December 16, 2009

They Look Just Like Each Other!

I had heard that many times while strolling the village with Ash, from strangers, shop owners, random Starbucks crazy ladies, you name it. We kept hearing about this other village family who had also adopted from Ethiopia, and who's son "looks exactly like Ashton". You should really meet! they would say. They look exactly alike! One of the local shop owners even mistakenly called the other boy by Ash's name because, well, clearly they must be long lost twins. And then we met the boy and his family. If by "look exactly alike" they intended to say that they're both African American boys with similar chocolate skin then I suppose they would've be spot on.

Let's look past the fact that the boys differ in age by 3 years (um, hello Mr. shop owner...) and actually notice features that make us appear similar to others. Same shape nose, lips, bone structure, hair color/texture/style, their eyes, ears, hell ANYTHING other than just the color of their skin! Honestly, had it been one individual perhaps I wouldn't be so perplexed but it's been many many individuals approaching both mothers for multiple months feeling obligated to tell us about our son's "twin" in the village that we simply must meet. Really? I wish I had the moment when we met the other boy and his mother on camera. Our eyes met, went quickly to our sons, then back to each other with this I just sucked on 3 lemons look of perplexity. Both black? Yes. Both boys? Yes. Both Ethiopian? Yup. But wait, don't all white New Yorkers with Italian heritage look EXACTLY ALIKE? Didn't think so.

So, we welcomed the meeting as the first of many. In fact, the meeting was the first of a new local village adoption group that we're hanging out with. And lucky for us Ash's "twin" (I cringe even writing that, yes the other boy is adorable but seriously, beyond skin color the only similarity was the green frosting staining their lips from the cookie they shared), has quite a few Ethiopian family friends in the area who we'll hopefully get to meet sometime soon. Super cheers to that!


Rebecca said...

We get this a lot too! People think Eli is Silas Bottomly. Silas has a long, cute afro, Eli has an almost shaved head. Silas is a head taller than Eli. Their skin is different tones. Silas has all of his teeth - Eli does not. I think people see an African American child with white parents and assume that we're interchangeable. It kind of drives me nuts. Ben and I have even been called Amy and Josh. Ben and Josh do have lighter features. But Amy has almost black hair and I have blonde hair. Seriously? Like I said. Drives me nuts.

But, obviously there is a plus side. This community of Ethiopians is pretty amazing :)

kristine said...

honestly, it makes me laugh now. i've gotten this from black people in my church and town. a few weeks ago i got home late, and decided to take a cab. the cab driver as usual had 3 other people in his cab. the cab driver and the three others were all black. this cab driver knows me and i don't have to tell him where i live he just drives there, as he does the other, and he like the other cab drivers consider it an insult if i go to tell them the address. so as usually i get in, shut the door and off we go. except this time he drives past my street and i immediately know he's probably going to the the other middle-age-white-working-mom's house that comes home late often. the thing is i could be wrong, because i don't know the others in the cab he could be going to their house. and i don't want to say 'hey, my house is back there' because then all the black people are going to be saying 'you know those white girls, they think they should be dropped off first!" so i'm quiet. until we get to the other woman's house and he stops and turns around and looks at me like 'why aren't you getting out?' he stares at me for a moment and then i say, 'i'm not her, i'm the other one.' he looks completely shocked. Oh yea! he says and takes me home. funny. not funny though when Q was in the private school and they kept calling him the name of the only other black boy there. that boy was two grades ahead of Q and looked nothing like him. that boy was a dark skinned black boy, Q is has light brown skin. not even skin tone the same. it was that reason alone that drove Q nuts and now he's in a public school where no one ever mixes him up. ah well. I'm glad you guys have a new group! sorry for the long comment - i'm avoiding writing holiday cards!

kristine said...

looking for your e-mail on this site but don't see one. there is a little sunday brunch get together with a few families adopting from ethiopia. two families just brought home infant girls. the rest of us are waiting. it's in beacon which may be far for you. my e-mail is if you're interested in coming or if you want to be on the e-mail list for the next time. we're waiting for a boy or girl between the ages of 2-3 so they might end up being Ash's age perhaps. anyway, thought i would throw that out there - really not sure if you're that close.