Mom had a little black doll named Niggy growing up. I imagine she would set a small table with little tea cups and she would pour Niggy a cup of invisible tea. Niggy would sit across from Mom, stiff, with blank eyes, and not say a word. Mom would politely sip her tea and do all the talking.
Memory has erased where Niggy came from or who named her. The presence of this doll and her colorful name paint a vivid picture of the household Mom grew up in.
Mom told me the story of Niggy three years ago and I was stunned. I sat at the table like Niggy, stiff and speechless. Initially, I was shocked that this was acceptable, that it was alright to give a doll this name or give a child a doll with this name. After the initial shock wore off I was humbled.
Mom and Dad made sacrifices I can’t comprehend. The push back they received for adopting me was monumental. The reaction from friends, family and strangers would have crippled most.
What humbled me was understanding where Mom came from and the environment she grew up in. This was so far away from bringing me home. The leap was a death defying one. Honestly, a leap I am not too sure I would have attempted.