When Jade Ball gave birth to her sons, Cole and Klay, last April, they looked a little different, just like any other set of fraternal twins. “It was obvious they weren’t identical,” Ball told TODAY Parents. As the months went by, their differences become more and more noticeable. Cole now has brown hair, brown eyes and light brown skin like his half-Jamaican dad, while Klay has a head of blonde curly hair, blue eyes and a pale complexion like his white mom.
The BBC reports that interracial couples expecting twins have a 1 in 500 chance that their children will be born with different skin colors. “The physical traits you can see in a person are just a very small sliver of the genetic diversity across human populations,” Dr. Bryce Mendelsohn, a medical geneticist at the University of California, San Francisco, previously told TODAY Parents.
“A lot of times we only focus on the things our eyes can see, but what we see is a tiny tip of the iceberg of the actual genetic diversity in everyone.”
Mendelsohn likened it to flipping a coin eight times. “Sometimes it’s going to be heads all eight times. And it’s kind of like that when you have a bunch of genes,” he said. “They’re all randomly shuffling, and you can get all kinds of outcomes.” The mom in Manchester, England, said that she and her partner, Kade, are constantly fielding questions about their little boys. “Some people don’t believe that they’re twins,” she said. “They can’t get their heads around it because they look so different.” Cole and Klay’s personalities are just as unique.
“Klay is the mischievous one and into absolutely everything. He likes to dance and climb, whereas Cole has always been happy to just sit back and watch and take it all in,” Ball revealed. But both enjoy having their photo taken. Nearly 4,000 miles away, in Ohio, Khristi Cunningham is also raising biracial twins. The children received a lot of media attention as babies, but Cunningham didn’t mind.
“We did feel that we were obligated to share our story with others. We felt we were given these two beautiful children for a positive purpose — that purpose was to educate those who are ignorant to the fact that these things are possible, and to initiate conversation on race in America,” Cunningham told TODAY. “Being a certain color is not an ‘accomplishment,’ or something to be ‘proud of.’ No one on this Earth gets to stand in line to pick their skin color.
It is only by chance we are brown, or black, or white.”