Chinese School has started up again, and Thursday the girls met with a new tutor to help with their homework (to make it especially fun, two other girls from Chinese School are tutored at the same time!).
One of the homework exercises Zoe was working on involved writing the characters for family members. One question was, "Who do you look like, your mother or your father?" I overheard Zoe talking to the tutor about it. . . .
Zoe: "Well, I don't look like my mom."
Maya: "She looks like me!"
Tutor: (glancing over at me) "Just write 'Dad.'"
Zoe: "But I don't have a dad."
Tutor: "That's OK, just write the character for 'Dad.'"
Zoe shrugged and wrote.
Later, she told me that she wrote the character for mom, but she was thinking, "birth mom." She wrote mom instead of dad, because she figures she looks more like her birth mom than her birth dad because she's a girl. She also told me that the exercise made her feel "left out." Because she's sure everyone else in her class will know the answer since none of them are adopted.
You never know where it's going to come from, this reminder that you're adopted and your adoption is as closed as closed can be.
I look like my dad -- same blue eyes, same body style that translates for me into "Mississippi farm woman," perfectly built to pull a plow without the benefit of oxen. I went prematurely gray, just like he did. I bruise easily just like he does. I did not, however, inherit his mechanical ability, I'm sorry to say.
Zoe and Maya don't know. How must that feel, YOUR WHOLE LIFE, not knowing? I can't even imagine it. They live it every day, just waiting for that reminder.