Still no update on any news from my birth family. (You can read the earlier story about it here.)Not too surprised, I guess. If she hadn’t decided to find me in 45 years, what’s a few weeks? I’ll play the long game on this.

And, in general, I’m doing okay with this waiting game. I do not want to have a bad interaction with anyone. Would rather wait for the right time.

But yesterday, walking to breakfast in our hotel, we were behind a mother and her college age daughter. I did not know them. Yet I easily could tell they were related. They had the same walk, the same general body type, the same hair color and texture. They were the same height.

Watching them walk down the hall ahead of us, I nearly burst out into tears.

I’ve never had that.

I do not know anyone who looks like me, walks like me, has the same body type–none of it.

Yes, I ‘fit’ in my adopted family. I look, generally, like I belong. But I’m 5 inches taller than my mother and in order to fit in her wedding dress, I’d have to remove ribs.

Yes, my boys, in varying ways, take after me. But they are men. It is not the same.

I recognize I might meet my birth mother or half sister and look nothing like them. I might take after my paternal grandmother–who knows.

I think the surprise emotional moment was from either extreme hunger as I headed to breakfast (you think not?) or it revealed the longing I’ve always had to resemble the people I love.

Physically, I may never get that.

In other ways, though, I hope I resemble traits of my loved ones.

I would like to care for my family as well as my mom cared for us. IMG_1319

Hope I take after my dad and always remember to dance.


I would like to take after my sister, Annette, with her generosity and hospitality.

Hope I take after my brother, Brian, who is a great dad, teaching his sons to be thoughtful, independent, and kind.

DSC00238I’m grateful for the resemblances I have to these people, and for the way family can be an intention and not just genetics.

Who do you resemble? How do you hope to resemble the ones you love?

7 thoughts on “Resemblance

  1. Hi Marci
    You don’t know me. I subscribed to your blog about a year ago because I liked the way you thought and expressed your thoughts. Today, I am moved to respond. I am a mom by adoption. My daughter does not resemble me, although our mannerisms and hand gestures are uncannily similar. We know her birth mom and half sisters. Nice in many ways but certainly not without its fair share of pain and pitfalls. My daughter is 14. Open adoption was a viable option for us. 45 years ago, a culture of shame kept everything secret. Hushed and closed. What you wrote today resonated with me. Inevitably, open or closed, adoption is always about loss and a lifetime of struggles with identity. I pray for the grace to continue to love and nurture my daughter the way your family has so obviously loved and nurtured you. Blessings on your quest and where it takes you, Kathy


  2. And here is a comment my friend Amy wrote on Facebook, which I think adds to this post. (She gave me permission to share).
    “I just want you to know you are not alone. And I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and hopes and questions because it makes me feel like less of an oddity. I always longed to resemble someone. My friends all looked more like my mom than I ever would and no one ever knew who I belonged to unless we told them. But I can tell you definitively that my physical resemblance to my birth family has caused such a wide range of emotions and issues for me. I was always chubby. It is just me. It’s the way I was made. But it wasn’t until I met my sisters that I felt ashamed of the way I was made. When I met them, I saw the prettier, thinner version of what I should be. I realized that because I never resembled anyone I also never compared myself to anyone.
    Anyway, it took me a lot of years to get to the point where I could relate to my sisters without that comparison/shame stuff working on me. Honestly it still does sometimes. You know, I remember telling my parents not to worry about all this birth family stuff because I wouldn’t let it be anything but positive for me. That was a promise I couldn’t keep of course. What’s the facts of life theme song? You take the good, you take the bad, you take em both….
    Anyway. Man I wish you and I could go out for a coffee or a Long Island iced tea and share. There’s nothing so lonely as a life/family experience that no one else can relate to. So thank you for sharing your journey! Sending you lots of hope and positive vibes as you continue into the questions.


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