My Story: Raising a Bi Cultural Child

Val’s story is likely to resonate with many of GOLDENROOM’s readers. From a White American family, well off and well educated, Val then fell in love with a uneducated Mayan man. His values appealed to her and she was entranced by the Hispanic culture. But sadly, after the birth of her daughter, Val’s husband left, leaving her with the challenge of raising her bi cultural child as a single parent.

How to ensure that your child has access and information to both their cultures under these circumstances? Well, as we are sure readers will agree, Val took extraordinary measures to provide her daughter with the best of her Hispanic heritage. This included learning Spanish, speaking only Spanish in their home, and even relocating to New Mexico, an area with a predominantly Hispanic and Native American population. But Val’s duty as a parent also meant protecting her daughter from the unique prejudices face by children of mixed heritage. Read all of her unique and sometimes difficult story at:

http://goldenroom.co.uk/issue/april-2013/article/my-story-vallee-rose-raising-a-bi-cultural-child

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2 responses to “My Story: Raising a Bi Cultural Child

  1. I can relate to the “treating women like property” part, and such men can be found everywhere. My first husband was from the Middle East. Although he did not drink alcohol or go to bars or night clubs, he still found a way to escape to the homes of his single male friends. It was as if after my son was born, he wanted to revert to being an unattached student. He helped out for the first three months, and then he dumped everything on me. I had never had a child before, nor had I watched anyone in my family, so I was clueless, I was also isolated and had no other outside help. He always acted as if having a wife and child were a burden. I will never forget when he “took us for walks” when my son was about three, he would also invite a male friend and they would race ahead, knowing the child and I could not keep up.

    My story is the opposite in that my first husband had a Ph.D. and was highly educated, but my current husband has a high school diploma and is a blue-collar worker. Surprisingly enough, my parents like Ramon better because he is humble and has a good work ethic. They never liked the arrogance of my first husband.

    Finally, I am fortunate to have been accepted unconditionally by Ramon’s family. Both his parents are dead, but his older brother has taken on the role of caretaker of the family. He welcomed me with open arms and spoke to me in English when we first met because my Spanish was shaky. If you read my story in the same issue, you will see the family dynamic. Ramon and I have no biological children, but our (his) grandchildren are bilingual.I commend you on raising Julie to be bilingual/bicultural. If I could have more children, I would do the same.

    • Thanks for sharing again Lori! These insights are so amazing, but also so important. It is really form sharing our experiences, our own narratives that firstly, we learn that cross cultural relationships and identities are ‘normal’ and secondly that we can cut through the stereotypes and prejudices and get to the real issues. Which is why in GOLDENROOM we place such an emphasis on the My Story section. Because the ‘experts’ are each and every one of us!

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