Monday, February 2, 2009
The Daughter Who Was Wanted
My cousin and her husband became brand new parents right around New Year's, last month. They adopted a precious and beautiful baby girl whom I'll refer to as "Lily."
I got to meet Lily for the first time at her baby shower this past weekend, right after she turned four weeks old. She was so peaceful and well behaved! My cousin semi-joked she was glad that that was my first impression of Lily, so that I might be more willing to babysit in the future.
Lily is biracial like me. At a little over four weeks old she is already displaying a Halle Berry perfection in her physical features, with her medium toned complexion and soft black hair.
And what I really want to say - the elephant in the room that no one seemed to talk about at the shower - is how happy I am and grateful, even, that my cousin and her husband were willing to welcome a child of color into their home and their hearts.
Are children of color harder to place for adoption? I don't know. I didn't ask, mostly because it doesn't matter. Or it shouldn't. My cousin and I are close and I am comfortable asking her these kinds of questions.
My cousin has blonde hair and blue eyes. She grew up with four very Japanese looking cousins, my siblings and me. When we were all very small and out in public as a family, I remember people would point and smile at my adorable cousin, who stood out like a bright sunflower in our dark haired clan.
Lily may be just as conspicuous in public with her new parents as she grows up. I don't know how difficult or easy it will be for her or her parents. Either way, I admire them for making this lifelong commitment as a family. And I would feel that way if Lily had been white, Asian, or any other ethnicity.
If Lily is ever made to feel singled out for having white parents as she grows up, I hope she will first feel how loved she is before that ever happens. I hope she will be aware of, from an early age, how wanted she is by her mother and father.
As a family member, I hope I can help my cousin reinforce those feelings in Lily of being loved and wanted.
I know my cousin and her husband feel fortunate that they are now parents. I feel lucky that I will get to see this beautiful, loved and wanted baby girl grow up.