photo of cedar taken by me, photo of me, taken by thea coughlin
A lot of people (readers, friends, family, passers by) tell me that Cedar resembles me. Especially lately. Although, in the beginning, everyone said he resembled Boho Boy. So many that tell us this, let it cross their lips gently, concerned that it may feel awkward or inappropriate or insensitive or tender because he is adopted. I have always deeply appreciated when someone is so brave to ask a question or share some feelings about our adoption that perhaps many wonder or feel and are afraid to ask. I also appreciate deeply with all of that, the sensitivity that is offered us. Not only for us, but even more for Cedar's birthparents...K & T (who I know sometimes read this blog).
I am not sure how K & T would feel about people saying Cedar resembles us. Something tells me they would feel supportive and I say this because when we all spent those weeks together during her pre-term labor, we felt a kindredness, a likeness in many ways. K and I are both so tender and sensitive and soft spoken and affectionate. Boho Boy and T are quick witted and intelligent and share a love for the same books. Boho Boy took a photo of me and K's faces smooshed together with wide smiles and sparkly eyes and both K and I were in awe of how much we resembled one another. Even my family mentioned it and a few of my close friends that saw the photo. What's funny about this is our skin tone is completely different. K is very light complected with rosy cheeks and light blue eyes (with a gorgeous dark blue rim)and dark blond hair. I have olive skin and light brown eyes and brown hair. But our features are very similar and our spirits so very kindred. Sometimes Cedar makes a face that is spot on just like T and sometimes spot on Boho Boy. Although Boho Boy and T look nothing a like. Its so wild, really.
So, I suppose what this tells me is that Cedar has characteristics of all four of us. He is part of each of us and we are all part of him and it emulates from him in beautiful ways. This is something, when he grows older, that we will celebrate and share with him and it will perhaps offer comfort in small ways. Comfort in that he carries all of us with him.
Many people have reached out to me through my blog that have been adopted. So very gently and kindly to bring me comfort. They share with me the beautiful and the hard parts and some have shared what it felt like to be dark and grow up in a household of white faces or vice-versa. Of course, at the root of it all, each of them told me that it was never at the surface of things and it only posed as an awkward thing a few times and that most of the time people didn't notice any longer and all that mattered was that they felt loved and cherished and part of a family abundant with love. But there were also times when it was hard and left them feeling like something was missing that needed to be filled up.
I know there will be days when Cedar looks in the mirror and sees T's nose and K's eyes and it might bring up stuff for him. So, part of me feels comfort knowing that he will also see my soul and spirit and Boho Boy's humor and passion for music and both of our twinkle in his eyes.
Adoption is the most beautiful thing that has every happened to me. It is also full of so many questions and lessons and teachable moments of humility and letting go and trusting that Cedar will know I am his mother through and through and never doubt that he was so very meant to be our son.
In all honesty, every time someone says "he looks just like you...", it does tug at those heart strings. There is a conversation that goes on in my head that goes like this;
"is it okay that this felt good? would K be hurt by this? would she be overjoyed and would it be confirmation that her and i are soulfully connected? is it important to me that cedar resembles me? no...it isn't...but it does fill me up in a way and smooths over the wounded parts. can i not over think it and just be honored because i think he's a cutie patootie? are there right or wrong ways to feel when it comes to something so wild and crazy and beautiful as adoption??"
We are kindred souls and it is the soul that is what lingers when the skin that our soul is wrapped in shifts and alters. This is what I will always tell him on those days when he is feeling tender or confused about it all.