Monday, October 08, 2007

Post #347 on the Dangers Of OVERTHINKING

Guess what? Miss Jodi, EvaJun's preschool teacher, told me that the staff refer to Eva as "Mini-Jodi" because they look so much alike.

In fact, they're sooo alike, on 3 occasions, they've worn almost the same outfit!

Cowboy boots, ruffled miniskirt, & tank top? Check!

Leggings, tee shirt & black flats? Check!

Jeans with pink Roxy hoodie & Vans tennies ? Check, check and check!

Hahahahah... isn't that cute?

Miss Jodi looks like this:













only with legs.

Eva looks like this:













Only she doesn't have as much hair.

See my point?

My sassy and beautiful daughter, who is Chinese by nationality, has a sassy and beautiful teacher who just by also being Chinese looks more like her than I ever will.

Matching pretty Bratz dolls.

I hear you now, Internet...

It doesn't matter! She's your daughter! She has your qualities! Not all Chinese people look alike! Bratz dolls look like whores!

And you are right.

But only partially.

I am surprised by this.

I really am.

It's not an issue from some narcissistic need to breed and multiply myself... rather it comes from a need to claim some sort of ownership (I use the word loosely) on this child of mine.

This child of mine.

Mine.

Eva is my daughter. It's more than the adoption hoo haw of "born in my heart"... she is my daughter.

I don't know, unless you are also an adoptive parent or step-parent if you can understand that distinction.

And I don't want anything threatening my relationship with her. I am almost more protective of her and of her heart... because I fear that these ties, these fucking legal ties, that bind us are not tight enough... how can she be born one woman's daughter and in a matter of well placed letters and a little help from destiny, be mine?

Why threatened?

I don't know.

But there is a small and mean part, only shared with you, Internet, that is afraid she may wish for a Miss Jodi over a me.

Can I (try to) explain?

My children's peace of mind, body and soul are my biggest concerns... that's what keeps me up at night... wondering how to help preserve these things for them... how to bubble wrap them into safety while still letting them experience their life and all it has to offer... good and, unfortunately bad.

Do Jake and Jack have it easier? Is there some biological imperative that guarantees them a less stressful adolescence? Better relationship choices?

Does the fact that they look just like me. Just. Like. Me. (oh, and Hugh too) make their life easier, or is it just like someone being a good speller... can be handy, but not necessary for a successful life?

Am I reading way too much into this?

Probably.

After all, this is part and parcel of the reality of my children.

It's not as though real problems aren't going to come along and bite me in the ass.

At least problems more significant than being envious of the preschool teacher.

But, with the world joyfully pointing out in the world's non-toxic and shiny way (ha!) that your daughter actually resembles total strangers and Not You, do the odds of challenging-life-ahead rise?

F*ck.

btw, I have agonized over publishing this post, so please, try to be a little sensitive to that fact before you bash the hell out of me.

45 comments:

S. said...

I won't bash the hell out of you. I think it is important to have a place to talk and think about this stuff. But I don't have any words of wisdom or experience on this--maybe in few years.

Anonymous said...

I think you bring up some very real and important emotions and like the commenter before me said, what good is a blog if you can't talk about what ails you?

As for advice, all I can tell you is that you'll all find your way.

Daniella said...

No bashing here - I'm glad I have you before me in this adoption world to go to for just these types of feelings.

Phoenix said...

Krisitn, I'll be completely honest with you. I have no idea. But I do think the fact that you're overthinking shows how much you care for and love that beautiful girl of yours.

Having a mom who cares enough to make sure she is happy and loved and wanted will be enough for her. You'll see.

L & J said...

I'm quite certain that when we FINALLY get our daughter, I'm sure I will have similar feelings at some point. I applaud you for your honesty....I will read your other comments and hope that someone has some words of wisdom for the both of us.

Tori said...

This is a really genuine feeling Kristin...

I admire you for thinking it and voicing it. This must be what every adoptive mom feels at some point. I mean who wouldn't? It's natural to feel slightly peeved when someone says - in so many words - oh you look nothing like your child - but this person over here could be the mother...

I have slightly similar feelings when people see my sister and say... OMG - Your kids look sooooooo like your sister... it's hard to believe they're not hers...

Well they're not - they're all mine MINE MINE! Unfortunately....

Anyway - this is sort of the same thing... it's ok to feel a little pang and for you it brings up the whole thing adoptive parents must go through quite a lot...your little EJ will always look different when she's with you and there will ALWAYS be the odd comments that really niggle at you. You just have to be armed to stave them off.

Usually people mean well with their comments but if you want to make a Voodoo Bratz doll of Ms Jodi - you know I'll help!

Amanda said...

Oh honey, don't beat yourself up. I don't know the specific yearning that you describe, but I have felt a shameful ache to have my girls look like me. I joke that I am a 'Sean vending machine,' but it hurts. I want people to say they look like me, want to see myself in them. I think it is as natural as breathing that we want these sorts of things. Please don't feel bad. I suspect that she will grow to have characteristics of yours that will stay with her longer than anything you might see on her visage. All the same, hugs.

TBG Happenings said...

no bashing here..I totally get it.

Jennifer (Jen on the Edge) said...

You are a caring, thoughtful parent. While your concerns worry you, I'm going to guess that ultimately they won't come to fruition. I believe Eva will grow up secure in the knowledge that she is deeply loved and cherished.

Lisa said...

Thanks for this post lady.

We looked into adopting from China. In the middle of seriously thinking, we went to a small playground in our neighborhood. As we left, an asian family was coming. Not just the mom, dad and kids but grandparents. They were smiling and doting over the little ones.

And then I thought, "What if we get a child of Asian decent, take her to this playground and she looks at a family like this and wishes she were going home with them instead of us? It HURT my heart to think of it.

The child we'd like to adopt doesn't have to look like us. I'd love that little person regardless. But I do worry that a child would feel like they don't belong in our family if he/she didn't look remotely like us.

wzgirl said...

Eva starting preschool is as much an adjustment for you as it is for her. You are asking the hard questions that I'm sure I will at some point in time. The hard questions - that may not have answers, yet. The ones that can only be answered by time.

The journey is sure to be a long one, be kind to yourself in the process - you truly are doing an excellent job as a thoughtful, loving, empathic Mom.

XO

Damselfly said...

No bashing here. I had a mother and a stepmother, and I have blogged about how I am really a product of both of them. Your daughter also will have traits that are undeniably from her birth mother, but can't escape the traits you've imparted to her. Miss Jodi won't be around in her life forever, but you will. ;)

Gracencameronsmomy said...

I also get it. I get tired of peole looking at her and asking where's your mommy?" when I am standing right there. I'm sure she gets tired of it, too. I just have to belive that she wil be OK.

new girl said...

Bash you? Who would bash you? Or even trivialize these thoughts?

Overthinking is my middle name, but I'm not sure this is overthinking. Hell, you could have read my mind. And our adoption isn't even finalized, so I can't imagine how it must feel once you've attached to your child.

new girl said...

Oh gosh, did that just sound like I think EvaJun would prefer a Miss Jody when I said I didn't think it was overthinking. Shoot. What I did mean is that it seems like a genuine issue that many sensitive adoptive parents would worry about.

Kristin said...

New Girl - don't worry, I know what you meant! :0)

dgm said...

FWIW, my mom is Irish, my dad's Filipino, and none of us three kids look anything like her. Not in our skin color, not in our eye color, not even, apparently, in the shape of our features (except that now that I'm older I see a slight resemblance in the chin/cheekbones). I don't know that it ever bothered her that people thought she was our babysitter--she used to joke about it. I certainly never remember thinking "I wish I looked like my mom" or "I wish my mom looked like me."

She taught me to love being different--being dark, quite frankly--in a sea of light-skinned, fair-haired, blue-eyed people. She chose that in my dad, and it made me feel like she loved that in her kids. I am sure that you all make Eva feel very special and loved.

Lisa and Tate said...

Totally understand where you are coming from. I gleam info like this for future thought and use when I actually have my daughter. Maybe you should mention to the teachers that this reference to Miss Jodi could be upsetting and confusing to Eva. Just my thoughts on this.

Michelle said...

When I first read this post(an hour ago), I moved on by and thought "I shouldn't be commenting on that. I don't have my child home yet". But then I thought about it and I realized even though I don't know exactly the situation you are in, I do understand a little bit, because I am adopted myself. Sure, there were times when I wished people would say "Oh, you look just like your Mom(or Dad)." Of course, being a twin, they said it about my sister instead. I would look through photo albums and wonder what my biological parents looked like, and if I looked like them, or if my children would look like them(no chance of that now!). But you know what? At the end of the day it didn't matter. Those thoughts were so few and far between, and so fleeting. At the end of the day it didn't(and still doesn't matter). I love my Mom and Dad, the same as anyone else. The love is the same. Regardless of blood, or looks, or how I came to be their child. I don't think that really made any sense at all. Sorry.

kim said...

ohhh Kristin *biggest hugs ever* you are a fantastic mommy and Eva is bonding with a special teacher that will hopefully make her feel comfortable while she adjusts to school life. YOU will still be the mom she loves and adores and who loves her more than life and she can just FEEL that. I agree with Michelle before me, I was adopted too, and I am 6ft tall and half hawaiian and was raised by a little tiny 5 ft tall portugese woman and my dad who looked nothing like me but who both taught me what unconditional love was. I remember great moments of curiosity about my birth parents as I was growing up and I remember the comments by stupid insensitive people but most of all I remember how very much my parents loved me and how they were so proud of me and who i was.
ps: yes michelle it made perfect sense to me

Kristin said...

Michelle and Kim,

Thank you for sharing your views from the "other side of adoption"... I pray I do as good a job instilling love and security as your parents and that Eva grows up to share your outlook.

x.

Jodi said...

I just want to say that you are an aweome Mom and are raising all your children with love. At the end of the day isn't that all that really matters? I think so.

And like somebody else commented before, having Eva bond with Miss Jodi may be a very good for thing for her, in terms of having a role model who is a good influence. It doesn't diminish the fact that you are in fact her mother. I personally feel that the more positive role models a kid can have in their life the better. And growing up in a "white" world, maybe it will be good for Eva's sense of self if she has a good role model who looks like her. I have no clue if I am making any sense. I just wanted to say that you will always be Eva's mom, not even if she's a mini me to Miss Jodi.

Don't ever shy away from posting what's on your mind. This is your blog!!!!

JoAnn in NJ said...

Hi Kristin,
My daughter is 2 years and 3 months today.

She is beautiful and perfect and gorgeously Chinese. I'm Italian and Irish.

Kelsey will never look like me, but my DH is half Filipino and she does look an awful lot like him...except her hair is medium brown and his is jet black.

While I will never be able to see my family resemblence in my daughter's smile...it makes me feel good to think that Kelsey is connected to Kurt by being Asian.

I get it...it could hurt.

Perrin said...

I know how completely un-nerving this is and I too get so tired of people looking for "that child's" mother when we are out in public. I get tired of the out and out stares of mostly older Asian folks who have this look of "that cannot be right" written all over their faces. It sometimes is not easy...and that is real. However, think about giving Eva the benefit of the doubt. She's smart...the Miss Jodi's of the world are just that, Miss Jodi's. Eva knows who is there for her when she is sick and needs a hug. She knows who reads her endless crummy kids books. She knows who gets dinner done night after night. And I bet she doesn't give one rat's ass about what she looks like. Momma is as momma does.

carrie said...

I think what you're feeling is completely normal, and at this age probably more evident to you than to Eva.

We all, adopted or not, identify with those who resemble us most and believe me, I've had my heart ripped out so many times when people say that my kids "don't look a thing like you". Seriously. If I kept track of it, it would be 9 times out of 10 that someone says that, even though I birthed them. I know, it isn't the same -

Just the fact that you're thinking about this and going to be prepared for whatever issues may or may not arise, you're way ahead of the game.

Amy York said...

I wouldn't have liked it either :( And I have a feeling that Eva will never want another mommy but you. She might say she does, in a moment of teenage angst, but she won't mean it.

stayathomemotherdom said...

I understand. I remember thinking about those issues coming up when I was adopting from China. The thing is (just as you know logically), she will be so much of you because of who you are. And who could be cooler than you to have as a mom? Truly.

And Brats dolls are whores.

f said...

I don't mean to miss the point here, but, "Only with legs" is fucking funny.

Los said...

I'm pretty sure that Eva will always consider you her mom, because you ARE her mom. Sure, not through DNA, but through love.

Shelley said...

I *heart* Los. Well said.

InterstellarLass said...

I have the same feelings about my own kids. I don't think it has anything to do with being an adoptive parent versus a biological parent. We don't want anyone to replace us or diminish us or have a greater sway over their emotions. For me it's with the 12-year old that my kids' dad thinks he's going to marry. She's closer in age to my kids than she is to being a parent to them. She's also soooo nice, evidently makes better mashed potatoes than I do, and is a size 0. So of course I hate her. I also want to rip out her eyes when she greets my daughter with "Hello My Gorgeous". Um. Hello. She gets her good looks from me, biotch.

You are Eva's mom. Legally and in all other ways. You have the number one spot in her heart. You always will. Mom's can't be replaced by anyone, no matter the resemblance or the mashed potato recipe.

jennie said...

I am 100% with you on Bratz, that's for sure.

I don't have any personal experience with adopted children, but I can speak as a fellow momma. As much as I want other people to love my children and for my kids to love them back, there's a tiny part of me that feels a bit jealous when I see it. I don't know why that is, but I recognize that it's irrational even as its happening.

You're kids love you in a way that they love no one else. Of that, you can be sure.

Becky said...

awww i totally get why you feel this way! heck sometimes people like me with their own biological children feel like their kids dont look like them!

Anonymous said...

i can't relate personally, but I have to wonder if, years down the road, having a super sassy, beautiful first teacher, who happens to look like Eva, won't have been the greatest gift? it gives her one more fab woman to look up to (sans bratz doll image)- one with the same sense of fashion (like you), and great personality (like you) and self esteem (which you must have when leading a group of 3-4 yr olds)-(again, like you). so, give yourself and your girl (and secretly miss jodi, too) a hug.
nicki

Stepping Over the Junk said...

I would feel the same way as you, like anything, there are issues, worries, things to deal with...for me, it is a separated family, my children having their parents loving other people instead of their parents being together. She is yours because you chose her, you chose each other and she will always accept you and only you as her mother...my daughter has certain looks on her face that remind me of my ex husband and it drives me mad...and puts all sorts of ideas in my head like they will have a better relationship with him or whatever...whatever we feel is real, as what you feel is real, dont ever discount it. Okay, this was long and random, sorry. I am not sure I have a point, I suppose my point is, I support what you say as a blogreader of yours. :)

Phoenix said...

Hey girl, I just tagged you. HAhahahahah. :)

Pendullum said...

Oh Honey....
I know this battle as I have sata listened to it over and over again with a great deal of my girlfriends....

But I have also listened to friends who have been adopted, fully grown wonderful caring loving friends....

I have known these friends all of my life... I have at least fifteen friends who were adopted...
and the thing that I find quite interesting... only two of them have searched for their birth parents...
All of my friends, have loved their mothers and fathers...No blood... But love of the soul....
And that is what truly makes a family... and that is which you have my dear, dear friend...

Anonymous said...

I think some of your readers have missed the point. It's not about not wanting Eva to have strong Asian women in her life, even if it is "the greatest gift". It's about a slow realization that IA isn't all about red threads. IA brings with it new complications that develop over time. As the mother to 2 children who are Korean by birth, I can fully understand your wish to "claim ownership".

Jenny said...

Everything you just said? It's the same thing that I think about when I think about adopting.

Honest and open and the same reason why your daughter will probably never have the problems you fear...simply because you're aware enough to listen to her if she needs more from you.

Grim Reality Girl said...

This is why Eva is lucky to have YOU for a mommy. You pine and worry over the details. You love her with your heart and soul. You are consumed with making things perfect for her and you. You are honest and can share insecurities -- we all have them. You worry about the physicality, but you bring the spirituality. I understand your insecurities, but I assure you that the differences are what make the bouquet of flowers so pretty. You are amazing. Your honesty is important.

Gillian said...

I know that fierce love. I am a mom. And fierce love is relentless and honest and tries to watch in every direction. The fact that you have adoption issues adds to the mix enormously. I think you are most concerned with how your child will feel about the appearance. Because it is really about them all the time. And I think they will see it as making them unique and special like my daughter who shared a birthday with her third grade teacher. But it won't occur to her to bring this external thing into her internal world. You are home and comfort and hers. You are the base from which she ventures into the world. She won't be confused.

OnlinePharmacy said...

ncTJG1 Your blog is great. Articles is interesting!

name said...

raiD03

name said...

ijy9P7 Nice Article.

Anonymous said...

Who knows where to download XRumer 5.0 Palladium?
Help, please. All recommend this program to effectively advertise on the Internet, this is the best program!