Tuesday, July 15, 2014

WILLIAM'S FIRST HAIRCUT & BEGINNING OUR CHOCOLATE HAIR JOURNEY

The day we got the call that these two were born, we were in for a surprise.  Instead of the two boys we thought were coming, we got a boy and a beautiful bonus girl.

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(Bonus girl was very sleepy during lunch yesterday!)

We were thrilled that they were healthy and in the world, and I turned to John and said, "Now I am going to have to learn a lot about how to do her hair."  When we got to the hospital and met Gran Gran for the first time, one of the first things she said was about Violet's hair.  "We will help you figure it out."

I started reading the blog Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care - a fantastic resource for adoptive parents.  I figured out that I pretty much got a bye for much of the first year, but that around 12 months, I should start putting some routines into place that will help us in this journey.  So, a couple of weeks ago, I ordered several of the products she recommends and also ventured into the "Natural" hair care section  of our local Wal-Mart.  It's my understanding that this section has boomed in recent years, and I am so thankful to have so many options readily available.

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I also have had Violet start wearing a sleep cap to help protect her hair at night and naps and to get her used to it.  She doesn't really need it yet, but I figure I would rather start it now so that it is just part of her norm.  And, it is super cute on her.

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Her hair is actually quite easy to detangle so far, and she tolerates the process fairly well, so I am hoping that continues.  I want her to really enjoy the hair that God has given her and to never make it seem like a burden.  I avidly watch for other little African American girls her age to see what their mothers are doing with their hair, and I have realized that already, many of the babies have their hair in tiny little puffs.  I still have a lot to learn about styling her hair, and I am sure I will do some mixture of styling it myself and having it styled professionally.  I've attempted some little twists so far, but she pulls on her hair a lot, so they haven't lasted very long.

For several weeks I have been meaning to get William's first hair cut, but we haven't made it a priority.  His hair is thicker than Violet's, and it was quite uneven on the sides.  I have gotten several barber recommendations, and today I finally called one, which resulted in quite a humorous conversation.

Me: "Do you have any late morning or afternoon appointments today?"
Godsey: "Do you need to get your hair cut?"
Me: "It's not me - my son needs a hair cut."
Godsey: "Is his hair long or short?"
Me: "It's pretty short.  He's a baby and needs his first hair cut.  I just want it to be cleaned up and shaped."
Godsey: "Do you mind me asking - is your son Afro-American?"
Me: "Yes."
Godsey: "Well, okay!  I will roll up my sleeves and be able to get to work!  Can you come at 11:30?  Do you need directions?"

I explained to him that I got his name from another adoptive mom, and that seemed to help everything make more sense.  I clearly did not sound like most of his clients over the phone.  When we arrived, he cheerfully welcomed our whole clan into his shop where the walls were literally lined with photographs in every corner.  Every photograph was a story he wanted to tell us, and we listened with rapt attention, because it was fascinating.

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William was getting pretty sleepy, because we are transitioning from two naps a day to just the afternoon nap.  Still, he did not protest much, and he really enjoyed playing with Porky.

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Godsey regaled us with story after story about everyone from his wife and children to famous boxers to the man who had taught him to cut hair to his great grandfather who was born a slave and then became free and worked as a porter in Chicago.  He doted on William and told us what a good-looking man he will be, which is a great way to win over any parents.  He also showed us the picture of himself getting baptized at age 12 and how knowing Jesus is the best way to live.  John and I nodded and laughed a lot, and before we knew it, William's hair looked dramatically better than it had when we arrived.

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They rang the spoon bell when it was all done.

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All in all, it was a fantastic experience, and Godsey told me to never let anyone with a name like "Sheniqua" or even a "Heather" tell me that I didn't know what to do with my kids' hair.  He said, "You will figure it out and do a great job."  I almost teared up, because it is really encouraging to have someone tell you something kind like that.  Especially in an area like this where I am a fish out of water.

So - this is us, starting to figure out chocolate hair.  It is totally worth it.

4 comments:

Meaghan said...

Love it! My husband takes Max to a barbershop where there are no appointments (just wait in line) and cash only. He gets great fades about every 3 weeks. Love it when we get compliments on his hair!

Rory, ChocolateHairVanillaCare said...

too adorable! <3

Carol Spenst said...

Thanks! Also - thanks so very much for your amazing blog. I have learned so very much!

Carol Spenst said...

So great!