White parents who adopt black children are struggling with caring for their child’s hair. Rory Hadley has created a website that is geared toward adoptive/foster parents who are a different ethnicity than their African-American adopted child after facing a challenge on how to care and maintain her adopted child’s hair.
The site is called Chocolate Hair Vanilla Care and chronicles her everyday activities such as growing hair, products, and step-by-step instructions. Hadley also talks about what it means to be a vanilla mama of a chocolate girl, and how she explores identity, respect, and empowerment, using hair as their common language.
Our friends over at the loop21.com, recently spoke to Hadley 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 daughtA Father’s Labor Of Love…Braiding Her Hairer. 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.