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Adoption, Family

And now, for a closer look

Family resemblances are a pet project of mine. I am endlessly fascinated by how people look and act alike.

It is, I presume, the result of being adopted and growing up without seeing another person who looks me.

Catherine’s birth nearly 17 years ago began to change that; she looks a bit like me, especially around the eyes and in her smile. And as she’s grown, I see she has many of my mannerisms.

Early on, I guarded each of her features fiercely and I was very overly sensitive to people who fussed about how much she looked like Basil.

“Me!” I wanted to scream. “She looks like me!”

The truth is she looks a bit like both of us — and mostly she looks like herself!

Still, catching glimpses of myself in her always makes my heart beat a little faster.

Since January, there has been someone else I can look to for some clues to my appearance.

Pat, my birth mother, sent a photo a few days ago of her at 19 or 20.

Basil looked at it and said, “Yup. I see it.”

Catherine hemmed and hawed, and a friend looked a printout, then back at me several times and said, “Eh.”

But when I dug out my college portrait, the closest I had to a good photo of me at about the same age (please overlook the frosted hair), the resemblance began to come into focus, much as some of the pieces of me are starting to fall into place now that I am in touch with Pat.

Check it out:

Pat, age 19 or 20.

Pat, age 19 or 20.

Me, in 1988. Nice hair, huh?

Me, in 1988. Nice hair, huh?

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About Terri S. Vanech

Wife, mother, communications specialist, Jazzercise instructor and recently reunited adoptee. I'm living out loud -- and trying to make it all work -- in midlife. Having a sense of humor sure helps.

Discussion

20 thoughts on “And now, for a closer look

  1. Hi there! I have ventured over from Thumpin’ Thursday. I’m enjoying this little peek into your world! Just lovely! XOXO, Mandi @ All My Happy Endings

    Posted by Mandi @ All My Happy Endings | March 28, 2013, 10:33 am
  2. I totally see it. You have the same eyes, mouth, smile, nose, shape of face. I see it 100% resemblance! I am so very happy for you!:)

    Posted by Nikki | March 25, 2013, 6:34 pm
  3. wow….. I wish all of us can have the same defining moment !

    Posted by Joann | March 25, 2013, 2:45 pm
  4. I’ve always been the same. I seem to be able to see resemblances in families where they cannot even see them. But then, I’ve always been looking for them. When I found my maternal family, the nicest thing I heard was from a brother: “Even if we had any doubt you were who you said you were, the pictures put that to rest — you look just like us.”

    Posted by Laura Schwartz | March 25, 2013, 9:16 am
  5. Hi, Yes you look like her. You are both very pretty woman. 🙂

    Posted by joannyadoptees | March 25, 2013, 9:09 am
  6. Oh yeah, I totally see it! Without a doubt!!

    Posted by Jackie | March 25, 2013, 6:45 am
  7. I can definitely see a resemblance. What a special moment for you. x

    Posted by rhythm & method | March 25, 2013, 6:04 am
  8. I can definitely see it, Terri! I’m so proud of you & I really appreciate you taking your readers along with you on this journey. Reia

    Posted by reiadm | March 24, 2013, 8:57 pm
  9. Oh, I absolutely see it! You have her smile, for sure!

    Posted by momshieb | March 24, 2013, 3:43 pm
  10. Family resemblances are a hobby of mine too. I immediately saw your face in Pat’s, even without comparing her photo to your college portrait. But put those two pictures together and I see many more similarities including mouth, chin, eyes, and forehead. And of course you both are gorgeous, at any age.

    Posted by Kathy | March 24, 2013, 12:27 pm

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