View Full Version : Whose kids don't look like them?

05-10-2008, 11:08 AM
That was an oddly phrased subject, I know, but I'm in a rush. I'm on deadline tonight and yet this just can't seem to stay inside my head. I have to spill it out here, apparently. ;)

Sarina looks nothing like me. She's so entirely different from what I imagined when I pictured what my child would look like. I mostly imagined my own baby pictures, I guess.

Sometimes I feel like I'm taking care of someone else's child. I look into her eyes and I see none of me. I see that we love each other a ton, and I think she's beautiful, but sometimes I think (irrationally) that I'm not going to understand her fully because she's not like me.

She looks a lot like her father, and I'm sure I'd be more pleased about that if I even vaguely liked him, but boy, did that go out the window.

Maybe I'm worried that she'll identify with him more because she looks like his child, not mine. Plus, she has his last name.

I just know that she means everything in the world to me and it feels so strange to have this area of disconnection. I kept thinking I'd get over this by now, but I still feel like I'm looking at someone else's (awesome, adorable) child.

Okay, hit me with smart stuff.

P.S. This is a good excuse for a new photo, no?


05-10-2008, 11:17 AM
Well I have two girls and the oldest one is EXACTLY what I imagined she would be, right from the second she was born. My youngest however, is quite different. She looks heaps like her daddy (which is cool, 'cos he's cute) but nothing like me. I still don't feel disconnected from her, but I do sometimes look at her and think she could almost be someone else's.

But I think you always understand your kids, even if they're not like you. They're a part of you and always will be. And if you're the main caregiver then no-one else will know them like you. (at least until they're teenagers, so I'm told!)

And the photo is gorgeous. What lovely little curls. Mine both have straight hair!

kct webber
05-10-2008, 11:21 AM
I think she looks more like you than you think. Same chin and jawline at least.

And I wouldn't worry about it too much anyway. I look just like my father and nothing at all like my mother. I've never related to one more than the other. I've always had a good relationship with both of them.

05-10-2008, 11:43 AM
I've known a bunch of adopted kids. Of different races than their parents. And you would be surprised how LITTLE the actual physical appearance of a person goes into what they LOOK like. Example of what I mean:

One of my girlfriends growing up was adopted from Columbia. She is very dark, short, compact. Her parents and older brother are white. They look nothing alike. Or do they? I can't tell you how many times I was with her and her mom and people would comment on how much alike they were-- the assumption being the dad was dark.

The reason everyone thought they were mother and daughter, even though they didn't share a single gene, was speech, voice, body language. She inflected the same way her mother did, used the same gestures, everything - because she was around her all the time.

Don't worry that your little girl will take after her daddy; it's the person who is THERE for her, who raises her and loves her, that she will take after. She will inherit your heart, and that's what really matters.

Oh, and she's adorable. :)

05-10-2008, 04:34 PM
Jo's nailed it. In still photography, maybe there's not the resemblance you'd like to see, but you will be astonished by how similar your child is to you because of voice, word choice, mannerisms, attitudes, beliefs, strengths, weaknesses, and everything else.

My parents were both stocky brunettes. Their first two kids, my older brother and sister, were skinny flaming-haired redheads with freckles. I'm a stocky brunette. Yet when my sister and I meet, strangers can tell we're sisters, even though we don't resemble one another physically. We haven't lived under the same roof for 35 years, but the nurture part of the equation is that strong.

Maryn, sure she's already just like you

Ol' Fashioned Girl
05-10-2008, 04:50 PM
Well... since all three of my kids are feline... no, they don't look like me or their daddy.


When I was growing up, I told everyone I looked just like my dad. And I did... mostly.

But as I grew older, I one day realized I didn't really look like Dad. I had the same blond hair and light-colored eyes... but when I looked at my baby picture, there was more of my mother there than I'd ever noticed before.

You're too close to the trees, Jenna. You can't see the forest. :) Sarina's got your chin, your sparkling eyes, that look of 'mischievous angel'. You're much more alike than you know. :D

05-10-2008, 04:53 PM
I don't look like either of my parents, and I also don't look like my sister. She, however, does resemble my mother.

Little Red Barn
05-10-2008, 05:00 PM
Genetics, strange stuff, huh?

Same with my daugh. :D

But you're in good company, even Julie Roberts complains of this. As an aside, she's adorable, happy and healthy and Sarina will be her OWN kid, slowly heading toward a life independent of both parents. That's when you'll really ask; who is this child? ;)

05-10-2008, 05:07 PM
My whole life growing up I was told how much I looked like my father and his family. Dark hair, dark eyes, face shape, etc.
As I got older, I have turned more and more into a dark haired/dark eyed version of my mother.
You'll be surprised how children change as they get older. She may not look exactly like you now, but my guess is that she will grow more and more into you.

05-10-2008, 05:07 PM
Everyone says that Piper looks like a perfect mix of both of us, but I don't see as much of me as I do of Christopher. I guess it's because I am too close to the subject. She has my nose. (Thank Goodness!)

I think Sarina does look like you in some features and as she gets older, I can see her looking even more like you.

Jersey Chick
05-10-2008, 07:15 PM
My daughter looks like me - except she has her dad's dark eyes (mine are green). My son is a dead ringer for his dad at the same age - except my son's got hazel eyes.

I look like my dad. Very much like him, actually.

My husband - who is adopted - is always told how much he looks like his dad, which goes to show people either don't really pay much attention, or there's some truth to the notion that people who live together for a long time start to resemble each other.

05-10-2008, 07:20 PM
My husband - who is adopted - is always told how much he looks like his dad, which goes to show people either don't really pay much attention, or there's some truth to the notion that people who live together for a long time start to resemble each other.

It's the same for me. I'm adopted and everyone says I look like my dad.

Old Hack
05-10-2008, 07:21 PM
My boys both looked just like their father when they were younger. Not so much now, for the 12 year old, who is looking a lot more like me these days, but the 7 year old... still his father's spitting image.

I was told that it's a genetic/evolutionary thing, to help ensure fathers bond with and care for the children. I'm not sure of the truth behind that but while both my boys are decidedly "of us", in the ways they look, they're their own people and have always been.

Just keep doing what you're doing; cuddle her as much as you can, and keep on loving her as you do. As my mother said, when you have a baby you get exactly the right baby for you, no matter how different they are from what you expected. It might be different from what you thought you were in for, but it's still amazing.

Old Hack
05-10-2008, 07:25 PM
PS--Sarina DOES look beautiful. And she DOES have a likeness to you, especially in that picture. I've not seen her father, so can't comment on that--but trust me, she has your smile, your pointy little chin and your elegant jawline. She's her mummy's girl. :)

05-10-2008, 08:27 PM
In my opinion what a child looks like or which parent he or she resembles has nothing to do with who this child is or will become.

I actually believe that it is the bond that develops between a parent and her child that most determines the child's personality, attitudes and behavior. I pretty much raised my kids by myself even though they have a father. That's because he was always working long hours and even when he was home, he was so tired he would just keep to himself at the end of the day, watching TV or on the computer or going to sleep.

So I was the one who read stories to the kids, played games with them, took them to the park, helped them with homework, etc. Whether or not they look like me, they wound up with my values and interests for the most part. (they all love music, art and writing) I don't know whether some of these things are innate and they would have wanted to be singers, musicians, artists, writers-- all on their own without my input or example.

But the best you can do is provide a good example of the kind of person you would like your child to be. Talk to her, listen to her, play with her and teach her to be a good person. When she's older, tell her you will always be there for her and that she can come to you and ask you about anything and you will listen.

We can't control a person's personality or make them be what they are not. I tried to nurture my kids and help them be who they were meant to be.

05-10-2008, 08:42 PM
First - She's adorable, is healthy, abundantly happy, and has all her moving parts. (In other words, quit 'yer bitchin'!)

Second - What she looks like on the outside is not what she sees from the inside. People rarely see themselves as they actually look. I, myself am several inches taller in my mind. Unfortunately, the top shelf of my closet is not in my head.

Third -- She has your chin, your eyes, and your hand to hold. Believe me, this kid wins.

05-10-2008, 08:59 PM
Also, how do I say this politely, diplomatically...

Only women can be reasonably certain of a child's father. Men are always left wondering ;)

So, stop worrying. She's unquestionably yours and she will grow to be whom you and other influences raise her to be. Besides, there are obvious similarities--namely the chin.

05-10-2008, 09:20 PM
My kids look like this guy at my wife's office. She assures me they're just friends.

05-10-2008, 09:24 PM
My kids look like this guy at my wife's office. She assures me they're just friends.

Hmm. And if any more little nippers come along we all know that Rob can't be the father.

05-10-2008, 09:29 PM
I know how you feel Jenna. When my daughter was Sarina's age she looked very much like your own little girl. I have brown eyes and dark hair and Hilary was blue eyed and light brown hair with curly locks. Now her eyes are more a jade green and her hair is dark.

Just yesterday I had a fellow at work say that he thought the photo on my bookshelf was of me and it is of my daughter. We do look quite a bit alike.

As for being concerned about understanding her fully, I have a son who is the spitting image of me. We used to be very much alike. Now we are as different as night and day. I adore him but we don't spend much time together anymore. Well, in part because he's away for two years on a mission for the LDS church.

Now my youngest was born with curly blond hair and blue eyes and now that he's almost seventeen his hair is dark but his eyes remained the same and suddenly, we are two peas in a pod. I mean we think so much alike we can finish each other's sentences. That might change. It's destined to.

My daughter and I are alike in both looks and temperament. We can also finish each other's thoughts.

It's so interesting to grow up with my kids. That's how I feel about it. I am always growing up with them.

05-10-2008, 09:41 PM
Neither of my two kids are biologically mine. The Boss had a couple of husbands (and kids) before I showed up. I raised them since they were 2 and 6. My girl Toni was the youngest one. One day when Toni was 8 or 9 I had just come home from fishing. The Boss walks up to me and says "Toni is getting more like you everyday. She is her daddies daughter." I asked her what she meant. She said she and Toni were watching TV when Toni lifted her right leg up and let one rip. She said it was like watching me. (I never do that, I swear) Dont worry about how they look. Neither of my kids look like me, but they sure do behave like I raised em. I can see so much of me in both of them. Just look what you have, a beautiful daughter. Its whats in em that counts. Just keep being a loving mommy and its all good.

yer pal Brian

05-10-2008, 09:55 PM
My oldest has my coloring, so people always tell me she looks like me. However, she's actually a shorter clone of her dad (who bears a remarkable resemblance to Josh Brolin). When the twins came along, I was amazed-- my boyo looks just like my husband, and girltwin looks just like my husband's sister.

I swear, if I hadn't been there for the births, I wouldn't think any of these kids belonged ot me.

05-10-2008, 11:53 PM
One of my girlfriends growing up was adopted from Columbia. ....
The reason everyone thought they were mother and daughter, even though they didn't share a single gene, was speech, voice, body language. She inflected the same way her mother did, used the same gestures, everything - because she was around her all the time.
Yep. Same with my niece. She's 10, and when you hear her, she sounds so much like her older sister and her mom. She has the same mannerisms. And she's adopted.

My older son has blue eyes, light brown hair, and freckles. My husband and I both have dark brown hair and eyes. And yet he's our biological son. One time, when that son was a baby, an older woman asked where in the world did he get his blue eyes from. I said, "The mailman." She looked positively horrified, and walked away. :D

05-11-2008, 12:06 AM
She's adorable, Jenna. She has one of those rosebud faces that are so ageless and adorable. Your face is just as adorable, but longer. Guess what, though... she's going to change in her looks. She may always look like dumbass your husband... but that is not who she is. You will be the biggest influence on her life... both of you will see huge similarities in your looks as you age together... even if they are not there. Trust me, I see this all the time. And you will probably see more of yourself in her as she grows anyway. My poor daughters look almost exactly like me. My youngest daughter has had people I know come up to her and say, "You MUST be Kevin's daughter". It drives her crazy. She is always blaming me for her lips... while my wife tells her she'd pay to have our lips. My daughter looks so much like me, my wife can't see a single feature that resembles her. Either can I, come to think of it... but they are so much alike it's shocking sometimes. That likeness becomes a physical feature... they look nothing alike, but I see mirror images. Don't worry about shit like this... You don't want your daughter to steal your face right. We should each have our own unique packages.

My son... when he was coming down the birth canal, I thought to myself, "Oh my God! Where's the black hair!?!?!" Turns out he looks nothing like me. He has blond hair and looks much like my wife's family. But my wife almost pees herself when my son and I are walking together in front of her. Apparently we have the exact same bodies. And she is constantly making fun of the plates we call feet. They are more like hands and my son has the same ones as me. She says we're freaks, but it's just feet right. Who cares. I like that he has my feet. That way, I just have to take off his socks and my socks and say, "We're like twins!"

Looks don't form the connections you're looking for... time and togetherness do. Your daughter is going to relate to you... identify with you... connect with you. Don't sweat the small stuff.

05-11-2008, 01:07 AM
When my cousin and his wife had their son, every picture I saw of Jack was like his father. Most everyone said so, and it drove his mom crazy. She was always asking, "Doesn't he look anything like me?" And at the time, the answer was, "Sorry, not really." However, he is now six years old and the spitting image of his mom. Looks change.

Doubts might be inevitable, given what you have both been through, but what doesn't change is the fact that YOU ARE her mom. You will always be her mom. Sarina is never in her life going to forget that, especially with several thousand people here to remind her of that fact, should it be necessary! (And several thousand people here to remind you of that fact as well!)

05-11-2008, 01:54 AM
It's funny-- of all my traits, no one has ever commented in any manner on my chin, far as I can recall. I didn't think there was anything noticeable about it. ;) I think it's just that photo, though. Our jawlines don't really look alike at all.

When strangers stop to coo at her, they often tell me that she looks nothing like me. It's a little unnerving. So far, no one's asked if she's adopted, but I guess they all assume she looks like her dad.

I know on a logical level that appearance has nothing to do with bonds or personality, and that you don't even have to be biologically related to have an awesome parent/child relationship. I know this is all irrational, but I guess it plays into the larger picture about how I'm always worried she won't love me like I love her. She's in a "dada" phase now, and it makes me die a little when he tries to hand her to me and she cries. Once she's with me, of course, she's fine, but... ah, well. You know. Or you can imagine, I'm sure.

You ever have a clingy boyfriend or girlfriend with low self-esteem who needed constant reassurance that you really liked him or her? I have to try not to be that kind of mom. Right now, I want my proof in kisses.

05-11-2008, 02:17 AM
It's the age. Lots of kids go through that "daddy" phase right about the same age she looks to be. Both of my girls did. Now at 8 and 6, they still love their dad, but mom rocks. (Though I'm sure that will change during the teenage years.)

05-11-2008, 02:40 AM
Actually, Jenna, I mistakenly gave someone else a rep about how Sarina seems to have the same eye shape. Could be the brows, even.

It is funny, though. When Ethan was born, everyone said that he looked exactly like me. Blond hair, very expressive eyebrows (wishing that they weren't so "expressive" now, on me--I have a great, thick wrinkle running between my eyes that makes me look ever so slightly mistempered, most of the time!) and big eyes.

As time went on and as Ethan changed, I noticed that he looked like me, but only from the eyes up! And only the shape of them. Because Mr. Shwebb's eye's are almost black. Mine are green.

Emmory looks most like me, but even she has brown hair and almost black eyes, as well. The in-laws seemed puzzled about her looks until I showed them a baby pic of me at her age.

Eleri? Well--she's the spitting image of one of my sisters-in-law. Looks and I'm thinking, um--personality. Which means we clash a lot, even though Eleri is not quite five. She's a moody, bossy thing. Temperamental! I tend to be relatively easy-going. (At least, I used to be, until I had three kids. *wink*)

But Eleri has other things I see that I think she gets from me. Her handedness. Well, her auntie that she takes after is also a leftie, but so am I. And Eleri is quite artistic. Has a great eye. Even for a four-year-old.

As much as I'd love to define her a bit in my own image--as easy as that would make things, because--trust me, the other two are a bit more like me and I'm better able to intuit things with them, I can't do it.

I have a feeling that Eleri might get the best deal out of it, because I have to try a bit harder, with her. I don't have the luxury of assumption that I take sometimes with the other two.

You can take comfort in knowing that she is secure enough with your love that she doesn't cling to you. As backwards as it sounds, it's a compliment from her, and it's an amazing gift from you. Even as your heart is breaking.

Parenting, as glorious as it can be at times, also opens our hearts up to infinite love and just as infinite pain. Ack.

05-11-2008, 03:34 AM
You ever have a clingy boyfriend or girlfriend with low self-esteem who needed constant reassurance that you really liked him or her? I have to try not to be that kind of mom. Right now, I want my proof in kisses.

I've never had that kind of boyfriend but I've been that kind of person. And I've had a clingy child. I was lucky(?) that my kids always preferred being with me. In fact when my oldest son was little he used to cry and cry whenever I left the house. It was perhaps too much of a good thing. He'd cry, "Don't go!" I'd say, "But I'm only going to the store. I'll be right back." It used to kill me to have to leave the house with him crying and banging on the window begging me to come back. When my daughter was born and he was one and a half years old, we knew he wasn't going to take it well. My husband carried our daughter into the apartment because we knew Alex was going to be very jealous. He hid in a corner and would not talk to me. It broke my heart. When he had visited me at the hospital he would not look at me and would not talk to me.

Eventually he got used to having a sister and I did the best I could to give them equal attention.

05-11-2008, 04:27 AM
Right now, I want my proof in kisses.

Not sure if The Boss would like it, but you know me. Im the kinda guy who likes to help out. Where did you say you live again?

you know I like you whether there is kisses involved or not right? I knew you did.

yer pal Brian

05-11-2008, 04:54 AM
The most important thing is that she'll get your heart because she'll grow up with "you."

05-11-2008, 05:02 AM
I'm quite ugly.
So if I have a kid I hope they won't look like me, for their sake.

06-14-2008, 07:59 AM
Jenna, I can very much relate to that strange sense of initial disconnect. I know I also (at least subconsciously) expected a similar version to myself when I gave birth to my daughter (http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j240/pb10220/lindsaypat200705-1.jpg). Whoa--was I ever surprised! She had flaming, naturally curly red hair, and the temperament to match (from day one). As a child, I was white-blonde, day-dreamy with a fairly easy-going (read that 'out to lunch') personality. I could not fathom how I'd produced such a daughter, until she reached toddlerhood, and my MIL confided in me how she just couldn't seem to understand her and didn't feel as 'comfortable' around her... (My MIL, who also was a former redhead, happened to have a virtually identical personality to her, and they each held each other at arm's length for years.)

But I wrote a poem (http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showpost.php?p=1127591&postcount=1) to my daughter a while back on AW and plan on giving it to her on her 16th birthday next year. The gist of it is, I'm so thankful she's not just like me now (even though it felt strange in the beginning). Every year we've grown closer and closer--probably because we are so different. And what I love best about her is exactly the ways she is different than me--I admire her aggressive goal-setting (academically and otherwise), her sophisticated sense of humor, her healthy body-image and self-confidence. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. ;) I'm sure Sarina will continue to surprise you with her uniqueness, but I'm willing to bet you'll be just as wowed as each year unfolds its surprises.

06-14-2008, 08:42 AM
I don't look like either of my parents. My height and muscular calves come from my mother, and my love handles and fine hair come from my dad. Aside from that, I could be anyone's kid.

When I was a child, people would say that I looked sort of Asian. My hair was dark brown, my face was heart-shaped, and my eyes were dark and long.

After several years, I figured out why, perhaps, everyone was saying that I looked Asian. I think it had something to do with the traits that my Lithuanian ("Russian") great-grandfather passed down, because Russian people have longer eyes and rounder faces than other Europeans, or at least that's what I've noticed.

Shady Lane
06-14-2008, 08:51 AM
don't judge me for posting a picture of me in my chunky stage, but...

This is my nuclear family.

We kinda just look like a random sample of white Americans, don't we?

06-14-2008, 09:13 AM
I look exactly like my mother. We look so much alike, even the guys from the gas station knew we were mother and daughter, even though they had only seen us once each an on different ocassions (we never go to the gas station together). It's kind of freaky, actually, like the time I looked at a picture of me taken from afar and thought it was a picture of my mother. Yeah, we look so much alike I even confuse myself with her, lol!

But somehow, I've never been able to bond with her. It's just not there. We both try, but something's missing. We have a good relationship and never get into fights (only once in my life have I fought with my mother, and she really deserved me getting mad at her), but that 'special' bond is just not there. Which just goes to show, looks aren't everything.

06-14-2008, 09:25 AM
Okay, here's a picture of my Trey. He was feeling a bit sickly when I took this (hence the smile, lol), so please disregard the messy hair. :)


If you click on my profile, you can see my picture. Aside from the hair (which is red when I don't dye it), that's me. I don't think we look anything alike. He looks very much like his father. All my boys came out looking exactly alike, and I used to joke that I wasn't a mom, I was a Xerox machine making copies of my husband, lol.

My younger one looks more like his great-grandmother, but not much like me, really. :)

06-14-2008, 09:37 AM
My kids are obviously mine, but I have a friend who has a daughter who looks EXACTLY like her ex-husband. It is uncanny. They (kid and dad) even have the same birthday! My friend is dark and a bit stubby, looks Iranian or Greek though she is full-blooded German, and her ex is tall and blonde, and so is the daughter.
Relax, Jenna. My friend and her daughter have a great relationship and the girl, who is now 17, is well brought up and close to her Mom and loves her to bits. Yes, she also has a good relati9nship with her Dad (who dumped my friend for a newer, younger edition) but it's clear whose "side" she's on. Dad is for holidays, Mom is for real.

06-14-2008, 09:45 AM
but I guess it plays into the larger picture about how I'm always worried she won't love me like I love her.

I'm not a parent, so I may be full of garbage on this and take it with a grain, etc., but...she's never going to love you like you love her, right? The nature of her bond with you is fundamentally different from that of yours with her, and will be so all her life.