"He looks like you!"

It's funny how so many people comment,
"He looks like you." or "He has your smile" or, "He has your eyes."  I know they mean well. It gets me thinking why they have to find some common thread between parent & child. And it is what most parents do with their biological child. How fun it is for them to see their beloved spouse in their child's eyes, or smile or their mother's hands, or father's chin. It bonds them. I understand. That is how DNA works.
With adoption, we don't have that experience. It's actually very interesting. We know he will not "inherit" any of our physical features. So, when we look at him, we don't even try to find them. We just see him for him. For who he is and for who he will become. His own person.
Why do parents have that natural desire to find a part of them in their child? Is it about having a part of you to continue on after you've left this world? Is is ego? Is it love? Or a little of all of it? I'm not trying to insult other parents or demean their experience at all. I totally get it and understand it. I love my husband so much and we had a huge desire to create a child of our own biologically and we tried for many years. During those three brief, failed pregnancies, we had those same feelings and curiosities. We wondered what they would like and who they would resemble. Totally natural. I'm just saying, that as I am now the mother of our incredible son, I see how it's also a very lovely and spiritual experience to just sit back and see Mason for the true separate individual he is. Loving him does not have anything to do with who he looks like or how he looks. As I'm sure most parents feel. Especially those involved in transracial adoptions! Glenn & I were totally open to that but it was not our match at this time! It's about love & the true connection of our hearts, not the connection of DNA, in my opinion.
So, many therapy couches have been filled with people who's parents wanted them to be carbon copies of them and how miserable or messed it made them. I believe as parents, whether adoptive or biological, it's imperative to be a guide for them to learn who they are. To not force or push them to be someone they are not. I know it is my job to teach him so many things. But I also know that I have much that I will (and already am) learn from him! I'm just trying to be in each moment, and see the world through his eyes. With his amazing sense of wonder and intrigue! It's magical! He may be totally different and discover whole new ideas and a way of living his life one day as an adult. I just want to instill good basic qualities of compassion, empathy, generosity, kindness and a sense of humor and desire to enjoy life with full passion. To accept others for who they are and embrace our differences and marvel at all the beauty in this world! Not too much to ask for, right? 
As you can see from the photo, he is a pensive, thoughtful guy already. Very much like his mommy & daddy. So, nature verses nurture is the question when it comes to adoption, I guess. He'll have more possibilities of qualities to pull from. He already has his daddy's sense of humor too. He makes us laugh so much every day!  It's just fun to sit back & watch it all unfold! We are sure enjoying the ride!!

Let just add that one of the first thoughts I had when Mason was born, was how adorable he was because he looked so much like his birthmom. She is such a cutie. So, I did it too!  One can't help it! I'm so grateful for that. That we know her and have pictures to show him and that he will even get to see her again one day. I should say, since my last blog entry, she got back in contact with us and we sent her lots of pictures. She texts us quite a bit and we are so grateful!


glenn said...

well that was just beautifully stated. and so true. he looks a little bit like you but absolutely nothing like me, and that doesn't bother me at all.

Kristi said...

About ten years ago, when my parents were living in Palm Springs, I was hanging at their trailer (they retired initially to a life of happy camping), and a woman who lived in the park wandered by.

My parents introduced me, and she cocked her head and looked at me.

"You look nothing like your parents," she said.

"Bullshit," I said. "I look exactly like my Dad."

Tim said...

Glenn and Angie-
What a great adoption story! Congratulations on your little one! My wife and I have adopted once (in 2007) and now are waiting to adopt again. We have been blessed so much by adoption that we want to help and inspire others. Would you consider sharing your story with us? We'd love to publish it on our site www.infantadoptionguide.com. Please consider sharing only the information you feel comfortable with. It would be awesome to have your story inspire more people to start their own adoption journey! Thanks - and congratulations! Tim Elder (adoptive daddy and blogger on InfantAdoptionGuide.com)