Sunday, January 22, 2012

Biology 101

All I could say was, “What?” She repeated, “How did you do it?” At this point, I was positive I had missed her initial question. As the school gate slammed, I stopped and regrouped. My brow line narrowed with bewilderment.

I had seen her less than six time over the course of the school year. Her son was in Brase’s class. She was always impeccably dressed in her classic suits and sexy heals. Our encounters were brief and hurried as our professional lives called.

My mind was somewhere else as we passed pleasantries. I was mentally preparing for a mid-morning meeting. I was positive I had missed a phrase with my work related distraction. All I could say was, “Excuse me? Do what?” She quickly responded in her Southern tone, “Your son… he looks like both of you. He has your hair and your husband’s face.” And without another breath it fell from her mouth, “Did you mix it?”

I deal with dumb all the time. I knew, for a fact, she had a master’s degree and held a high level executive position. Her husband was also a partner in a large law firm. She was anything but dumb!

I was taken aback by her lacking knowledge of basic biology. Did she realize a single egg can only be fertilized by a single sperm cell? The shock, from her question, kept me from laughing out loud. My first internal thought was… STUPID! My verbal response was, “I do not think that’s biologically possible.” Then with a slight grin I said, “It was fate.”

I never referenced our adoption in that conversation. I questioned my motive later and reconciled it to… keeping her in the dark. She meant nothing negative by her comment. In actuality, she was passing on a compliment. Mind you, I really like her but her biology facts are a little distorted. When our paths now cross I quietly whisper the southern mantra, “Bless her heart.”

This is not the first time family resemblance has come into question. Many people take in upon themselves and assume our son was conceived through surrogacy. For the record, we are not deaf. We keening hear fellow restaurant patron saying, “Which one does that baby belong to?” That statement is usually followed by, “He looks like that one but the hair?” One day I will have the chutzpah to lean over and say, “It a crapshoot… we don’t even know ourselves!”

I have found little need for comment or correction. The only ones that need our personal family history are those closest to us. Our adoption is not a secret but it is also not a topic of idle chit-chat with strangers. We are not the poster family for the modern adoption movement. I also do not feel compelled to educate the masses.

What I do know is… we met our destiny the day our son was born. Brase’s Filipino and European ancestry was somehow matched with my Irish red headed roots and Jose’s Spanish/Mexican lineage. I find this amazing due to the fact; we originally thought Brase would be one-half African American. The adoption process is always full of surprises.

Through our adoption journey, we realized two very important lessons. If we are patient and persistent our destiny will eventually meet us at the fork in the road. And… our destiny my not take us to our desired destination. Life is filled with amazing adventures and sometime unexpected outcomes!

1 comment:

Mike and Tony said...

I LOVE your response, he's beautiful and so obviously loved. Tony and I have been wondering how to handle similar questions, THANKS!