i·ro·ny (r-n, r-)
1. The use of words to express something different from and often opposite to their literal meaning.
2. An expression or utterance marked by a deliberate contrast between apparent and intended meaning.
We’ve been home from our trip for a couple of weeks now and I have been reflecting on what became a regular occurrence from our time away …
It seemed almost everyone who saw us, whether they were other vacationers, or staff particularly at the resort, the common question to us was “are the girls twins?” The irony of this as you know is that our girls came to our family through adoption and they were born to different birth families and they are two years and a month apart ….
Why have I been thinking about this since our trip? Our girls know they were adopted, they each have a relationship with their birth mothers and extended family … and they know they are sisters because of our family.
But I wonder if their understanding has matured to see the irony in these pleasant comments. We are a family that blends in … all of us are Caucasian and that just happened … we did not know what background our future child might have … we were not specific to ‘caucasian only’ when we began our journey to parenthood through adoption…it just happened.
I do see that there are some resemblances of our girls to each my husband and I … each of their birth mothers resemble us … so it would seem the girls would somehow resemble us at some point too. This just happened it wasn’t something we tried to do … we took this journey understanding that without a genetic connection our future children would resemble the families they were born to and not us ….
When these pleasantries were shared I had a thought “Do I just smile and let them know that they are two years apart?” or “Do I educate that our family was formed through adoption and how they couldn’t really be twins?” I realized now that our girls are 6-1/2 and 4-1/2 years old it really is up to them to share their story and not me or is it at this age? We’ve always felt their adoptions are our families business and not necessarily for the world’s opinion BUT am I wrong to think this way?
One thought on “looking from the outside in …”
I had an epiphany the other day about adoption. The first realization is that I don’t want to talk about “our story” anymore. The second was that I do want to mention adoption (ideally) as a kind of normal part of ALL conversations. In other words, when people comment on his HAIR like they do ALL THE TIME, I want to say, YES, isn’t it great, just like his birthfather. That will bring adoption into the normal airwaves of life instead of this “imposition” kind of thing… And amid that, I will NOT explain who his birthfather is, that we had a local adoption yada yada yada. So throwing out stuff but with no deep hushed conversation. Just riffing.
THAT SAID, not sure how your girls feel about that.
And in the twins case, they aren’t twins biologically or otherwise so, a simple no, they are 2 years a part does makes some sense… (I also see how they could immediately say OH! they are the same size … yada)