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.


the Constantly Dramatic One said...

You and Quin always writes the most beautiful thing =)

Mike Valentino said...

Very sweet. You should write romance novels. I mean that in a totally serious, non-demeaning sort of way.

Cheryl said...

I recently read that L.A. County waives some adoption fees for special needs kids...and that "special needs" includes kids belonging to ethnic minorities. That was really surprising to me. I mean, I love the idea of getting a bargain and all, but I'm pretty sure that says something sad about the general population of adoptive parents out there.

I'm glad your cousin is bucking the trend, and was rewarded with a gorgeous daughter.

Brett & Shelly Faucett said...

What a sweet heart felt post. You have a wonderful way with words. Lily is very lucky to have you in her life

Chris said...

Nicely put, Peter. This sure sounds like a win-win for Lily and her parents.

thelastnoel said...

I looked into adoption. I still want to be a father some day. I understand dark-skinned Latino and African American boys are the hardest to place.

kellylouise said...

This going to sound crazy but my mothers maiden name Varvel and one of her uncles married a japanese women and had four kids. The crazy part is that i know your not one of my cousins! although you are about their age. can i ask what your parents names where? i don't want to pry but my grandfather had 15 brothers and sisters. You may not be one of my uncle Curly and aunt Judy's kids but i would not be shocked if we end up being related somehow.

golfwidow said...

That is one sweet baby. I don't care what ethnicity she is and I hope she grows up in a world that doesn't care, either.

Peter Varvel said...

Kelly, it's very possible that we're distantly related! Please email me at petervarvel @, and I'll be happy to share any family names and details!

quin browne said...

i want to babysit her, too... if nothing more than to spend time with a family who helped produce a man who is as deeply giving and loving as you are.

i love you, my friend. i do.

Movin' said...

Oh, I love how you write this. It sounds like no matter what, she will feel the love of her family. May that love give her strength to not let any idiots in the world touch her soul in any way.