seeing these photos makes me believe that i'm actually not adopted.

i don't look like anyone in my immediate family. growing up people often asked my brunette curly-haired mother if the little girl with stick-straight white blonde hair was adopted. it created a bit of an issue for me that only grew worse when my brothers started teasing me that i was adopted and my real name was "elizabeth." there were a few distraught months that i actually believed them and tried everything i could to get my parents to admit that i was adopted.

i eventually overcame my six-year-old identity crisis after a few sit down conversations with my parents and my brothers receiving some scoldings. my parents had never lied to me before, so i figured i may as well trust them. and what are big brothers for anyways, if not to tease you?

a year later, when we made our first trip back to south africa since immigrating from there in 1993 and i reunited with family it erased all doubts of blood relation. i wasn't the only toe head and every face i saw had similar features to the one i saw every day in the mirror. to this day, whenever i get the chance to hang out with my family it makes me feel a sense of belonging. during this most recent trip to sydney, while at a big family dinner with members from 3 different continents we chatted and laughed like we saw each other everyday. there was literally not a moment of silence! it was so fun to compare character traits with my family that i really only have a handful of memories with and realize the many similarities we share :)