The Ghost in Your Genes

Dear Ms. Feverfew –

Yesterday, I was looking at your Facebook profile while snuggling Poppy in bed. There, I admitted to something nearly every natural mother and adoptee does – FB stalk our “other.” At any rate, up popped your profile picture and Poppy saw it. She squealed with delight, pointed at the iPad and said, “It’s you, mommy!!!” I smiled, pulled her close, and told her no, it isn’t mommy, but a special someone who looks a lot like mommy. She then looked up at me with her big brown-green eyes and said, “Am I special, too?”

“Of course – you are special, too,” I whispered in her ear as I pulled her closer to me.

I haven’t told her about you yet – she’s only three years old and just not able to understand the reason that special someone in the picture looks so much like mommy is because she is her sister. I struggle with when I should tell her about you. Captain Knuckle has taken it in stride, but the knowledge of you has rocked the Professor’s eight-year old world.

She’s sitting here on my lap  right now playing a numbers game on the iPad as I type. I can smell the leave-in conditioner rising up from the warmth of her little body. Her hair is like silk when I lean down to nuzzle the crown of her head. She leans back, the weight of her body resting fully against me with her long legs draped down the front of mine.  I can’t help but wonder what you would have felt like in my lap when you were three years old like she is now.  I can’t help but hope you had a mother who would sit with you on her lap, sun streaming in through the window while you learning to count to twenty.

I hope that is what you had. That is what my intention was for you, that you would have parents who were crazy in love with you and would stop their world just to spend a few moments doing things that made you happy. Knowing this was so would make it easier to tell Poppy about the special someone who looks just like mommy.

Much love and belief –


4 thoughts on “The Ghost in Your Genes

  1. My Dear Melynda, please know I’d never criticise what you chose to do but I do believe you missed a ‘teaching moment ‘ there.The sooner the better to find that optimum moment to tell Poppy so that no-one else does. It will just become part of family life and accepted if you find the right words, make them simple and clear, maybe there will be questions now or maybe later but they will come at some time. Best of luck and hope your health is improving.<3

    • Von – Of course, you are right, but while my head knows this, my heart is having a hard time catching up. Poppy seems much more resilient than the Professor but I have wondered how resilient my heart is – can I handle more questions like the ones he tosses my way?

      Then again, after what I faced down last month in the operating room at UCLA, I can handle this. Tomorrow when we make a cake to celebrate Ms. Feverfew’s birthday, I will tell little Poppy about her big sister. Thank you for the gentle reminder to do what is right, even if it is hard.


      • We made the cake (chocolate almond whipping cream with browned butter frosting) and had a wonderful discussion about their big sister. I just might bust out the photo album later and she them the baby pictures I have of her, too. It *is* hard, but it is so easy all at the same time, if that makes any kind of sense. Thanks again for the gentle nudge.


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