Our faces are not the same

Out of my three youngest, I think Caleb has struggled the most with the fact that he was not born here. Micheline and Ben speak freely of their birth parents even though they do not know them. I have often said things such as “I bet your beautiful brown eyes are just like your Haitian mother’s”, or “Your gorgeous black hair came from your Chinese mother”, and they love hearing how some of their best features probably came from their birth parents.

Caleb, however, has asked, “I look like you, right Mama?” For some reason, he cannot even seem to identify what other Chinese people look like. He was on the university campus with Jeff and Jeff was pointing out other people who appeared to be Chinese. Caleb couldn’t pick them out himself.

This week, during an exercise, Caleb was supposed to name ways in which he was similar to his parents and ways in which he was different. He thought and thought, and then said, “Mama’s face and my face are not the same.” I thought he was finally “getting it” that in spite of his desires, his features do not closely resemble mine. As I opened my mouth to reply, however, he continued, “Because Mama wears glasses and I don’t.”

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2 Comments

Filed under Transracial Adoption

2 responses to “Our faces are not the same

  1. Erica

    Lalie only recently has voiced a lot of pride for her Chinese heritage. For a long time – many years – she said things like, “My hair is brown like yours mom, look.” She wanted to be just like me. I think it made her feel more connected to me and like she “belonged” when she thought that way. I always said, “Your hair is beautiful,” etc. so I was non-committal either way. I figured if that made her feel better to have those thoughts and that viewpoint I was OK with it and figured she’d eventually grow out of it and become more secure, and she has.

  2. How innocent. :0 I love your header picture.

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