Both of my girls love to match. They want to match each other. They want to match their cousins. They want to match their friends. They want to match me.
Every time they celebrate matching each other or matching me, I can’t help but think about what future conversations might head my way.
My oldest daughter looks so much like I did at her age. We have the same hair and similar features. She loves looking like me. I’d say most people see her and can guess she is my daughter. That is pretty normal – most of us resemble the parents that call we “mom” and “dad”. However, that is not true for all. It is not true for my youngest daughter. Looking like me doesn’t make my oldest any more my daughter, just as not looking like me makes my youngest any less my daughter. My youngest daughter excitedly points out every character with Asian features in her books. She loves her dolls with beautiful black hair the most. While happily combing her hair in the mirror, she tells me our hair isn’t the same. Right now she doesn’t mind that we don’t ‘match’. Actually, she seems to delight in it.
Adoption is a beautiful, bittersweet, unpredictable road. No one can tell me how my youngest daughter will feel about looking differently than I do. Every adult adoptee I talk to has a different experience and opinion. How my daughter feels at various stages in life will be unique to her. There is not a wrong or right way for her to feel about her adoption, about looking differently than her parents, about growing up with so many unanswered questions. It is her story and her feelings. However she feels about any and all of it, I can listen. I can laugh at the things she wants to laugh about and I can cry with her over the parts that hurt.
So right now I will celebrate with both my girls. I will celebrate with my oldest the fun parts of resembling me because that is special to her right now. I will celebrate with my youngest her gorgeous differences because that is special to her right now. At the end of the day, we are all Campbell girls – and that is pretty special to me.
An oldie, but a favorite….