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When My Mother Married My Father, Her White Family Excluded Us, But My Dad’s Latino Family Rallied To Support Us In Good Times And Bad

Growing up, I remember placing my hand against my dad’s much darker skin. Our skin tones were always very different. People would say I looked more like my mother but I think they were just seeing the same white complexion. I didn’t have my dad’s deep brown skin or his jet black hair but I had his eyes and his way of looking at the world.

More than once while growing up, I had friends point out the difference between the two of us. While my mom had a mix of white European backgrounds, my dad had Mexican, Indigenous, and Spanish blood flowing through his veins. Her light skinned, slender form contrasted his dark and rotund one. However, I’ve never met two people who were more complimentary of each other than my parents.

In the 1980’s interracial marriage was still against societal norms in South Texas.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

My parents married in a small church in Highlands, Texas during Holy Week. They were joined in celebration by my dad’s large Latinx family. On the other hand, my mom’s family wasn’t so eager to be there. The only reason they attended was that my dad provided their wedding clothes and personally drove them to the church. They didn’t support my mom’s decision to marry someone brown.

My dad’s family was happy to welcome my mom. Still, their welcome came with some trepidation. When they announced their engagement, my grandmother solemnly asked my father if this is what he really wanted. This was not a rejection of my mom but my grandmother’s concern about the ugliness that they would face as an interracial couple.

Officially, interracial marriage was legalized across the United States in 1967.

The decision to legalize came after the landmark Loving vs Virginia case. The Supreme Court found that the laws banning interracial marriage violated the Equal Protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Though it was now legal, it wasn’t exactly popular at the time. South Texas was slow to adopt any kind of sweeping social change, especially if it was mandated by Washington DC. To put this into perspective, look at how desegregation was approached in the area.

Brown Vs the Board of Education reached its historic mandate in 1957. When my dad and his siblings were going to school in the late ’60s and early 70’s their school district had only just begun the process of desegregation. My father would tell me stories of being bussed to the “white schools” to fulfill the 1957 mandate. When he and my mother married in 1985, the city was still very segregated.

Though it was legalized 10 years after desegregation, interracial marriage had just as much trouble being accepted by conservative Texans.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

Though Texas has a diverse population, outside of its major metropolitan areas, it’s still socially conservative. Texas is also part of the Evangelical Protestant Bible Belt and is home to close to ten million Catholics, Protestants, Methodists and Baptists.

The state’s religious breakdown is very relevant when we talk about interracial marriage. Historically, many religions practiced in the U.S. disavow mixed marriages. For example, the Christian Bible is often cited as a reason against the mixing of the races. However, there’s no actual text that prohibits interracial marriage. Both Deuteronomy 7:1-6 and 2 Corinthians 6:14 urge the Israelites not to intermarry with the Canaanites.

That passage in Deuteronomy reads:

“Neither shalt thou make marriages with them [Canaanites]; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.”

On the surface, this might look like a case against interracial marriages. Nevertheless, it isn’t as the Israelites and Canaanites were of the same ethnic group. The argument here refers to the difference in tribe and religious observations as reasons not to intermarry. Still, though there is no text to back this up, many continue to use religion to argue against mixed marriages.

Another reason why interracial marriage is opposed is something I have lots of experience with.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

One of the social objections to interracial marriage has to do with the offspring of these marriages. Interracial children come from several different cultures. A common worry is that these children will never fully belong to any. Similarly, objectors claim that these children will be shunned by their respective cultures for being mixed.

This has been a major arguement as recently as 2009. Louisiana Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell was exposed for refuseing to officiate interracial marriage. It was his opinion that these marriages do not last long. Additionally, he claimed he didn’t want the kids of mixed marriages to suffer unduly.

In a 2009 interview with the Associated Press, Bardwell said:

“I’m not a racist. I just don’t believe in mixing the races that way. There is a problem with both groups accepting a child from such a marriage. I think those children suffer and I won’t help put them through it.”

I can honestly say that Bardwell is absolutely wrong in his thinking.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

A little over 35 years ago, my parents met, dated and fell in love. They had me — their oldest daughter — 13 months after they tied the knot. My little sister joined the family 18 months later. She and I have never felt unloved.

We were raised with my dad’s side of the family. As such, we grew up with quinceañeras, authentic Tex-Mex and my grandma’s telenovelas filling our childhoods. While we were lighter in complexion than my fully Latinx cousins, we were no different.

My mom didn’t have the same sort of family support my dad did. Long before their wedding, her relatives were family in name and name only. However, she loved my dad with all her heart. That included his culture.

My mom had no exposure to Latinx culture before my dad — she didn’t even have any Hispanic friends at the time. Still, she embraced my dad’s family and heritage; learning Spanish words, cooking Mexican food and teaching her children about our culture.

While my parents found acceptance from his Latinx family, not everyone was as accepting.

Jose and Teresa Chavarria

Unlike the questions I got from childhood friends, some microaggressions were meant to genuinely hurt my parents. In their neighborhood and, later, when they moved to Houston, my parents didn’t face discrimination or harassment. It was outside these safe places that they experienced bigotry.

My mom has told me stories of times when she and my dad were stared at; sneered at even. Traveling through the small towns of South Texas, my parents’ relationship was sometimes treated with hostility and, other times, like an oddity.

There is a particular story my mom has shared about this. When she and my dad were newlyweds, they went to eat at a cafeteria-type diner. Walking in, dad was immediately aware that he was the only person of color in the restaurant. My mom explained that all eyes were on them the entire time they ate. They were treated as some sort of sideshow while they were there. As my dad put it, they should have sold tickets.

This isn’t the first or the last time my parents would be made to feel abnormal because of their marriage. I remember once they had glamour shot-esque pictures taken of themselves. The photographer applied a filter that completely washed out my dad’s complexion. Totally infuriated, my dad pointed out to the photographer that they made him look like a white man instead of a Latino. It was fixed eventually but the damage was done.

There are other bolder attacks and countless microaggressions but my parents paid most of them little mind. After all, they were together and happy.

Additionally, they were welcomed by my dad’s community and that meant a lot. When my dad died 33 years after they joined in marriage, it’s my dad’s Latinx family and community who rallied to support my mom, my sister and me in our grief.

My parents’ love created that world; one where my sister and I can always find welcoming and love. All the glaring bigotry in the world can’t take that from us.

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Show Mom How Much You Love Her With These Sweet Mother’s Day Gifts

Culture

Show Mom How Much You Love Her With These Sweet Mother’s Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is just one of the days in the year when we show our mom how much we love her. She gave us life and isn’t shy about reminding us. Why not make this day a little special with a nice gift? Here’s a little guide to get you started. Use code momdaywam2021 for a discount on all of your mom merch!

Love You Mom Mug | $14.99 – $17.99

mitú

There was nothing more dreadful than not being able to find something. You just knew that when you asked your mom for help that it came with a lot of strings attached. The mere idea of mom searching and finding it sent us into a wild frenzy trying to find it before she got to the room.

This mug is the perfect reminder of those mildly scary moments of missing remotes and socks. Now, as an adult, you can all look back and laugh because it isn’t that scary anymore, right? 😨

Nadie Me Ayuda En Esta Casa | $24.99

mitú

You can’t forget this absolute classic. This shirt is one of the most relatable gifts you can give your mother. She is always doing everything for everyone and no one wants to help. This shirt will show that you acknowledge that you don’t do enough and appreciate just how hard she works.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can stay not helping. Let this be the start of you changing some of your own practices and helping your mom around the house. it is never too late.

Mom, Ma, Ama, Madre, Mujer Mug | $19.99

mitú

A nice little mug with mom in all the ways we say it is just a nice addition to your mom’s coffee mug collection. It will definitely bring a smile to her face every time she sees it because it just shows how much you are thinking of her.

Pregúntale A Tu Papá Tee | $24.99 – $26.99

mitú

How many times have you heard your mom say this? It is never when you need to find something because dad never knows where to find stuff. That is just a cold hard fact about life in a Latino household. This was always posed to you when you asked mom to go to a sleepover or anything that required approval.

This will not only make your mom laugh, but dad will chuckle as well. After all, he knows that his word is only as good as his vieja will let it be. Lol.

Best Amá Ever Mug | $14.99 – $17.99

mitú

Let your mom brag all the time, any time. This mug is perfect for her to take to work so that everyone in her office sees that she is, indeed, the best amá ever. I’m sure that people will think that their mom is the best but you know that your mom is the best. This will soon be the ultimate status symbol.

Quiero Nietos Unisex Tee | $24.99 – $27.99

mitú

We all know that mom (and dad) can’t wait to have nietos to spoil endlessly. This shirt will give them a physical way to constantly remind you that they can’t wait for those little ones. You might regret giving her a shirt that she can wear every time you go to visit her but she will love it. Maybe it is just a quick laugh but we all know that she will wear it to manifest her nietos.

Esta Casa No Es Hotel Poster | $16.99 – $19.99

mitú

Help your mom decorate the house with her own sense of humor. The poster will give your mom a reference to point to when people ask her for too much. Like, learn the house. Find your own towels. Get your own juice. Room service and hotel-level work is not happening in this house. You got legs, arms, and claim to be a grown up.

Happy anniversary to all of the mothers, abuelas, tías, and mother figures in the world.

READ: Vanessa Bryant Celebrates Like A Proud Mom As Daughter Natalia Announces She’s Going To USC

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Users On Reddit Are Sharing Their Wild Experiences With Sperm Donation

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Users On Reddit Are Sharing Their Wild Experiences With Sperm Donation

With sperm donations, families of all sorts have access to planning and creating a family. According to the US National Library of Medicine
National Institutes of Health in 2015–2017, 440,986 families were estimated to have used sperm donation to start families.
Of course, while a benefit the circumstances of sperm donations can often spurn questions and odd scenarios.

Users on Reddit are speaking about their own sperm donation stories and the answers are pretty surprising.

Check them out below!

“So, I’m not the dad, but a kid. So my bio-dad donated sperm and gave permission to be identified. Didn’t even have to be after 18. In counting (because we’re not sure if we’ve found all of us yet) there are 53 half-siblings, all his kids. My full sister and I didn’t know we were donor babies until I was a freshman in college, and her a junior in high school. It was a few more years before we found out the scope of our family. As such, I never got to meet the man as he passed away in 2018, but I’ve been getting to know my half siblings and I’m sad to have missed him. He apparently engaged in annual reunions and was interested in getting to know all of the kids if they (and their families) were open to it. We all support each other basically by default even though we didn’t grow up together. What’s even wilder about him is that he got national news coverage for something besides his giant flock of kids. The guy got married to a woman the day he met her as a competition to be his bride in the Mall of America. It was apparently a heartfelt story and the two of them had a 20 something year marriage with 4 kids that they raised themselves. The Mall of America even has a plaque with his name on it now, so you can go find him if you really try. The man was a weirdo, but in the best way. He was kind and generous with his time and really seemed to care about *all* of his kids, or at least the ones he knew about.”-SilverRock75

“Oh hey, I can answer this! I’m not a donor, but I was donor conceived, along with my sister (same donor). I had a great dad and never had any desire to find out who my donor was, but I was always curious about siblings, especially when I learned there’s no legal limit on how many children you can father when you donate sperm in the US.

Well, one 23andMe test later, and the first result on the top of the list is a half sister in Texas. We get in contact, realize we have a TON in common, and it sparked a fire in her to find more siblings. She took an Ancestry DNA test and the top of that list was a man in California, listed as father.

She got in touch with him right away, turns out he’s a fantastic guy. He was adopted himself and also got in contact with his birth mom as an adult, so he had been on our side of the situation and was very open and willing to talk. His wife has been super supportive of us meeting too. He has three, uh, organically made kids of his own (I was especially ecstatic to learn that I’m a big sister), plus we’ve since found three more half siblings who’ve all been very cool and excited to find each other. At this point, I’ve met all but one of them in person, and I got to meet my biological grandmother too.” – racecarart

“A guy I know in his 70s got a call from a guy in his 50s saying ‘hey, I’m your son, oh and I just learned I have a genetic disease so your other kids should probably get tested’”- daxelkurtz

“Totally not an answer but my gf and I were just wondering about whether there were any protocols for how much of one donor’s sperm is allowed to be distributed within a given area.

Like, what could prevent 2 moms from having the donor’s offspring in the same area and having those kids grow up and meet as teens/adults, start a relationship and realize they’re related?”- MightyMaus1

“Some clinics will put a cap on number of families, but there are manh cases of people have dozens, even up to 40, 80, 100 half siblings. It brings up the ethics around this, and many donor conceived people are vehemently against this and believe there needs to be a limit in place.”- TheTinyOne23

“I donated for six months in university. Twice a week. I gave consent to be contacted. That was close to 20 years ago now.

I did call and ask once, my sperm resulted in 24 successful pregnancies. That was all the office could tell me.

I have not done 23andme or anything like that.”- ciroryder

“That’s quite crazy. You have 24 children as far as the spiralling coil DNA goes. They’ve all got half or full siblings they don’t know about (well, the full ones will surely know). That’s really crazy. In 1000 years, you might be the Ghengis Khan where your dna is traced to like 1 in 3 people on mars or something. The dna analysis will just show you, not the fact that your a donor.”- The_Queef_of_England

“My aunts had to get a donor for both children, and he happened to live in the same neighborhood (can’t remember if that was a coincidence or not). But he is a close family friend now! He comes over for their birthdays and other family events. They don’t refer to him as their dad really, only as a joke, but he is very close with our family.”-anniecakes22

“I was donor-conceived. I took a DNA test, his natural-born daughter took a DNA test. So really neither of us ‘gave permission’. There are 28 siblings so far. It was quite a shock. I wasn’t expecting it and didn’t know. I was 38.

I’ve met the donor and most of the half siblings. He’s a cool guy. I think it is eerie how I see many of my mannerisms in him and the other siblings. I know there is a wide range of emotions for people who experience this sort of thing, but for me it was generally positive.”-mynuname

“It is incredible how the similarities are passed down. My father-in-law had a daughter that was the result of a one-night stand and was adopted by a wonderful family. The adoption agency had a registration of birth parents and kids, who could each (blind to the other) give permission to be contacted, and only if both parties did, they’d put them in contact. So this happens in her early 20’s, and they make arrangements for her to fly to meet her birth family, including my wife and her brother (her half-siblings). My wife goes to pick her up at the airport since the parents live out of town. There were no arrangements, no pictures, nothing (this was pre-Facebook) – my wife saw her come out the doors, knew without question it was her, and she knew the same, they had a huge tearful hug without even any words. They just knew, by looks, by mannerisms, whatever.

The incredible thing is, I’ve shown pictures of the half-sister, with or without her birthfather and half-sister, and everyone agrees she doesn’t actually look much like them. But there’s something about the looks and how they act that is so similar between all of them, it really is incredible.

Edit – one more detail. We found out years later that the father and daughter contacted the agency to open themselves up to contact…within 24 hours of each other. A complete coincidence. The agency actually didn’t do it for a couple weeks because they were trying to contact the daughter’s adoptive parents (who had passed away, hence the delay) because they just assumed there had been contact since they were in touch so impossibly close together.”- mrdannyg21

“My step-mom was an early donation conceived baby. She’s done 23&Me and Ancestry. Last I heard she was up to 23 (!!) half-siblings. Their donor father died in the late 1980s and seems to have been a good man.”-MyMelancholyBaby

“My younger bro donated multiple times unbeknownst to me. Years later my wife and I did Ancestry.com to get an idea of how diverse our backgrounds were and wham! Started getting contacted by lots of people (over a dozen) saying we were close relatives. At first I was confused and asked the early ones about their parentage – they all had a similar stories. Single mom went to a sperm bank. Didn’t take long to guess what happened. Call my brothers and asked. Younger one fessed up and said yes – he went multiple times. In fact they told him he had to stop donating because there was a statistical probability his progeny could meet and date (at least they seemed ethical). I asked if it was okay if I gave them his contact – he was fine with it. The weird thing is that they all had his face – like one look at them and it was obvious who their father was. Anyway, this went on for a couple of years and they all connected with each other. Seems there is over 20 now, probably more. He has met a couple of them but it was all casual. The whole thing is super weird to the rest of family to have all these “close” relatives who somehow are part of the family but then again not really.”- ezagreb

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