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Around The Sun: My Little Baby

Steve Harrison is enchantedby a very special baby with fair skin, straight nose, double eyelids, cupid lips, fair hair, bright blue eyes - and a Vietnamese mother.

Her name is Rachel - a name we chose way before she was born. Itís a name I have always loved. She is also called Kim, a Vietnamese word meaning precious stone or diamond, and that of course is what she is.

She seems to regularly change her appearance. When she was first handed to me, twenty minutes after being born, she looked like my dear departed mother. The resemblance was so striking I was filled with joy and tears, and at the same time scared almost half to death. There I stood, holding a miniature reincarnation of my mother.

Everyone, including myself, was quite amazed at her features: fair skin, straight nose, double eyelids, cupid lips, fair hair and bright blue eyes. People had said that the Vietnamese genes were very strong and it would take at least two generations for my familyís physical traits to show, but they were wrong. Many babies were born around the same time as Rachel. My wife and I went around and looked at all of them. They were all dark-skinned, with jet black hair and dark eyes, totally Vietnamese. Rachel, who stood out like a piece of chalk in a black and white minstrel show.

Doctors, nurses, visitors beat a path to her door to take a long look at her. They pointed out her features. Eyes (mat), nose (moi), mouth (ming), ears (tai), all of them like mine. I was instantly identified as the father.

As the weeks have gone my familyís genes have continued to dominate. That is, my motherís side of the family, the Tingles of Heckmondwike. She started out looking like my mother, then she took on the appearance of my younger sisterís eldest son, Daniel, and today she looks like my youngest sister Elaine. It is my motherís side of the family which is dominant.

My wifeís five brother all came to see Rachel, all laughing and exclaiming with great delight that she is totally British and western looking, with no visible trace of Vietnamese.

So there are no doubts as to the father of this beautiful child. Now all we need to do is identify the mother.

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