Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What happens when your baby looks like someone else?

As you can see, my blogging has slowed way, way down. That's because the boss of my new job, Sammy, is very demanding. She runs a tight ship. But I love it. And I love her. I am so unbelievably happy to be at home raising her, waking up with her, getting covered in spit up, and being screamed at. It's all worth it 110%. Being a mother is a billion times more amazing than I had even imagined. And trust me, I had high hopes of what it would be like!

I had a realization I wanted to write about today in case anyone is thinking about embryo adoption and may be facing some of the same fears I did in the beginning. I'm not promising you'll feel the same way I do once you hopefully find success, but I just feel compelled to write a little bit about how those fears ended up turning out in my reality.

When we first starting dipping our toes into exploring embryo adoption, I was overwhelmed with excitement and anticipation. We were faced with the decision of using anonymously donated embryos, or by doing it openly and knowing our children's genetic family. We felt strongly that having an open adoption with was right for our family.  But of course, naturally all of that came with some fears too.  I feared that I might someday look at my baby and not see my eyes, my nose, or my husbands ears, and I would feel sad. I worried that I might feel like I was sharing my baby with another family. Or I would feel that he/she was not really ours and we had only borrowed her from someone else.

If you're reading this and it sounds like things you've secretly wondered or are currently wondering, you're not alone.

These worries were much relieved once our situation with our two donor families became real. We knew how amazing they were before and during pregnancy and were proud to have them in our lives. But still I sometimes wondered about those initial fears would feel once I had a baby in my arms. How might I actually feel when I looked at my baby and she looked like someone else? Yesterday, I had a moment that helped answer that for me.

Sammy smiled and she looked exactly like her genetic mother. Her eyes and lips lit up and came together in a way that was an uncanny resemblance of Libby. Libby is beautiful, and so is Sammy.

But there was no sadness. There was no jealousy.

Instead, I looked into what looked so much like Libby's face and was filled with gratitude for the genetic family who made this possible for us. I was reminded of the incredible journey that brought us to this special little girl. Children do not belong to anyone. And they are all borrowed, in a way. They are their own special spirits that are entrusted to us from God for our short time on earth. And God placed Sammy in our lives with a purpose. He has taught me to always feel thankful in this little girl's smile and remember the selfless act of her genetic mother that not only gave Sammy the opportunity for life, but also finally made us a family. It reminds me of how beautiful Sammy truly is, and not just in her looks alone. I adore that she looks like her genetic family because it's a forever reminder of all of the love that went into bringing her here and how much we love those who had a part in it. And you know what's weird? She looks a lot like us too. It's like she's the perfect blend of all of us.

I wouldn't change a thing.


  1. Wonderful! I am so glad you feel this way I know the fears myself and am happy to report I feel the same. The babies are mine. And they are their own people. And they look like the donor. And my husband. And me. They look like themselves. And they are perfect.

  2. Oh I just love this so much! You couldn't have said it more beautifully!

  3. My daughters are Chinese and I often forget that. Once in a while someone will ask where they are from and then I am reminded that yes, they were adopted from another country. It's a fact of their life but not something we have to talk about all the time. I just tell them (along with everyone else) that their long, black, thick shiny hair is gorgeous and I would love to have it too!!

  4. Very well stated! And for the record, she is such a beautiful little girl!!

  5. You are a strong, sincere and overall fantastic person. If you don't mind, please let me know how much Estrace you were on (i.e., dose , or and/or vaginal) for your bundle of joy, and how long you took it for.

  6. Beautifully written Liz! I'm 18 week P with an adopted embryo (anonymous) and I often wonder what it will be like to meet her and look at her. While she is my ethnic make up, she is not the ethnicity my husband and I would create. But all I feel now that she is safely growing inside me is that she is 100% ours and I am so grateful to the strangers who gave us this opportunity! Sending lots of love to you and baby. Maya

  7. Beautifully put. I wonder how Libby feels.. I hope and pray it's with the same spirit of peace and grace you feel <3 such a gift!