Dear Sienna,

Reading your letter has brought out so many emotions for me that it is hard to know where to begin. As a mother of two biracial children, I have always had concerns about how others would treat my boys and if they would feel like they don’t fit in anywhere. What you have gone through describes all of the fears I have every day for my children when they go out into the world. Will people accept them? Will they be teased? Are they going to grow up comfortable in their own skin? What can I do to help them? I cannot protect them from feeling like they are not “black enough” or “white enough.”

Like you, they will have to learn to accept themselves for who they are and embrace all of the aspects of their culture. I do my best to not only teach them about my family’s roots but also that of their father (Italian and Polish). It is important to me and their father that they grow up knowing about all aspects of their heritage, so they can be proud of who they are. We work hard to teach our boys self-acceptance and acceptance of other people’s differences.

Your letter fills me with so much hope for the future.

Your letter has shown me that I should focus more on teaching them to accept themselves rather than being concerned with how others view them. At a young age, you have learned a lesson that takes many adults a lifetime to learn. Not only have you learned that true happiness comes from self-acceptance, you have also shared your story with others to help them. For that I commend you, and I am inspired by you.

All I can do as a mother is build my sons up to love themselves no matter what anyone says or feels about them. As I look at my oldest son, he already chooses to march to the beat of his own drum. He loves science and one of his favorite bands to listen to is The Beatles. I hope that as he grows older he continues to embrace all of his uniqueness and be unaffected by the thoughts of others. I do not want him to grow up trying to fit into a box that people have made for him.

Daile Fordoski is the assistant director of The Learning Loft located at Urban Academy. Here, she is pictured in its preschool classroom. (Photo by Njaimeh Njie/PublicSource)

Your letter fills me with so much hope for the future. Seeing how you overcame all of your feelings of not fitting in to become a strong, proud young woman shows me that my boys can and will be fine. The road to self-acceptance is not easy for anyone, but your story shows me it can be done. So, I want to thank you for taking my fears away and replacing them with optimism and comfort. Before reading your letter, I had no idea how I would be able to help my sons with this, and you have guided me in the right direction. By sharing your story, you have personally made an impact on me and my family. I can only imagine how many more you will help.

Although I can feel the strength and confidence you have gained now that you have accepted who you are, I still would like to leave you with what I say to my children when they are feeling like they do not fit in:

You are not different; you are special.
Being like everyone else is boring.
Dare to be unique.
Throughout history, many of the great scientists and inventors were ridiculed for being different and that is what made them great.
You are going to do many amazing things in your lifetime, and it will be your differences that will be your strengths.

Sienna, I believe you are destined for greatness. Already you have shown with your powerful words that you are ready to make an impact on the world. Thank you for sharing your story. It truly touched my heart as I’m sure it did to everyone who read it.

Daile Fordoski

Daile Fordoski is the curriculum and accreditation specialist/assistant director of The Learning Loft located at Urban Academy. She is also the owner of Perfect 10 Tutoring, an online tutoring company. She can be reached at