Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"He could be your son"

"Well that's good, because he is."

The more I have thought about this recent conversation I had with an acquaintance of mine, the more I have mixed emotions about it.

I feel bad about it.  I also feel a little frustrated and tired of the "he looks just like you" comment.  And I just wish this innocent conversation and comment had gone better.

El Guapo was in his stroller, and when Jen* (not her real name, there are a million zillion Jen's out there, so  I figured that was a good name to use) came up to say hello.  And don't get me wrong, this is a really nice person, and I don't want her to feel bad if she ever somehow came across this post.  Anyhow, so she said hi to El Guapo and asked how he was doing.  I told her that he was almost walking, and we were doing good.  Then she said, "I can't believe how much he looks like you, he could be your son."

Side note--for some reason, I have never really understood this comment.  And I get it a lot.  Because, yes, El Guapo and I do have the similar skin color, and we both have dark eyes and dark hair.  But that's where our similarities stop.  And that is perfectly fine with me.  I don't know when people say this if they are trying to make me feel better about adoption--to which I feel perfectly fine and great about adoption and having a child that looks different than me.  Or is this just one of the first thing that pops into people's head when they don't know how to respond to the fact that you have a child who happens to be adopted.  I don't know.

I always just say, yeah, he does look a little like me, but not so much like his dad.  (my hubby is pretty fair skinned).   And then I usually say, that he actually looks a lot like his birth parents--which he does.  I really don't think he looks at all like me.  And why would he?

Anyhow.  After Jen told me that El Guapo could be mine son, I replied as stated above, that, actually, he was my son.  I didn't mean anything by it, and I think it was just a knee jerk reaction and that I responded that way b/c she said he could be my son.  She felt really bad, and started apologizing profusely and saying, "Of course he's your son", and "I am so sorry".   I told her not to worry about it, and that I didn't mean to make her feel bad.  And I meant it.  I told her the same stuff about how he doesn't look like my hubby and that I was just joking (b/c I was actually joking and laughing when I told her that it was good he could be my son, b/c he was my son).

This is quite a long ramble.  But I just felt like writing about it.  I will just leave the conversation where it is and hopefully when I run into Jen again, she won't feel awkward--but I think she might.  "sigh"


  1. We get that too. Always have since AJ was born--and he's about to be 5 years old.

  2. I think your response to Jen and your tone when saying it were just as perfect as can be. I hope your friend (and you!) won't continue to feel bad about it. Do you also get the "he looks just like you" comment from strangers who have no idea that El Guapo is adopted? I think it's just one of those things people say without thinking much about it. Maybe you read more into it because he is adopted? And even though my kids are biological, I also sometimes get annoyed with hearing whose features they have. To me they just look like themselves.

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  4. I get that about my son as well. I feel like people look at him and look at me and just look for some sort of similarity to point out. After all, with biological children, it's not unsual for people to say "Oh he looks just like you!" My son and I both have curly hair. The similarities end there. But I have people say he looks just like me. I thank them because he is so cute, but it just isn't true.