Never did I expect to find love after escaping an abusive husband and returning home to my parents with two children in tow, one aged four and the other a few weeks from turning one. If anyone told me back in 2009, when I changed my life’s course to give my children a better home, that I was going to fall in love with a woman and raise my children in a biracial same-sex home, I would’ve laughed. But I believe the journey that made our paths cross was destined.
Jacky* and I have been together since 2011 and my children have known her to be the provider, protector, and medic in our household. She loves them without reservation and often chooses to sit up with them at night when they are not feeling well, while I fulfill the roles of mommy, cook, and nurturer. We are both the disciplinarians. The whole journey has shown me that love doesn’t see, for instance, race or sex; it just feels a special kind of patience, consideration, and companionship with the other human.
Although we are individuals who are focussed on our own ambitions, we are a unit at home where my children see us as partners and parents. My ex-husband is still a present figure in their lives and Jacky* will never replace his role, but in everyday life and together, we make the decisions that are in their best interest.
The journey as a biracial same-sex family has not been easy. We try to shelter the children, now aged 12 and nine because people can be cruel. I see it with my daughter, who is sometimes confused and embarrassed, especially after spending time with her father and his family. We have come to realise that we cannot control what she experiences in the outside world but can continue to love and guide her unconditionally. My son, on the other hand, has known this family to be like this since he was a baby, so he loves Jacky* and our family dynamic because he doesn’t know any different. With both the children we try to instill the manner of acceptance and to avoid being judgmental towards others.
Both our families have been supportive of our relationship and have been our village in raising them. We are seen as a family unit and enjoy being ourselves around close family and friends, which is rare in public because we don’t want to make the children feel uneasy in front of strangers. Although Jacky* and I love each other, we also love the children and their needs are closely considered before we make life’s big decisions.
I have never loved or been loved so deeply by anyone before until Jacky* came into my life. She and I have an open relationship where we can discuss anything and everything. The most difficult hurdles we had to overcome include an age gap of 13 years, cultural and religious differences between us and problems relating from the children’s father.
It’s ironic how the stars aligned us to start this journey on Mother’s Day (8 May 2011), because we are mothering my children together. Jacky would ask me why I love her so much and my answer is always, “Because my heart says so and it knows no other way.”
*Names have been changed