I've been planning to write this post for, oh, nearly fifteen months? And I haven't quite gotten around to it because, oh, it seems about five hundred percent less important than it did fifteen months ago? Something like that.
If you are one of those poor souls who have nothing better to do and have been hanging around this website since the pre-Jackson days, you may remember some neurotic handwringing (a Mighty Maggie specialty!) over having myself a half Asian half white baby. Culture! Language! Food! WILL HE LOOK LIKE ME?
I might not have written as much about that last one, but I confess it's the one that took up most of my thinking time. For someone who had done plentiful research on international adoption and who claimed to not care about biological ties, I was pretty concerned about whether or not my kid was going to look like me. I am well acquainted with over a dozen hapa babies and they fill the whole spectrum, from "you would never ever guess that kid has an Asian parent" to "you would never ever guess that kid has a white parent." But I think I assumed, maybe because I knew he was a boy, that I was having a mini Phillip. Not that I wasn't excited to unleash another Devastatingly Handsome Chinese Boy on the world, but gosh I hoped I could find some of me in his face.
When he was born I couldn't find any trace of myself in that wrinkled old man face. But I couldn't find any trace of Phillip either. He started filling out a bit and right around then, even though I still couldn't see any resemblance to me OR Phillip, I had absolutely no doubt that he was the cutest boy in the universe. (Note: I did not think this until he started to gain weight. Until then I was certain that he was the cutest wrinkly old MAN in the universe.)
Because... I just think that's what you THINK. I don't know how many times I've been in waiting rooms or play groups or church and thought, "There are some really cute kids here! But none of them are as cute as Jack." AND I BELIEVE THAT. Even though I am well aware that children are not made equally adorable, but I sincerely doubt that any one of us thinks our own kid falls into the lesser category.
And that sort of negated the whole Will He Look Like Me thing. I still don't think he looks anything like me. I don't think he looks like Phillip either. Some people say he looks a little like Phillip, some people (mostly Phillip's family) says he has some of my dad's features, but for the most part the comment is, "He's a good mix."
I suppose this is why I haven't spent one iota of time wondering about what New Baby is going to look like. Wait, that's not exactly true. I do wonder whether she'll look like Jack, the way my brothers and sisters and I are so obviously related. Or if she'll look different, the way I would never guess that Phillip and his brother are from the same family. But I don't care if she doesn't look like me. She probably won't. That's probably a good thing. (See gratuitous third trimester photo.)
I wondered if having a mixed race baby was going to throw me into spirals of Doubt and Confusion and Guilt. I suppose there's still time for that, seeing as how he's not really old enough to know he's got one Chinese parent and one Caucasian parent. But right now it's more Puffed Out Pride in how beautiful my kid is- MY kid.
And for you advice-givers, I'm at Parenting today asking what I'm supposed to do with my kid when we go to the hospital. I'm guessing I can't pack him in my bag.