Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who Does She Look Like and Other Recent Discoveries

I have always maintained that Raphaela, who is coming up on two months old this week, inherited my ears and my lips, but that she does not resemble me overall. Considering genetics, she could look like the donor, and I feel fine with that, as long as she stays healthy and happy.

Yesterday, looking at her discover her hands for the first time, I realized that she reminds me of my biological father's mother, my grandmother, with whom I was not particularly close. My mother divorced my biological father when I was about five years old, and then remarried the man I call "Dad," the man who raised me in every sense of the word. I remember bits and pieces about my paternal grandmother, but not enough to ever be able to describe the kind of person she was.

Most surprising of all was the reaction of my mother, in speaking to her about this resemblance. My mother was badly burned emotionally and financially by the divorce, and was herself a single parent of two children in the time before she remarried. The topic of my biological father, normally fraught with anxiety even after all these years, did not phase her. In fact she said that she had noticed this when Raphaela was first born, and did not say anything to me because she thought it would upset me and affect the bonding with my newborn. Yesterday on the phone, she said, without stress, "Your father has strong genes."

Indeed. And whatever genetic material Raphaela has inherited, I love her for who she is, and cannot wait to see how she turns out.

She is so grown up, compared to even a week ago: she can sit in the bassinet for an hour, eyes open and staring at the ceiling, and she no longer cries after five minutes and needs to be held. She examines her hand and laughs, and pumps her arms up and down. Raphaela discovered cause-and-effect with the Brain Gym, and realized that if she pushes the chimes, she will hear the beautiful sound they make.

Raphaela, like all babies, is a developing miracle, my angel.

1 comment:

Allegra Posts for Rose said...

My daughter looks so much like Dad it is hard for anyone to see much of a resemblance between us. Of course, he is not involved so people wonder if she is adopted or otherwise not mine.

What a great moment in time you are at with your daughter. I remember those days with such sweetness. My daughter is now 5 and it goes by so quickly.

mazel tov!