She Looks Just Like You
A Memoir of (Nonbiological Lesbian) Motherhood
By Amie Klempnauer Miller
(Beacon Press, Hardcover, 9780807004692, 256pp.)
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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After ten years of talking about children, two years of trying (and failing) to conceive, and one shot of donor sperm for her partner, Amie Miller was about to become a mother. Or something like that.
Over the next nine months, as her partner became the biological mom-to-be, Miller became . . . what? Mommy's little helper? A faux dad?
As a midwestern, station wagon-driving, stay-at-home mom—and as a nonbiological lesbian mother—Miller both defines and defies the norm. Like new parents everywhere, she wrestled with the anxieties and challenges of first-time parenthood-including neurotic convictions that her child was chronically ill and the muddled confusion of sleeplessness. But unlike most mothers, she experienced pregnancy and birth only vicariously. Unlike biological parents, she had to stand before a judge to adopt her own daughter. And unlike most straight parents, she wondered how to respond when strangers gushed, "I bet Daddy's proud," or "She has your eyes."
Miller began searching for a role that would fit her experience, somewhere in the unexplored zone between mother and father, gay and straight. Sometimes she felt like a dad in drag, other times like a lesbian June Cleaver. Through it all, she and her partner became something new—even as the presence of a baby rattled the bones of their eighteen-year relationship.
Part love story, part comedy, part quest, Miller's candid and often humorous memoir is a much-needed cultural roadmap to what it means to become a parent, even when the usual categories do not fit.
Amie Klempnauer Miller is a frequent speaker about gay and lesbian families, and her writing has appeared on Salon, in Brain, Child and Greater Good magazines, and elsewhere. Miller works as a development consultant to the public media industry and lives with her partner and daughter in St. Paul, Minnesota.
One of the greatest celebrations of true family values you will ever read. Funny, warm, and wide-open honest.—Ariel Gore, founding editor of Hip Mama
"Miller's vivid storytelling as the 'unpregnant' partner simultaneously captures the unique challenges of lesbian motherhood in the twenty-first century and emphasizes the undeniable universality of first-time parenthood.—Abigail Garner, author of Families Like Mine: Children of Gay Parents Tell It Like It Is
"Why would a straight dad like me love this memoir so much? Mainly because it's superbly written and passionately insightful. But also because I discovered that lesbian moms like Amie have something to teach me, and all of us, about how to survive, and perhaps even thrive, as twenty-first-century parents."—Jeremy Adam Smith, author of The Daddy Shift
"Mothers as well as fathers will recognize themselves in Miller's brave, poignant, and funny memoir about parenthood. She Looks Just Like You is both unique and universal, and Miller's honest and hopeful voice shines a bright light on the adventures of creating a family in the twenty-first century."—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There and I'm Looking Through You
"[A] humorous and strikingly original contribution to parenting literature."—Library Journal
"Take one big heart, a heap of talent, and a whole lot of courage and you get Amie Miller's She Looks Just Like You. Miller is a graceful, witty, compassionate guide on the journey that is lesbian parenting. By offering a glimpse of her passage from perfectly happy spouse to perfectly spellbound parent, she reminds us that, gender schmender, it is love that makes a family."—Harlyn Aizley, editor of Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All