Before our children are born, we often daydream and speculate about their appearance. It doesn’t matter whether a child is a boy or a girl, black or white, blonde, brunette, or red-haired; all children are a blessing to the world and should be treated equally
Even though that is the case, it is only normal for us to form an impression of our child’s or daughter’s appearance in our minds. Are they going to get their dad’s ears? Will they share their mother’s eye color?
None of us can predict with absolute certainty the appearance of our offspring, but we can typically make a decent approximation based on genes that run in the family.
I seriously doubt that any of our readers, at least those who are parents, have ever had a surprise quite like that of Nigerian immigrants Angela and Ben Ihegboro, who now reside in London, England.
The happy couple’s third child, a precious baby girl named Nmachi, was born in 2010. However, they were completely and utterly stunned when they saw her for the first time.
You can only imagine Angela and Ben Ihegboro’s shock when their third kid, a young girl they named Nmachi, was born with blonde hair and blue eyes given that both of them are from Nigeria and had already given birth to two black children.
You did read that correctly. Nmachi had light skin as well, which was another plus.
Angela said of the child: “She is beautiful, a miracle baby.” The couple, however, were left perplexed as to how they could possible have conceived a child with Nmachi’s features.
Angela’s potential infidelity was the obvious topic of conversation, but Ben, who apparently works as a customer advisor, was quick to dispel any such rumors.
He remarked: “Of course she is mine. My wife is true to me. Even if she hadn’t been, the baby still wouldn’t look like that (sic).”
Ben said: “The first thing I said was, ‘What the flip?’ We both just sat there after the birth staring at her for ages — not saying anything.”
But even though Angela and Ben referred to her as a miracle child, geneticists were able to come up with three explanations that would help to explain why Nmachi’s appearance is so dissimilar from that of her parents and siblings.
The first hypothesis postulated that Nmachi had an entirely unique gene mutation. If that’s the case, she could be able to pass that gene on to her own white children.
Another hypothesis was that until the birth of Nmachi, either Angela or Ben possessed latent white genes passed down from their ancestors that had been dormant for generations. According to reports, doctors speculated that the parents may still contain dormant Caucasian DNA from an earlier inter-racial union.
And then there’s the third possibility that was presented to Angela and Ben: that Nmachi might have a mutated variant of albinism. If this is the case, her skin may darken over time, though her father wasn’t convinced about this theory.
“She doesn’t look like an albino child anyway,” Ben said.
“Not like the ones I have seen back in Nigeria or in books. She just looks like a healthy white baby.”
In any case, I think we can all agree that the most important thing is that Nmachi was born into a family who will love and treasure her as all children should be loved and treasured.
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