Experience This Story
The term “transracial adoption” is used to describe a parent of one ethnicity adopting a child of another ethnicity. It’s a beautiful thing — but it comes with several unseen challenges that parents have long struggled to navigate through. Perhaps a seemingly minuscule challenge at first mention is a parent being unfamiliar with handling the textured hair of colored children.
For Tamekia Swint, transracial adoptions are admirable, but the cultural challenges she has witnessed hit home. She realized that transracial adoptive parents often lack the tools and resources they need to care for their young children’s hair. It’s a matter of personal hygiene, which is why Tamekia founded an organization to help close the knowledge gap. Here’s her story.
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The Hidden Challenges of Transracial Parenting
Textured hair requires special care — like protective styles to prevent breakage — and failing to accommodate its needs can leave children with painful knots, mats, or even hair loss. Teens may already know how to care for their own hair, but they may still need help with braiding, styling, and finding products. Young children, however, depend entirely on their parents to take care of their hair and teach them good grooming habits.
You could say that it’s about more than hair, too. In addition to being essential to personal grooming, hair is a form of self-expression. Children of color should embrace their cultural background and know how to work with their hair in a way that allows them to show off their style just like any other child. So, how do adoptive parents offer that to their kids?
How Styles4Kids Came to Be
The Impact of Tamekia’s Organization
Tamekia is an excellent example of a person who saw people in her community facing difficulties and chose to take the time to offer guidance. She realized that she had an important role to play in supporting adoptive parents to create a safe haven for their children and, rather than turning a blind eye, she stepped up.
What might be everyday knowledge to Tamekia and other people of color is a completely foreign subject matter to many adopting parents, which is why Styles4Kids has such an important part to play in supporting transracial adoptions.
One mom with six black children recalls when she realized that her hair styling skills wouldn’t cut it for her kids’ textured hair. When she made that realization, she ended up finding out about Tamekia and her willingness to help. Through Tamekia’s resources, she learned how to care for her kids’ hair and she’s now an avid supporter of Styles4Kids.
How DonorWerx Can Help
Tamekia likes to call her services “Hair Care With Heart,” and she embodies the attitude that everyone should be embracing. Stepping up to the plate when there’s no one watching, when there’s no responsibility to do so, is proof of great character and strong values. As a pastor, these are the exact things you want to inspire in your congregation.
If you need help talking about giving or inspiring your church to follow in the footsteps of kind hearts like Tamekia, DonorWerx can help. Get started today with our coaching programs and donation software.