11 years and counting!) and raising our three biracial children. I'm happy we live in a time much different than that of Mr. & Mrs. Loving. While some antiquated attitudes may still exist in the hearts and minds of a few, most people understand the love shared between a man and a woman of different races is no different than that of a same race couple.
In honor of Loving Day, I thought I'd share a little bit about our own "swirling" experience!
How We MetDave and I met in college my sophomore year through a mutual guy friend. One day out of the blue, this guy told me he had a friend that thought I was cute. I didn't realize at the time that Dave had relayed this to the guy a year earlier! I'm not sure why the delay in getting this vital information back to me LOL! But after being introduced and exchanging glances across the dining hall, Dave asked me out. Our first date was to an Italian restaurant across the street from campus. Unbeknownst to me, Dave was so nervous he wrote down topics of discussion on index cards. He excused himself to the bathroom at one point in our date to check his cards. Apparently we had covered all the topics in the first 30 minutes of the date! After that, we went to see a movie on campus (Liar, Liar with Jim Carrey).
After dating exclusively for a few years, we became engaged while still in college. And then married in September 2000.
How Did Our Families ReactThere really wasn't any "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" moment with my family! My older sisters had dated interracially, so it wasn't shocking to my parents to see their daughter bring home a white guy. My parents were much more concerned with Dave's character than his color. In Dave's family, his mother and siblings were very supportive. Although his mother was worried we may be met with hostile attitudes especially here in the South. His stepfather on the other hand, did not agree with us marrying. But Dave's actual father and grandmother, who live out of state, were very supportive and even made the trip down for our big day. Dave and I decided to focus on the family and friends that did support us and not the lone dissenting voice. It didn't stop us from getting married and it hasn't stopped us from getting on about our life. Plus, I'm not in the business of changing hearts. I'll leave that to God!
Do People Stare?Of course! But not in the way you might think. Most people come up to us and tell us they think we have a beautiful family or that the kids are gorgeous. And there are stares and compliments regarding my vintage inspired dresses and hairstyles, but that's another subject!
Does Being Different Races Cause Conflict Within Our Marriage?No! I can't think of one single moment where race has been an issue between us. We were raised similarly (both from two parent Christian homes) and share like values. Race is just not an issue for us as individuals or as a couple. I don't filter my perception of the world through my race, and neither does my husband.
What About the Children?Well, they're beautiful, happy, healthy and growing like weeds! But seriously, the children understand they are both white & black. Fortunately where we live, there are plenty of families just like ours. So, we're not unique! Our kids understand that what is more important than skin color is what is in someone's heart. And that we're all loved and treasured in the eyes of God.
Happy Loving Day!