Monday, October 04, 2010

My Highest Honor (Client Profile)

At the height of the Haitian earthquake relief efforts I remember seeing a short clip of "families at the airport, all anxious to meet their new adoptees."  The camera pans the crowd and there was not one person of color!  My first thought - how will they possbly care for their hair?  I didn't doubt that they'd be loved, but understanding the complexities of our hair in its natural state, its care and maintenance, well that's a totally different level of knowledge.  Most African-Americans aren't even that conscious - yet.  Will these parents think chemically processed hair is a "natural state?"  It bothered me...
And the Universe responded.

A few months later I was privileged to lock two beautiful Ethiopian sisters new to America.  I present to you QueenN and QueenM, my first "girls" Sisterlocks installs.

They have beautiful accents and I love hearing them talk. They've quickly grasped English thanks to the patient tutoring of their parents.  (The little one refers to long hair as "big hair."  I just love hearing her talk about my "big hair.")  During the installs, mom did flash card activities - letters, words, colors and shapes.  Read books was read to...and...I've now watched every children's video there is.  The Little Mermaid, Thumbalina, all of the Shrek's, Toy Story, Ice Age, The Frog Princess, etc.  Their favorite - Mary Poppins.  A movie I had never viewed til now. The installs were a month a part. And you guessed it. The little one liked the same movies as her sister!  So I got to view them twice.  It's a joy watching them innocently laugh out loud or emotionally respond to whatever's happening on the screen.

The girls are blessed with parents who absolutely love and adore them - the biblical kind of love - patient, kind, giving, selfless.  They couldn't be in a more loving, nurturing environment.  I've had the pleasure of spending time with both parents. I asked the one question that always crosses my mind when I hear of International Adoptions - why a particular country?  In this case, Ethiopia, specifically?

"We wanted to adopt where the need was greatest.  I always instinctively knew I would have daughters from Ethiopia.  I can't tell you how I knew.  I just felt it." ~The Girls' Mom

And the Universe responded.

My second question, "why Sisterlocks?"  RESEARCH.  Everything she read indicated that Sisterlocks was the healthest option for her girls' hair and would give them the one thing they wanted most - long hair. (They have that in common with 99.9% of us, right?)  I remember the way they looked at me, examining my locks with curiosity during our consultation.  A special moment.

I actually referred the mother to someone in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.  She emailed back and said with distance being the same both ways, she'd prefer that I lock the girls.  She said my name kept coming up in her research.  I was a little uncertain about little girls sitting for the long install time; but they both did an excellent job of hanging with Blaq.  Kudos to mom for coming prepared with items to keep them occupied and lots of fruits and snacks.

I've learned there's a network of International Adoption support groups for every particular mixture of adoptive families - blogs and websites where adoptive parents can gain insight, support, recommendations, referrals and discuss things such as hair care.  The adoption process can take quite some time. This gave the girls' mother a year and more to learn as much as she could about natural hair and its care. 

"I want my girls playing outside on Saturdays, not sitting in a salon" ~ The Girls' Mom
Since getting to know this family, I can view that same news clip with a different perspective. I thank them for being open to my inquiring mind. Look forward to more features on the girls as their locks mature and they adapt to American life.

In the meantime, when QueenN and QueenM look at me as an African-American woman, I want them to see WHAT their locks can become AND the limitless possibilities of WHO they can become ~ that is my highest honor.

Who knows why the Universe brought us all together. Perhaps it was simply as natural for the girls to get Sisterlocks - as it was for me to lock them - as it was for their parents to adopt them...

"It's natural to be natural."  ~BlaqKofi

(Click photos for greater detail.)

Ceritified Sisterlocks Consultant
Personal & Professional Life Coach
Motivational Speaker

QueenN's portrait of me made during her install.  It has a place of prominence in my shop.


Kreyola said...

This is such a nice story. Good Job!

new2locs said...

Great story! And the girls are beautiful,I can't wait for the updates on their journey w/sisterloc's & their new family!

CaribSun said...

Thanks for sharing this. Those little angels are beautiful.

Terez said...

That is a beautiful story! I look forward to seeing how the girls' Sisterlocks mature. I've never seen little girls with them before, and they look awesome!

I also feel so happy that those girls have such loving parents who are well-educated on the topic of natural hair.

JUST Euphoria said...

hey Shirley!! such an inspirational story & you did a great job on their hair

Liyah nicole said...

I think thats beautiful and i also love that their mother took the time to consider the care of a black child's hair good for her and good for you for helping her and the girls along the way

Unknown said...

This is an awesome story! You did an excellent job on their hair. Kudos to the Mom for researching her kids hair type and making the best decision ever! Sisterlocks ROCK! I'm looking forward to the updates!

The Woman Inside said...

I can't wait to see their journey, you did an excellent job!! It is wonderful to see children placed in a loving home, it is a blessing.

Angela said...

What a wonderful story to read. Congrats to their mom for doing her research and more importantly for knowing "It's natural to be natural". I look forward to seeing their progress. You did a great job on their hair! Yes I agree, Sisterlocks Rock!!!

Angela in Houston

Sogolocs said...

They are making the right decision for those young ladies. I still think of all the nightmares I experienced at the salon, and they won't have to go through that. I still share the horror stories with laughter and tears. They look darling, what a blessed beginning for them. You did a great job.

scruffdiva said...

My vanilla stepmother would have loved this and you a few decades ago when she was clueless about our hair and how to care for it. That summer I came back so different looking that my mom walked straight past me at the airport! These girls are so blessed in so many ways!

KnottyAuthor said...

What a BLESSING! I came to blogger land to look for pics of lil girls with locks to spotlight in my hairstyle chapter. I do hope that I can work with you and feature their precious faces. They deserve to be superstars! If yes, hit me up on FB or at and I'll send you the request.

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