Thursday, December 8, 2011

Perspective as a "snowflake" mom

I'm sure all parents hear a running commentary on who their offspring favors, the dad or the mom.  For us it's been kind of an inside joke as people say "oh Mac looks just like you!" or "Cora looks like her daddy!"  These are mostly passing comments, from strangers we'll never see again.  These are easy to handle - we just smile and half-nod in agreement and stroll on.

Even the comments of how little they favor me are normally pretty easy to handle.  "We like to keep people guessing!" 

I guess I could always go into more detail.  But really, the person behind me in line at the grocery store check out does not need to hear Cora and Mac's life story.

I couldn't get away with a simple answer anyway.  Most of the time people point out how different they look from each other - Cora has brown hair, grey eyes, and olive skin;  Mac blonde hair, blue eyes, creamy skin.  If I were to say they're adopted, then whomever is asking the questions automatically assumes they're not related to each other. 

So then I have to explain that while they're adopted, Cora and Mac are 100% related to each other.  That's when either the questioner turns into a nosy nellie and fires away questions, or looks away quickly, brow furrowed in confusion.

Sometimes I've had great conversations - both my dental hygienist and my endocrinologist were fascinated by embryo adoption.  Other times, the conversations just get awkward.  Umm, no, we didn't purchase fertilized eggs. 

Most of the time, I just stick with smiling and nodding.


We were strolling around a local bookstore's children's area today and Cora picked out a book called "Snowflake Baby".  I was halfway to putting it up when I realized the irony, that my snowflake baby had just handed me "Snowflake Baby".  I bought it.  The short story has nothing to do with embryo adoption but instead shows colorful pictures of a baby romping in the snow with a puppy.  Ah well.


Now that we're in Advent, we've been reading a lot of Christmas themed books.  And playing with a child-friendly manger scene.  I try to use consistent language when introducing the holy characters to Mac and Cora.  "This is Mary; she's baby Jesus's Momma".  "Here's a picture of Christ the King - that's baby Jesus when He's all grown up".  About half the time I introduce St. Joseph as "Jesus's adopted Daddy". 

It's true the kids are still young (almost 17 months) and can't understand the concept of adoption yet.  Nonetheless, I want them to grow up realizing that adoption is a positive thing.  After all, we do have St. Joseph as a pretty amazing example!

1 comment:

  1. People are so silly about genetics. My sister has creamy white skin, blonde hair, and crystal-blue eyes. My mom used to get the same kinds of questions, and she would joke about collecting the 5 of us off the street - and we all have the same two parents and none of us are adopted!

    I think it's great that you talk to them about adoption even at this young age... I always hated the idea of hiding a kid's history from them until they were grown.