These two twins are about as close as twins can get, but you’d never guess it by just looking at them –Kachi has albinism, while her brother Kamsi has dark skin and jet black hair. Their mother is a photographer, from Calgary, Canada, and she struggled for eight years to get pregnant until she tried IVF and it finally worked. But when the time came to give birth, and she saw her baby for the first time, she thought they gave her the wrong baby. Judith said: “Most people don’t believe they’re twins – it’s also their hair that confuses them.”
They Were Having Twins
Like many expecting couples, they were ecstatic when they discovered that they were pregnant and they were having twins, as Judith intuitively knew before the ultrasound. At 37 weeks, one of the twins stopped growing, and Judith was immediately induced. Her twins were delivered via cesarean section — her first baby, a boy named Kamsi, was born at 6.1 lbs., but her daughter, Kachi, was just 3.5 lbs. After the pregnancy and the labor went as expected, there was no reason as to why they were strikingly different…
Judith explained in a Love What Matters essay that she wrote and shared online, “The first time I saw her, I was sure that the nurse was handing me someone else’s baby, she didn’t look like mine, and I waited a few moments for someone to tell me there was a mix-up, but all I heard from the nurse was how lovely she was. But the joy of seeing them healthy surpassed any other feeling at that moment. I was just overjoyed.”
There was no reason for them to believe that their twins were going to be so distinctly different, and they had no idea that they would soon welcome two scientific phenomenons into their lives. The twins are unidentical, which are also called fraternal twins; this happens when two separate eggs are fertilized at the same time. This means that the twins are just regular siblings, that happened to be born at the same time, hence these their completely different looks.
As Judith looked at them, she was obviously overwhelmed with love for her newborn babies. The fateful day had arrived, and her twins were born, but they weren’t quite what she was expecting. She was confused and asked the doctor to explain why they looked so incredibly different. Although they were fraternal twins, they weren’t expecting them to be quite so different. Their worries quickly subsided when the doctor stated that it was a scientific phenomenon, although it was rare, but not completely unheard of…
White- Skinned Baby?
As a black woman, Judith never considered that her baby could be white, but when her daughter was born, she was undoubtedly white. Judith explained, “I was quite surprised by how pale she was.” A few days after her twins were born, doctors told Judith that Kachi had albinism. Judith admits that after their birth, she was shocked to be handed a white-skinned baby. She explained: “I was shocked. I thought they had handed me somebody else’s baby, and I didn’t believe she was mine.”
It Never Crossed My Mind
Such dramatic genetics are unusual but not impossible. In most instances, children will inherit a “blend” of their parents’ features – as was the case with their other children. In the twins’ case, Kachi inherited a condition that affected her appearance. “Perhaps she’s just very fair in complexion,” Judith thought. “Albinism never crossed my mind as we had no history of it in my family as far as I knew. I didn’t see Kachi after that first moment because she was taken to ICU to be looked after.”
I’m Having Two
At first, Judith was concerned about the health challenges that often accompany albinism, and how it would affect her daughter, but she quickly realized just how incredible her little girl is. Judith explained: “I haven’t had any negative feedback from anyone; they always tell me she is beautiful. I even remember going for my first scan when they told me, “You have one baby,” and I said, “No, I’m having two. I knew, without any doubt.” She was able and ready to handle anything.
She Really Is Beautiful
The second scan did reveal that she would be having twins, but she was also told they might have Down Syndrome. But that wasn’t the case. Judith expanded, “I always make sure to tell her how beautiful she is because that’s the truth. I wouldn’t change a thing about her condition for a million dollars because to me she’s perfect in every way. Albinism may have its own difficulties, but I’m teaching her to be strong and overcome whatever obstacles she may experience.”
The Beauty In Albinism
“I’m trying to showcase the beauty in albinism by constantly taking photos of her and twin brother. I’m not sure she’s aware of how special she is at this age, but eventually, she’ll know, and it’s up to me to educate her and teach her to love herself no matter what.” Judith has said. Their family loves them for their differences, and they are each accepted as individuals. However, they would soon realize that the world would need more convincing…
Stares And Glances
As they are growing up, they are experiencing the true extent of this, and when they eventually went off to school, nobody believed they were twins. They were used to stares and glances as they walked down the street with their family, and now they were expecting similar judgment at nursery school. “They are together in the same class at nursery school, but no one ever thinks that they are twins, and can easily tell them apart,” Judith explained.
Not Like Most Twins
Most twins look so alike — but Kachi and Kamsi couldn’t look more different if we wanted to. “They don’t really look like they are family, let alone being twins,” Judith added. “It never even went through my mind that I was going to have an albino baby. We don’t have any albinos in my family, nor in my husband’s family, so it really was a shock for me; I was thinking ‘what are they doing, why did they give me someone else’s baby?” But that doesn’t stop them from acting like twins…
She added that they have a great brother-sister relationship, despite looking nothing alike. They do deal with occasional glances and misunderstandings from other people, though. Judith also says that there are some superstitions regarding albinos in her native Nigeria, which was another reason she was worried. But going to counseling and learning how to take care of Kachi helped her overcome any anxieties. She added: “It took me a while to realize I’m going to be raising an albino.”
I Am Grateful
“I was really worried about what people were going to say – it’s not very common to have an albino and a black baby that are twins. I was also sad and concerned for her and how she is going to go through life, or how people will treat her.” Judith explained, “But it didn’t affect my affection or love at all, of course. Where I come from, people who are visible minorities are mistreated, so I am grateful I live in a western country.”
Just Like Me
The only thing is, she can’t go outside and be in the sun too long, as her skin gets burned easily. As the two are maturing and growing up, their individual personalities are starting to show. “But when they were born, I was just glad that she was perfect- and both were healthy, and I was stressed for nothing. Other than the fact that she is a different color, she looks exactly like me,” said Judith.
An Inherited Condition
The twins, who are now aged three, are the best of friends and don’t know any different, their mum says. Judith, their mother, says that the confusing day of their birth seems like such a long time ago. Now she knows that Kachi has Oculocutaneous Albinism type 2, which is an inherited condition where people cannot produce enough melanin, and this affects their eyes, skin, and hair, making them look very different – especially in a black family.
How Would People React?
One in every four children has the chance of being affected when both parents are carriers of the Albinism gene. Judith says she was initially worried about her daughter, and how Kachi was going to be growing up and how other people would react to her albinism. Albinism is a condition that is lifelong, but at least it doesn’t get worse over time. People born with albinism have a reduced amount of melanin or no melanin at all. This affects their coloring as well as their eyesight.
People sometimes like to question Judith and her husband, often it’s about the twins’ genealogy, but they know for sure that their twins are just one in a million. They will always be twins, and that special bond is something they don’t have to prove to anybody. They will always be proud of each other because of that. Their relationship means they will have a special bond with each other throughout their lives, no matter how different they may look on the outside.
They Share A Lot
It’s worthwhile to remember that what works for one twin won’t necessarily work for the other, whether you’re trying to buy them a present or thinking of how to communicate with them. Since they were raised in the same family by the same parents, Kachi and Kamsi will likely have some things in common, but their interests will probably change as they get older. Kachi might really want to play sports while Kamsi might be more interested in dolls.
According to the most recent statistics from the National Center for Health, it’s been estimated that 33 births out of every 1,000 are twins. But interestingly, fraternal twins are just like any other sibling, meaning they don’t necessarily look like each other. Their case is extremely rare though, where only one twin inherits a condition. In history, there have not been many recorded incidents of this, which makes these twins really special and even rarer to see.
Generally, though, most people could probably point out twins in a crowd, even if they aren’t identical. Usually, fraternal twins will tend to have something about them that shows they are related; whether it’s their facial features, eyes, or having the same mannerisms. However, these two have completely different skin colors. Growing up might prove to be difficult as people don’t take too well to things that are too different from what they are used to.
But for now, the only thing Kachi has to worry about is being wary of the sun as her skin is sensitive and she has weaker eyesight, but as the youngest sister, she is perfectly healthy, and although she turns a few heads on the street, Judith doesn’t let that upset her in the slightest. In fact, instead of letting her condition define her, she makes sure to boost her confidence and make her aware of how special she is.
Many people like to compare twins to one another constantly; you might think that a twin would end up competing with their sibling, but it’s actually the opposite. Many are so used to comparisons that competition doesn’t affect them as much as it does other siblings. These two might not face many comparisons as they look strikingly different, but they have the upside of having each other, and their close relationship is something we hope will remain with them for life.