Mini Me by Robin Gorman Newman
Had an interesting conversation with a friend last week.
Like me, she is an adoptive mom.
Her kids know they are adopted, as does my son. It’s not a big deal in our respective households. We’ve always been open.
During our chat, she was venting about her kids. It was one of those days. We all have them.
Part of what came up was how adoption is a “leap of faith.” Often, depending on the circumstances, you have little, if any, medical information, about the birth parents. In our case, for example, we don’t know who the birth father is. We decided we could live with that.
When kids are adopted from an orphanage, you typically know nothing of the birth parents. Ours was a domestic adoption, but hers was foreign.
On one hand, you could say that having the medical information would be helpful so perhaps you can anticipate what you might be dealing with. But, really, as a parent, you can never predict the health of your child. Best you can do is take care of them, and yourself.
I’ve never dwelled one way or the other re: the fact that Seth is adopted. It’s a non-issue for us. I’ve never thought about who he is like or does or doesn’t look like. I take pleasure in him…his infectious laugh…..huge empathy….curiosity about the world…………love of animals….etc. You could say nature vs. nurture. Who knows?!
My friend, on the other hand, told me how she has said to her kids…”You have daddy’s eyes”….and things of the like. She felt it was endearing, and to her, made less of their being adopted because it came naturally to her to say that. She loves her kids and also doesn’t think of them as being adopted, and she truly sees similarities.
Part of me wondered…did she have need to say that?
Was it important to her or her child that they bore some biological similarity?
I laugh if strangers ever say Seth looks like Marc or I because it is so not important to us. He’s himself.
I wonder how other parents see their kids. Do they delight if they feel they’ve created a mini me? Does that make them love them even more? I presume not. I suppose that perhaps they find it fun to see if their child is taking on resemblances, traits, interests, etc. Perhaps it’s a way to relive their own childhood to some extent?
I had a friend who ultimately adopted after we did. She experienced fertility challenges, with her husband, for years, but blatantly would proclaim how she wanted a “mini him.” With each failed IVF attempt, that continued to be her mantra. Until the day she met Seth. Then, she came to realize firsthand that adoption can be wonderful, and you get the child you are meant to raise (if you believe that….I do). And, she and her husband never looked back, as they adopted their daughter. She is not a mini me of either of them, and it doesn’t matter. She’s their love. And, they couldn’t love her more.