I keep thinking I should keep a log of silly, stupid, sweet but bewidering comments that have been said to me regarding Roman.

When you are an adoptive parent you are required to go to adoption school as part of the process. In class, the knowledable instructor warns you to expect some odd comments and questions from family and friends regarding your pathway to parenthood.  Some will be innocent and well intented such as the popular “He/she looks just like you, they almost could be yours” or “You’d never know, he/se looks like they could be yours” or something similar. 

For some reason people most often comment on the appearance of the child in comparison to the parent’s appearance.  It is an interesting phenomenom that I don’t think is limited to adoptive parents.  I’ve done a little survey of my family and friends with their biological children and they say that it’s a universal thing.  People want to match the baby to the parent.  Even if the baby in no way resembles the parent, people will coo at the baby and find some resembelance even if it’s obscure.  “Look at that toe, it looks just like Mama’s”

How would this work if the child is no way resembled the parent?  What about trans-racial couples as well as adoptive parents?  Why the urge to match the child’s appreance to Mom and Dad?

Let me share a story with you.

I walked into a grocery store with my main squeeze Roman and the lady behind the counter said to me.  “He’s gorgeous, your husband must be so handsome”

Hmmm

I decided to play so I responded with “Oh, he is beautiful isn’t he but I’m not married”

pause while she takes this in

Undaunted she says “Oh well then his father must be a looker”

I respond “I’m sure he is” and continued on with my shopping.

I know, once Roman understands more of what Mama is saying that I will need to be more careful with my reponses but I just felt like leaving her with something to ponder.

So Mama’s have you experienced this need to match?  Why do you think we do this and is it a problem or just part of the human experience?

 

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  • Sara

    I need to stop on the ‘they look like you’ comments because i KNOW I do it with a couple other friends who have adopted babies who I do think that they look them! But it’s a dumb thing to say – thanks for reminding me!!!
    I know my friend with a new adopted baby gets comments all the time on her incredible ‘post baby body’ – she smiles and says thanks!
    I get my fair share of the ‘husband’ comments – the other day I was passing on flyers for Will’s daycare and this guy said ‘what class is your kid in? Ohhhh – I think I know your husband!’ I said ‘really – cause I don’t even know him yet but I’d love to meet him’ and then I howled – I didn’t want him to feel bad!

  • Heather

    So you think my response was inappropriate and her comment appropriate? You really feel like that comment about my sons beauty being attributed to my non existent husband sweet?
    I found it insulting. Am I totally off on that?

  • Amy

    My youngest, who is 2, is biologically mine, and I’ve had several people ask me which country I adopted him from. He doesn’t look like me at all, but it’s still disconcerting. Nic’s a good-looking boy, so we get more attention than I prefer. :)

  • Lia

    Even tho he may be adopted unless people actually know you or follow u on UM then the appropriate response would be thank you and go on about ur day, because when you think about it those people who are complimenting you don’t know u. So they can’t base their comment about ur son on knowledge of ur life that ur son can’t look like his father or even if he has one in his life. You should just be proud that you have a handsome wonderful little man in your life, and everyone notices.

  • silvana

    Heather, loved your post. One of my son’s teacher asked for a picture of “daddy” for father’s day. I was going to cut out a pic of Matthew McConaughey and send it in for fun!!

  • romansmom

    I didn’t intend to be mean but I do tend to use humour and sacasm as my go to coping mechanism.
    It caught me off guard and I didn’t feel like saying “thanks” when I was actually not at all grateful in that moment.
    I’ll get better at it over time and hope to inspire with my responses in the future.
    Out of curiousity, what would you have said if you were in my shoes?

  • L Gillanders

    I think that was a little mean of you…she probably meant no harm or disrespect. Maybe she did not think her comment through carefully, but all she was really saying that your son is good-looking. Let’s not pillory her for that!

  • jengacek

    Yes, I get this all the time. Everyone says my boys are so handsome, they look just like their daddy. So, what? I’m not good looking?! Gee, thanks.

  • Kim

    You’re not alone. I heard that comment too, with both my children. I remember people comparing me with my own parents. I was adopted, so I always found the comparisons strange. I think it’s just a knee-jerk thing to say, like “have a nice day”. I’m sure it’s meant with good intentions. At any rate, he’s a cutie. Enjoy!

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