Sunday, February 05, 2006

Who Do You Look Like?

See addendum below.
Karen, at http://momhood.blogspot.com/ wrote a post on 2-2-06 about how she and her daughter resemble each other and her mother also. It reminded me of when I found out who I look like and I decided to write about it. Here is the comment I left for Karen:

"I always wondered as I was growing up who I looked like. Since I am adopted, I had no idea where I got my various characteristics. I should think it is a comfort to know where you got "that nose" or those "hands" when you are young enough to begin wondering about it. At the age of 57, I met my birth mom, and she brought photos of herself and my birth dad when they were young. In those photos, I saw the faces of my son and one daughter; so close in looks as to be amazing. I'm told I resemble his side of the family while not really looking like him, but my son is a dead ringer for his grandfather. It was odd to discover that at such an advanced age. "

As I study the photos I took of my birth mom on the day I met her, I can see the similarity in our noses, and the shape of our hairlines. She told me that I am much like my birth father's sister; her height and long limbs, the shape of our faces being almost identical. In one photo, had you pasted a small cutout of my face on it - you would be hard pressed to know it wasn't all of me. It was somehow comforting to know where all that came from, even though I would never meet the woman I look so much alike, or my birth father, who was already deceased.

The funniest thing to me - and yet more evidence that God works his wonders in mysterious ways - is that I looked so much like my adopted father that hardly anyone ever suspected I was adopted. He was 6'4" and very thin and wiry. I was 5'10" and very thin. He had black hair - mine was dark brown. We both had long oval faces, long thin fingers and feet. The only way we differed was that he had marvelous "gander blue" eyes and mine were hazel/brown.
I have a vague memory of being on an elevator with my dad when I was about 6-7, and a woman got on who knew him, but had never seen me. She said, "Well, it is plain to see that she is your daughter! You two look like peas in a pod." I turned to her with a smug look on my face and a superior attitude and replied, "Well, that is really funny, since I am adopted and not his blood at all." She was flustered and didn't know what to say to that - so I guess she was happy when the elevator reached her floor and she could beat a hasty retreat. I don't know why I took such delight in shattering people's observations (mr. kenju would say I still do....LOL).
Question: Who do you resemble? If you are adopted and do not know your birth family, has it been of interest to you to know who you look like?

33 comments:

Lisa said...

Judy, I LOVE this entry. Anything like this about family really touches me. I think I look like different family members at different times. I'm tall, with blonde hair like my dad... and I definitely have his nose... But the older I get the more I think I look like my mom. My mom thinks I look just like her sister. There are even pictures of me that my mom says take her breath away because the resemblence is uncanny. Ironically, there are family members who say I eerily resemble my grandmother on the OTHER side of the family. I must just have one of those faces that looks like everyone! LOL! I'm so glad you got to see where your physical traits came from! That must have been something...

Last Girl On Earth said...

Judy, this post actually gave me a lump in my throat. Seriously. What a wonderful thing for you to be able to make those discoveries at ANY time in your life. I've always been told I look like my father, but I certainly see signs of my mother in me too. I have BOTH of their temperament. Lucky me! Hope you are having a great weekend. How nice of Michele to make sure I visit you! What a gal.

WendyWings said...

That is great that you got to meet your birth mother at that stage of your life.

I look a lot like my fathers sister who died in a car accident long before I was born. Sadly my grandparents could not really handle that resemblance and distanced themselves from me because of it, silly and sad.
Michele didn't send me I was just so glad blogger was back up I am going around commenting like a mad fool LOL

petunia said...

I know exactly how you feel - i wanted to know who i looked like - where i got my talents, my facial features, my weird nose (i'm the only one who thinks it's weird). My curly hair and big boobs - lol (i still don't know where those came from). I met my birthmom and the first thing i said when i met her face to face was "we don't look anything alike". I think i hurt her feelings but i was sure we looked just alike. I look just like my birthfather's daughter. He didn't know I existed and i first talked to him via e-mail - he was SURE i was not his daughter. Then when we met - it took him back - I looked just like his daughter....you should have seen the look on his face. We still had to do a DNA test so he was satisfied.

srp said...

I look more and more like my mom as well. I have a picture when I was 20 and had my hair up in a towel. My face looks just like my brother's there. He however is 6'5 and I make 5'5. I was the throwback to my dad's mother. All the other cousins except one have the "let's morph into giants over 6ft tall at puberty" gene, even the girls. Nyssa is told that she has my eyes. She definitely has her father's chin and the orthodontist bills to prove it. She was sad that she seems to have inherited his family height.. short. She too barely makes 5'5". When she played basketball in high school she was always complaining about not getting Uncle Stephen's tall gene. At least she didn't get the overwhelming red hair that runs in my family. Her father has one cousin with red hair so this was not an idle possibility. It is great fun to see how closely one resembles ancestors.

I wonder if the same thing holds true for humans and adopted family as they say it does for humans and dogs? They say dogs resemble their humans! :)

Malinda777 said...

I too, am adopted. I have seen my birth mom twice. This summer I traveled to her, and met three half siblings I'd never met. I look just like my mom too, and the new siblings were shocked when I walked through the door. I was the oldest, and they had no idea such family resemblences were out there.

Merle said...

Judy ~~ Another interesting blog,
and because you were adopted, I feel a closeness to you. I am glad you have those photos to
remind you of your other family.
It was nice that you also looked
like your adopted Dad.
I have been told that I look like my mother and also like Peter & Dad. I think we just look like
ourselves !! Glad you liked the
poems and family history. Have a
happy week ahead.

ET said...

The milkman!
Just kidding.
I think my two siblings and I have the hair, skin complexion, and statue of my mother's mother side of the family. And our dazed looks come from my father's father's side.
Eddie

mar said...

I look a lot like my mom but I got my dad's nose to mouth wrinkles (they have a name, but I cannot remember,sorry), which are a family mark and I could have really done without them *sigh*. We have a set of adopted twins in the family, two not identical girls, age 4. They are as cute as they can be and one of them looks just like her adoptive mom, we'll see what time brings!

Mike said...

I look like my father in many ways. Especially around the eyes. Sometimes when I look in a mirror I almost see him not me. Michele sent me.

Peter said...

Hi Judy, my step-brother once told me(when my Dad was about 80) that I was very much like Dad except for the wrinkles, yeah your Dad doesn't have any!!!

Viamarie said...

I have friends who adopted children and who later on looked like them. I guess, it is the love and caring that has transformed them into their liking.

Michele sent me.

Karen said...

Judy, thanks for the reference in your blog...I'm so honored! And I'm so thrilled that you were able to see your birth family and yet still feel a physical identity to your adopted family. Amazing.

Thanks again!

Thaleia said...

I often hear I resemble my mom.. esp. my nose is totally the same... I have a lot of looks of my grandmother too...

Here via Michele's

Sonia said...

Love this post, Judy! As always you post very interesting issue. Family issue are so moving to me.
I think as I growing older I resembling much with my mother, physically and temperament, too.
I have a twin sister and she resembled much more with our father than our mother. Me and my sister are identical twins, but much different on temper and personality.

The Mistress of the Dark said...

I'm really a mesh of both my parents. I found a photo that made me think I look like my mum, but I have enough of my dad in me too that I couldn't really say which I favor the most.

Here via Michele's this time.

Nikki-ann said...

I've been told I'm the spitting image of my Dad's mother when she was my age, especially when I put glasses on.

Here via Michele's :)

PI said...

What an experience to meet your birth mother after all that time and I wonder what your feelings were. It must have given your adopted father much pleasure that you looked like him. What a little imp to give the game away.
I got my mother's good skin and my father's temperament but I don't really look much like they did and used to fantasise that I was really a duke's daughter - as you do!

vicki said...

This is an interesting post, Judy. Odd to think about. I see a lot of adoptive parents and their families; sometimes the parents who have Asian or South American children feel it's less complicated because things are so self-evident. I can imagine that when you have give birth to your children that that would be a time you would wonder about the genetics and appearance of your biological parents but that otherwise, mom and dad are mom and dad.

When I line up with all my siblings on my father's side (5 of us, two mothers) people laugh at how much we all look alike. When I am with my brother and sister (from my father) and mother, everyone says I'm the odd one out, looking like my mom. Go figure. I don't think my children look like me but rather my son like his father and Abby, switched in the nursery. But people swear Abby is the spitting image of me and Dan resembles me, too. I just don't see it.

And then there are expressions and gestures-that's a huge component, don't you think?

Plumkrazzee said...

Hi Judy, I tried to email but it didn't work, sorry for the interruption on your comment forum, but i'd like a chance to respond to your comment...

I absolutely understand what you are saying. 100%. That is the purpose of my blog. I would NEVER be ugly, or say anything that was derrogatory, that is why I need THIS outlet. I chose to live next door so that I could be the one helping out the "grandparent's" in their old age.....not a wise decision, I am coming to find out, but nonetheless I am here. I have had many sobering experiences this year between my parents divorce, CrackWhore, and the nasty grandparents delving out daily verbal abuse, I am in desperate need of a way to vent. The persona of Plumkrazzee is a facet of who I am....who I wish I could be....who I can't be in real life. I know alot of people will never know that, and that is fine....I can't explain to everyone, and although I wish I could, my blog will have to speak for itself.]

PS I don't look like ANYONE in my family. Maybe that explains it.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

I definitely look like my mother but I have all my dad's hang-ups.

I'm so happy you did get meet your birth mother.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I'm a real combination of both my parents..I think, in every way...A "combination plate", you know?
I love that you told that lady that she was wrong! (lol).
And it's great you have some idea now who you do resemble...Wonderful to know that now, I would think...and also important to know the genetics what with health problems, too, isn'y it?

Ash said...

Great post! I was thinking about this very thing today as I wrote about it being my youngest daugters B-Day, as well, it was 21 years ago today that my mom passed. My youngest has her spirit, my oldest her features.
I look more like my dad's side of the family. I always thought my son had a lot of my dad's features, then I saw a pic of his dad's dad when he was 20 and man...could have been my son!
Always interesting...thank you for writing about this. :)
Here from Michele's!

ribbiticus said...

i kinda resemble my mom, especially gauging from pictures of her when she was younger. :)

Carolyn said...

LOL at ET! I've been told I favor my Dad (nose, smile, dimple on chin, eye color) and mainly when I'm happy. When I'm mad, they tell me I look like Mom (furrored brow, nose, squinty eyed, pouty mouth).

Happy Superbowl Sunday!

Mama B said...

I resemble my mom in her younger days! Here via michele

Carmi said...

My poor kids are like me, only smaller. Yet somehow, they look GOOD. Unlike me. Which largely explains why I write for a living :)

Marie said...

This is a great post, Judy. Your elevator conversation is a riot!

Everyone says I resemble my mother, in looks and mannerisms. I hope I don't have her teeth -- one problem after another!

My son looked exactly like my husband for his first year of life. Like a little mini-me of hubby. He's now going on 2 and looks more like a blend of the two of us now. I like when people say that he looks like me! It's a compliment to me!

Marie said...

ps -- Michele sent me today... happy Sunday!

Anonymous said...

great post by the way..
I look like both my parents..

Im Chele In [dot] LA said...

Oops I did not finish..
I looked more like my dad when I was younger..
I now look like my mom more and more.......
Over from the other Michele's today..
m

margalit said...

Nice post, Judy. My daughter looks a lot like my mom, and I look like a real combination of my parents, with mom's hair and lousy health and my dad's unfortunate square body. But my daughter looks remarkably like her cousin, my brother's daughter, same small size, same hair, same eyes, etc. And that's my mom's genes.

Here via Michele

rennratt said...

I am a dead ringer for my mom, with the exception of hair color. She is a brunette, while I remain a towhead.

My daughter, on the other hand, looks and acts exactly like my late Mother in Law. I can not think of a better legacy, as she was an incredible woman.