She Looks Just Like Me!


My children who are adopted are of mixed races, which has instigated a lot of joking over the years about how much we are like each other.

Three of my children have brown eyes, just like me! Two have blue eyes, just like their dad! Amazing, just like each other!

All of us love ice cream, especially cookie dough! What are the odds?

Swimming is something we have in common, (mostly because we live on a lake.) Dinora was able to swim by the age of 18 months old. She used to jump off the side in the deep end of the community pool with me. Everyone kept saying it was dangerous being so deep. But she was so tiny that even if she jumped off the lower end she wouldn’t be able to touch the bottom, so what was the difference. All of my children are natural swimmers.

Three of my children are creature lovers, anything from earth worms to boa constrictors to the every day dog, cats and bunnies.

With the exception of me and their dad, everyone loves scary movies. (Don’t know where they got THAT from, I hide under the pillow and shake if I even hear an eerie chord.)

With all of these similarities, of COURSE we are related! And so we have built MY family…

Now they are building theirs. Francis has a one year old daughter who looks JUST LIKE HIM, (minus the vision impairment!) Dinora has a young daughter who looks JUST LIKE HER, (with the exception of reddish hair, taking after her Irish dad.) And now Steven has a baby daughter who looks JUST LIKE HIM! All of the similarities we fostered as a family cannot compare to the fact that their flesh and blood look similar to them. But that is not what they focus on. They continue to bond over similarities…Steven’s daughter really loves animals and strawberries, she MUST be his daughter! And Dinora’s daughter is a little diva, enjoying make-up and nail polish, (so much like her diva mom.) Francis’s daughter loves vanilla pudding! And MUSIC! Go figure!

The truth is, family is not what is built by flesh and blood, but by common interests, tastes, and a whole lot of love. Of COURSE we are all related, we are a family!



The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane
Authored by Linda Petersen
The link to the book:


Comments on: "She Looks Just Like Me!" (27)

  1. I totally get what you are saying. One of my brothers was adopted and was. consequently, the only mixed race person living in the home, however, this is not what we focused on; we focused on the ways in which we were similar. Like how we siblings all loved climbing trees and camping and sherbert.
    The ties that bind are not genetic; I know people who are related genetically and have very little connection with one another. The ties that bind are the ties of shared experience, of pulling together when times are tough, of sharing one another’s joys and pains.
    Thank you for your lovely post.

  2. You and your family, amazing! ❤

  3. My husband was adopted. When we had Emily, we took a picture of him with his dad and Emily. Many people who looked at the picture commented on how much he and his dad looked alike. That made them both so happy. The resemblance wasn’t genetic, it was in the way they stood, the way they looked at the camera, how the held their heads… Their similarities came from shared values and from being raised by parents who loved him. Being all Caucasians might help the physical resemblances but raising a child means passing along so much more than that. Our daughter looks like both of our little brothers… One she has genetic ties too and one she doesn’t…

  4. backtowhatever said:

    Very powerful post! I’ve seen a lot of biologically related people who don’t get along and this is the exact description of what they are lacking.

  5. You are so right! And your family’s openness to seeing similarities instead of differences is what makes it so right. Love hearing about you and your family. xxoo

  6. What makes a family is what’s inside–in the heart!

  7. I have a blog post coming out around Mother’s Day on another blogger’s site titled, “The Alien in the Nest.” I have five children of the same genetic background who are all so different from one another that they all admit they probably would never be friends if they weren’t related. The grandchildren and great grandchildren are also amazingly different from one another. We are scattered around the globe, but at Christmas 30 + of us gather and our love as a family and our one shared trait- our warped sense of humor- make this a high point for all of us. I delight in all the large and small aliens in our nest!

  8. Lovely post! 🙂

  9. I particularly enjoy the way that people comment on how long-married spouses begin to look like each other. To some extent, I’m sure that we are drawn to those with similar genetic traits, as tend to best relate to those characteristics. It annoys my wife that, on numerous occasions, I have been mistaken for her son or brother. This is particularly funny because we are VERY far apart genetically!

  10. OneBusyMama said:

    Loved this! Myself and both of my brothers are adopted. My Grandma, Mom, Dad, and both brother have brown eyes. I’m the blue eyed oddball. My husband and oldest have brown. My youngest has one all blue green eye but the other eye is mostly brown with a small big of blue-green. Kitty cat eyes.

    Anyways….what I’m saying it’s been a long time family joke about the eyes and the oddballs! 🙂 But the most important things that keep us close have nothing to do with looks. Its the things we find important and fight for that make us so close! Love your blog!

  11. Oh wow I just love this post.

    so, so true.

  12. You might be interested in an earlier post of mine called: What Does “Family” Mean?
    In part, I said: “the way I figured it out for myself was that you can never have enough people in your life who love and care for you. The kind of people who, when the going gets tough, are prepared to stand in your corner. They can be your blood relatives, or your adopted relatives, or your step relatives, or relatives of relatives, or just plain people you meet and bond with.”

  13. Beautifully expressed. This is one of my favourite posts.

  14. One of my favorite memories was my little niece going “Everyone in our family wears glasses except Uncle Lee, that’s not fair!” We all still giggle over it, but because he was our brother, our son, our uncle, the fact that he was adopted just didn’t cross our minds, he was our family and that’s what mattered! 🙂

  15. It takes a person with a big heart to adopt so many children. But you are so right, they are definitely family, genetic or not. It is the common bond of love and commitment that creates a family and you obviously have created that. Many people are not in touch with their own biological family but have created their own with friends. Kudos to you. I’m sure there is never a dull moment in your life. And thank you so much for following Tovarysh!

  16. Yes indeed! I agree.

  17. As always, well said. Well written.

  18. Love makes a family xx

  19. Ultimately, we are all related – distant cousins so to speak. It is our hearts that bring us closer. God bless you.

  20. manyofus1980 said:

    this was a beautiful reminder of what family is. Thanks for the great post Linda. BTW I just got your book, looking forward to reading it. XX

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