“Seeing with the Heart”

This I Believe Essay Analysis:

‘Seeing with the Heart’ by Stephanie Disney

This essay is about family not being defined by birth, but by the heart. Stephanie, the author of the essay, supported that belief, by giving examples of multiple occasions where people had asked her if the girl that accompanied her, Rudy, a girl she had adopted, was her daughter because Rudy appeared very different than her mother; she had one blue and one brown and curly hair. As the essay progresses the reader really begins to get an idea of how much Stephanie really loves her daughter and that the bond that they have is much of one that a legitimate mother and daughter would have. For example,”My daughter and I share so much in common it never occurs to me that others might not see us as a family. That’s why I was startled the first time a stranger inquired about my daughter’s race and our relationship. I had forgotten that we didn’t look alike.” I think this life experience Stephanie had makes the essay seem more personal to the author. The most interesting part of the essay was when an older woman asked Stephanie if Rudy was her daughter and Rudy replied, “Well, she helps me with multiplication, fixes my hair, kisses me, and we both have freckles on our noses—who else could she be?”. I think this is the most interesting part because it’s very cute and it shows the strong connection between the mother and daughter. The author described many times where her belief was challenged. There had been over forty times where others had questioned Rudy and Stephanie relationship to each other. Which was very disheartening to read about. However something profound that this essay did was get the authors point across, that family isn’t always born into and that the heart determines family.


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