I’m a redhead. My hair color is my one physical feature that never fails to draw a compliment. I don’t say that to start a pity party about my looks, but let’s face it—I’m no supermodel. Yet my natural hair color is unique and a source of admiration by others. So I like to flaunt it.
As my husband and I were in the nadir of our struggle with infertility and trying to figure out what to do, we attended a mind-body workshop meant for couples with infertility. At one point during this weekend, the conversation turned to adoption. One gentleman revealed his hesitancy at not being able to pass on his genes or his family’s genes. The counselor’s advice was pretty much, “get over it-your family’s genes aren’t so special.” You can imagine why that wasn’t such a terribly helpful thing to say. We had already been thinking about adoption, but this gentleman’s response made me realize my own source of hesitancy.
I’ve always pictured myself with a redheaded baby. Sharing a biological link to my child or passing on my genes didn’t really matter to me in the abstract. But giving up all hope of having a redhead? That made it real. Now the rational side of me would point out that merging my genes with my husband’s would put some constraints on that plan to have a redheaded baby, but there was that sliver of Irish blood in him…there was still hope, right?
Obviously we did decide that adoption was the right path for us. And not only adoption, but transracial adoption. In the grand scheme of things, red hair is not that important. So now our adorable little brown-skinned and black-haired little boy is part of our family. And really, how can you get cuter than him?
Except he is a redhead! At least if you count having one red hair as being a redhead. I don’t have an explanation for it, but he has one strand of red hair (copper, really) on the top, right side of his head. When I was combing his hair one day, I first thought it was paint. But, no, it’s real. And it’s been independently verified by someone who isn’t biased about redheads (i.e., my husband). I’m not really one to talk about my son being “destined” to be with me because his birthmother had a hard decision to make. But at times like this, yes, he is definitely my son.