Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hair Hair Hair: Part III

Miss E's new 'do

Many of you are already aware of the fabulous website Chocolate Hair, Vanilla Care.   I am honored to share with you my recent interview with Rory, the author of CHVC. I encourage you to explore her website. I promise that she will make you feel welcome! 

R:  Tell me about yourself and your family.    
My name is Rory Hadley (a pen name, to protect my family's privacy). I don't think I have anything but a brief adoption story, considering how quickly our process went. A year after the stillbirth of our son we attended an adoption orientation meeting for fost-adopt. That was October 6th, and by December 13th our daughter was home. I suppose I owe part of the speed to the fact that I'm very meticulous when it comes to paperwork, having taken 3 weeks to complete our entire packet, including fingerprints, letters of recommendation, CPR training, physicals, etc., etc.
Hobbies include painting, computers (hardware/systems administration/programming/graphic design), and perhaps crafting. I'm a fan of doing things that require using both parts of my brain; I like to be creative but I also like to be challenged analytically, so anything that exercises both of those at the same time is great. I also love to cycle and surf, although I haven't really had the opportunity to do much of those since becoming a parent. As you can probably tell, most of the things I just listed are not the most social of activities; I socialize very well in an online environment; in person I'm quite the different personality. I've always found it easier to express myself through the written word, so I suppose that's why I have an affinity for social media.
R:  Why did you start your website? Did you have any idea it would become so popular?

Although I had been blogging privately (for family and friends) for years, I actually started Chocolate Hair / Vanilla Care for no other reason that it was just easier for me. I am frequently being questioned by other adoptive parents when out with my daughter about her hair and how we got it to be so "long and healthy." I can't really squeeze everything there is to know about natural hair into a fifteen minute conversation, so I separated the hair-related information into it's own blog so that I could chronicle that aspect and give people a place to go when our public conversation inevitably ended. I know I always leave those situations remembering things that I had forgotten to mention, and perhaps they leave with more questions than answers. Now I can give people my web site and Facebook page so that they can come "hang out" with us.
As for why it is so popular, I can't really say. That would probably be a better question for my readers. I just try to provide helpful information, and it's not just about hair; it's about adoption, about parenting, about simple joys and sorrows, all the things that make our family what it is. And because we are a transracial family, there's probably a little bit of something for everyone who comes to the blog. Some people read for the family info, other's read for the hairstyles, and some just want to check out photos. I love that there's such a broad appeal; I feel that brings a diversity to my readership, which I think makes the blog and Facebook page all that more interesting.
R:  Who is a typical CHVC reader? Why do you think your blog is so popular?
There isn't a typical CH/VC reader. And that's what I love about my readers, everyone is so unique! We have racially and ethnically diverse readers from all over the world who actively participate. Not everyone is a parent; some readers have children, some are maintaining their own natural hair, some are caring for siblings, and others are just reading because they're interested and want to support what we're doing.

R:  What does your blog offer that other blogs, websites, and books do not?
Wow, I guess I just have to say that what makes us unique is, well, us! Our family. We are all characters in the story of the blog, and that includes, but is not limited to, hair. I feel like I know a lot of my readers on a personal level, and I know that they know me! There's a lot of love in this household and I thought it was important that the blog be about "the whole picture" of our family, not just hair information. Information only is awesome, but there are plenty of reference books and blogs out there that are great to visit to look something up quickly. I've tried to make a point to make the blog a pleasant place to be, a place you can come and hang out with us as family, not just a sterile how-to manual. Not to say that that's what all the other blogs are, by no means do I mean that. I just feel that our blog is special because I think my family is special (like every family) and we all have something to share and learn from one another.

R:  When Steve (my husband) and I speak to prospective adoptive couples, many are fearful of being open to a black child because, well, "THE HAIR!" If you could offer some advice for those who have such fears, what would it be?

As a motorcycle-riding tomboy, I am probably the furthest thing away from a girly-girl. I do nothing with my hair, and never really have. So if I can do hair, anyone can do hair! Lot's of things scare people away from caring for children. Some people are terrified that breastfeeding won't work out for them. Others have never changed a diaper. The truth is, everyone is a beginner at some point when learning how to care for a child, and hair is no exception. You research and learn what your child needs and then you try it out. You find a system of changing diapers that works where both you and your baby aren't screaming your heads off, and your golden. The same is true for doing hair. It's not something that comes overnight, but it's nothing that's really that big of a deal. Seriously. Ask my husband. Short of doing the actual styles, he can do anything with our daughter's hair, from ACV rinses to to plaiting. And in a pinch, he could probably do some styles to.

R:  What is next for you? Have you considered writing a book? Speaking at conferences? Will you adopt again?

I'm barely keeping my head above water, so thinking about all of these questions is a little overwhelming! LOL We do speak on occasion for adoption agencies, but that's about the extent of it. I would be open to other ideas if they came up, but I'm not actively pursuing anything other than what we're doing right now. We do have plans to adopt again. No doubt we'll be blogging all about it when it happens, so my readers will likely not be the last to know. ;-)
Some of Rory's favorites:
Special thanks to the very busy Rory for her insight, inspiration, and awesome blog! 


Read my guest post on Rory's blog today


  1. Can't wait to check this out Rachel, thanks!!

  2. thanks for the opportunity to be a part of your great blog, rachel! i really appreciate it (and your patience with me). blessings to you and your family for all that you do (and will do)! :-D


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