Let me start this with a disclaimer: a LOT of you who might be reading this have probably said this to us, and I promise we weren’t offended at all. Anthony is adorable so to be told we look like him is the highest of compliments! Plus, oddly he DOES look a lot like us! But here’s the thing…
We don’t love it when people say “Anthony looks so much like you!”. A couple reasons for this.
- It makes it seem like kids looking like their parents is a good thing.
Usually it is! It’s so adorable when a kid is the spitting image of his dad! But, when it comes off like a compliment, especially when adoptees are old enough to overhear/understand this, it makes it sound like being biologically related is something to be praised (and therefore, not being biologically related is something to be ashamed of).
- Our son’s future brother or sister may not look like us, and that’s okay.
We have no idea if Anthony’s little bro or sis who will someday join our family is white, black, Asian, Indian, or what! We don’t want to focus on Anthony’s look-alike-ness like it’s a positive thing if it’s not a shared benefit among siblings.
As Anthony gets older, we plan to compliment him like this:
“You love to read, just like I do!”
“You are good at baseball, just like Daddy!”
“You have such a fun sense of humor, just like us!”
“You are so kind, just like [insert birth mother’s name here]!”
“You are so creative, just like [insert birth father’s name here]!”
Like I said, if you’ve told us that Anthony looks a lot like us, please don’t give it a second thought. He actually really does look a lot like us, especially my baby pictures! But now that he’s old enough to start figuring out what people are saying, we’d like the narrative to shift.
Speaking of this, that’s one of the reasons we love reading books and watching shows where kids don’t look like their parents and families are non-traditionally made! I have a whole big list of books like this ready to post for you this weekend. The list of books will be beneficial to you if you’re an adoptive family, and beneficial to you if you’re not – most of the books on the list make excellent and touching gifts to newly adoptive families! You may want to hold onto this list.
Juts a reminder that tomorrow I’ll be posting a GIFT CARD GIVEAWAY!