Monday, September 01, 2008

Blood vs. water, etc, etc.

There are so many cliches you can spout off regarding family and ties that bind and blood relationships. Right now I'm reading a book, completely unrelated to adoption which has me thinking. The protagonist is searching for his lost sister and has lost his wife to cancer and is remarrying so there is a lot of discussion of whose related to who and how and the importance of DNA.

Obviously, our girls don't look like us - some people comment on Lily's resemblance to PB, and say that Lucy looks like me, because we both have darker skin tones. But really, people see what they want to see and I don't particularly think either of them look like either of us, or one another. That really drives people nuts when we are out together - I would say at least once per week a stranger references how the girls don't look anything alike. To which I generally smile and nod.

But I can't help but wonder what will happen when the girls are older. They will both always know they are adopted. But I don't want them to feel like they have to explain that to everyone they know, or happen to eat beside at Denny's. Not that I really care much what the girls tell total strangers or how those total strangers perceive our family - but they (the girls) might care and I don't know if I know what to tell them.

My mom and I were talking recently about family reunions, and what, if any, interest my daughters might ever have in attending them. Aren't family reunions about reaching out to the people who are distantly related, but in reality not much more than casual acquaintances, so you can hear stories about other family members and look for little physical and personality similarities... or is that just how I think of reunions? In any case, I wonder whether Lily and Lucy will care who their second aunt three times removed on my mom's side is? I mean, I barely care. Don't get me wrong... I feel like PB and I and our girls are as much a family as is possible, as are my parents and our close friends, and to a lesser extent, PB's family. But beyond that, will they ever be interested in knowing anything else? I don't know.

And even more importantly, what do they (especially Lucy, who will likely have less contact with her biofamily)lose by not seeing who they look like, where they got their grin or their laugh or their eyes? Will they be upset that they don't look like us? Or will they not care either way?

On another note, notice how I am becoming dangerously casual about referring to Lily as my daughter? I am afraid all cautiousness and emotional reserve and boundaries have flown out the window. Despite her case being in basically the same state as the last time I talked about it, there's not a single fiber of my being that doesn't feel like her mom and if we lose her... well, I have been resolutely staying in denial about that possibility. We'll see what happens in December, I guess.


TeamWinks said...

Over the weekend was the very first time my husband was present when we were asked if our son is our son. I thought his head was going to pop off of his shoulders and that he just might throttle the cashier.

Our son too will always know, and it will always be obvious. I have many of the same questions, and none of the answers. What will he tell people? How do we teach him that it's truly none of the cashier's business, and how to tell her that politely?

Runergirl said...

Every time I read a post like this it makes me smile. Being a foster child myself I can only speak from my own experience. My family is my family. Even though we share no resemblance I claim them as my people and sometimes I even forget that we are not "blood."

However, I do still wonder who I look like and why I act or feel the way I do.

Their is always a fine balance to being adopted. But with you as these girls parents they ill always feel secure enough to accept new family in their lives.

Dream Mommy said...

She is your daughter. Until a judge says otherwise, she's yours.