Nurses and doctors at Portsmouth Naval Medical Center were sʜᴏᴄᴋᴇᴅ when an African-American woman gave birth to a white, red-haired baby boy.
When mother-of-two Ebony Lumpkin of Virginia gave birth to her second child a few years after her first, her joy surpassed anything she’d felt when she became an officer in the Navy. Her pregnancy was smooth and uncomplicated, and her second son, Matthew, was born.
But when she gave birth to the baby boy at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, instead of congratulations, she received admiring comments.
“Oh my God! Oh my God!” these were the first words that Lumpkin heard, which immediately sent a chill down his spine. The new mother almost panicked when one of the nurses explained to her the reason for her excitement, namely that her son was born with red hair.
Since Ebony and her husband are both African-American, it was almost impossible for Matthew to have white skin and red hair. Still in sʜᴏᴄᴋ, Lumpkin told the nurse in disbelief, “No, just wash him a few times.”
The nurse did as the mother asked, but when she returned with the baby, nothing had changed. Nevertheless, when Lumpkin took his baby boy in his arms, she immediately forgot her worries and surrendered to this beautiful moment. Her baby has finally arrived.
Lumpkin was excited to add another member to his family, but Matthew’s journey was not easy for either the mother or the little boy. They weren’t at all bothered by Matthew’s red hair, but everyone else seemed to have a problem with it.
At times, people often suspected Lumpkin that Matthew was not his own son, and at times she had quite unpleasant experiences. “An older white woman saw me walking away with him and called the police. She thought I stole another woman’s child,” Lumpkin recalled.
In the aforementioned case, it ultimately required the intervention of a stranger to prevent Lumpkin’s arrest. But Matthew’s situation was no easier than his mother’s. At the age of five, he had a terrible experience at school.
The little boy went home crying, complaining that some of the kids laughed at him and told him Lumpkin wasn’t his real mother.
The woman’s heart would break in grief, especially when she saw that every time little Matthew saw a woman with red hair, he went up to her asking if she was his mother. Despite this, Lumpkin remained strong and tried to help Matthew as well.
The family worked hard to stay positive, and Lumpkin’s first-born son, Adam, came up with a great idea that made things easier. He suggested that he and his mother could dye their hair to look like Matthew.
Lumpkin was touched by Adam’s selflessness and couldn’t have asked for more. Despite the negative comments, she is happy that Matthew has found a true friend in his brother, who always encourages him.