Tuesday, May 1, 2012

She looks just like you!!!

I have been told that I make my readers cry...a lot.  This is NOT my intention!  So today, I thought I would take a slightly different tactic.  Humor.

I had the privilege of spending some quality time with good friends the last couple of weekends.  Actually, friends doesn't quite summarize it...they are family.  They are the family we chose for ourselves.  My children call them Aunt and Uncle and there is no doubt in my mind that I love them the same way I love the brother I grew up with.  I realize that may sound odd to some people but the fact of the matter is, I have no blood relation to most of my children, so for me, family is made up of the people that we love unconditionally.  I have several "brother and sisters" that fall into this category.

As I was watching "J" play with her 2 year old daughter, "S", I was astounded to find myself saying something that I laugh at others for saying to me.  "She looks just like you!"  Please understand that K and J adopted baby S almost 2 years ago so obviously there is no genetic reason for them to look like each other.  Their ethnicities are not even the same, and yet there is was!  Baby S clearly LOOKED like them.  J's wild hair was played out in Baby S's blond curls and J's booming laughter and voice filled the room as Baby S's voice escalated to be the center of attention.  K's quick laughter was evident in his daughter by how Baby S played with my children.  It was suddenly obvious to me that MANNERISMS are a part of a family ...and apparently a large part of why our children look like us sometimes.

Just this morning, I was pondering all the similarities of adoptive children to their adoptive families while watching K7 practice his reading.  It was darling so I took a short video of him.  It wasn't until I was watching it later on my computer that I noticed something funny.  About 30 seconds into the video, K7 stuck his right pointer finger into the silky mass of hair above his ear...and started "twirling" his hair.  Clearly one of MY mannerisms.  I wonder how long he has been doing this and I didn't even notice!

All of this got me to thinking of all the times people would make comments to me about MY children and it forced me to wonder what other people saw.  I mean after all, I am pretty sure I stick out as an oddity in my community when driving a gigantic white creeper van and hauling around numerous children of various ages and ethnicities.  As I thought about the many comments made to me over the years, I thought it might be funny to blog about it and list some of my funniest memories.

Just after K3 was placed in our home...and I mean like a couple of DAYS...I was walking down the sidewalk with all 3 children.  K1 ran ahead while K2 held my hand.  K3 was strapped securely to my chest in a baby carrier.  About halfway down our street, a neighbor was working in her yard.  I had seen her before, but didn't know her at all.  In fact we had never even exchanged words!!!  But as soon as she saw the carrier on my chest, she was on her feet and headed my way.   She hollered from across the yard, "I didn't know you were even pregnant."  She peeked at 4 day old K3, glanced at my boys and me and then said, "Well, that baby doesn't even look like you!  Who is the father, the mail man?"  Now this struck me as very funny due to the fact that, a: I don't KNOW who the father is and b: our new baby was a beautiful filipino, hispanic and Caucasian mix - and our mailman was clearly filipino so he MIGHT be the father of my child.  

Another time, shortly after we had left Los Angeles to move to Colorado, I was standing in line at Target and a little old lady was standing behind me.  She was making "googley eyes" at 6 month old K3 trying to get her to smile.  The little old lady smiled at me and said, "well, at least she has your smile.  I think the rest of her must look like her dad."  Without thinking of what I was implying about myself, I politely responded with "I actually don't know who her father is."  Her eyes widened to gargantuan size and she turned her back to me.  Yup...that is me, the town slut.  As K3 grew, people started commenting more and more about how much K3 looked like Robert and I.  Things like "oh, she has her daddy's dark skin...but where did those dark eyes come from?" and then more and more it was things like "she has your laugh" or "she is active like you guys" or "she has your personality."  I guess it is just human nature to find likeness in families.

Three years later, when we adopted K4, we had entirely different problems.  OK, my problems were funny, but my husband's problems where downright insulting at times!!!  My favorite moment was a day at the mall while I was attempting to purchase the famous "croc" shoes that were all the rage.  I had all four children with me.  The gal at the kiosk looked at my children, 2 clearly Caucasian, 1 clearly hispanic and 1 clearly asian and said "do they all have the same father?"  My response..."nope" and in my head I thought "ya, think about that one for awhile nosey."  Whatever lady, pick your jaw off the floor and move on.  What I really wanted to say, was "I don't remember, I was too drunk."  or "Well, her dad was hispanic, and her dad was Filipino and his dad was German and his dad was Scottish."  Again, I am labeled the town slut.  

But my husband's story tops them all.  One day while walking through the grocery store with K4 and K3 he was assaulted by little old lady with a purse!  What IS it about little old ladies?!?!  Anyway, they had just left check out when this lady walked up to my husband and started hitting him with her purse.  She had the nerve to yell "she is TOO YOUNG for you!!!"  Hubby did the smart thing, he grabbed the kids and ran!  When he first told me the story I was horrified, but over the next several days I realized that here was a 30+ year old man walking around with a young asian woman of uncertain age with a young asian/hispanic toddler that was calling him dad. I am certain the whole world would have thought that K4 was MOM to K3 in that moment.  Even if people identified K4 as a 20 year old, he still would have looked a more than a decade older!  Poor man can't even go grocery shopping with his children!

I could go on about this topic for awhile, and I don't know what K and J's experiences will be as baby S grows up, but it is my hope that they can find the laughter in it all.  I hope they document some of the stories to look back at in later years.  And I hope that today's blog inspires you to leave comment sharing some of your favorite "nosey people" stories.