Thursday, April 21, 2011
Not the Nanny
Every time I take Sabine to the park, someone assumes that I adopted her or that I'm the Nanny. Ugh. So frustrating after growing this child in your belly for nine months and undergoing Guantanamo Bay-style sleep deprivation (as in torture). But not just that. It's also frustrating because I feel with every bone in my body that she is a piece of me, which means that I feel a kind of love and attachment to her that is too big, beautiful and scary to tether with words. And when someone doesn't think that she's my blood, it somehow nullifies my 36 hours of labor, emergency c-section (heroin-addict-like adventure of being strapped to a surface and vomiting three times in reaction to a ridiculous amount of medication) and a mind-blowing connection with her that's as physical as it is emotional.
With that said, I've nothing against nannies and I've always aspired to adopt. I think it's a whole different kind of beautiful. It's a side of motherhood that I can't speak to because I haven't experienced it, but it's something I imagine to be so grand and delicate that your heart might explode. Note to self: find a blog by an adoptive mother to see what her shoes feel like.
And with both of those things said, the reality of my situation is that I am always going to have to, or get to, face the world with a daughter who is almost entirely different from me (uh, I've been hanging out with me for more than thirty years...re-living that would be boring). Her skin color is different. So her experience will be different. People will react to her differently (than they react to me or her father). And I will never specifically know what her--my child, my blood--experience feels like. The good news is I will be able to lend her some support when it comes to navigating life with a multi-racial identity (see my "ABOUT ME" for our racial make-ups). And we can compare notes, albeit different ones.