‘Rainbow’ Twins Take 1st Birthday Portraits and Steal Our Hearts
Lifestyle| | By Robin Milling
Rainbow twins Kalani and Jarani Dean — bi-racial babies from Quincy, Illinois — became a viral sensation when they were born April 23, 2016. And now the whole world is taking notice again in celebration of their first birthday.
Photographer Mary-Kathryn Nourse of Elite Photography in Grafton, Wisconsin took photos of the adorable duo and posted them to her Facebook page. The post received almost 10,000 likes and 3,000 shares.
“I had the privilege of shooting these rainbow baby TWINS a couple weeks ago,”Nourse wrote. “They are rare biracial twins born to a black daddy and white momma, how amazing and beautiful is that?!?! Talk about a Rainbow after the storm <3 <3 Happy 1st Birthday sweet girls <3 <3 <3.”
Even their grandmother April Kendrick Meyer was impressed.
“Love this. Great capture, absolutely stunning. Love my sweet granddaughters,” Meyer commented on Facebook.
A rainbow baby is not born from the literal meaning — of different skin color tones — but rather it means a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. Kalani and Jarani were born two years after their mom, Whitney Meyer, lost her 2-year-old son Pravyn in a drowning accident at his daycare pool.
The Dean family has also warmed the heart of another photographer, Mallery Gallagher of Sugar Lane Photography, who took their family portraits and witnessed the birth of the rainbow twins.
“The loss that family has suffered and their pain is unimaginable, but yet they show so much love to everyone without a doubt. I was there shooting the twins’ birth. It was a very emotional day but I know that little boy (Pravyn) had his hand in all of this. Whitney had a picture of him on her delivery bed the whole time,” Gallagher wrote to Your Daily Dish.
“Black and white twins” are very rare. In part because people tend to partner with those who share a gene pool.
“There are many reasons for this, of course, but one is that we often marry people from our own geographical region, and any geographical region will have some commonality of the gene pool,” Janet Boughman, executive vice president of the American Society of Human Genetics, told Baby Center.
Kalani might be her mother’s complexion — and her twin sister Jarani might have her father Tomas Dean’s darker complexion — but according to their mom, her rainbow twins are miracle babies to the color blind family.
“They are different colors, but sisters by blood,” Meyer told People. “But we love them the same. But in this family, we don’t see color. Love is love.”
Meyer — who came up with their names while “doodling at work”— treats all the babies’ viral attention as a “blessing” and hopes they will represent more than what meets the eye.
“I wanted them to have twin similarities so they both end with ‘ani.’ When people see my children I know they see their differences, but that’s just not all,” Meyer told Your Daily Dish. “My girls have a story behind them that means so much more. I lost my 2 year-old son in 2014 who would be 5 years old today to an awful drowning of neglect at his daycare. A year and a half later I was gained (sic) with these beautiful, unique, miracle gifts. I love getting the attention for them because of their rarity. In the long run, if they ever have second thoughts not loving who they are they can go back and look and see millions of people fell in love with them.”