Everyone who's adopted a child, or who's been adopted has heard someone say something stupid about 'real' parents or children. Usually, this is said out of ignorance or confusion, and in my experience, is rarely meant to be hurtful (except by children - sometimes they can be MEAN!)
The person who says something about real parents or children generally is referring to Birth/Biological parents or children. I always know what they meant to say, but it still rankles a bit nonetheless. In my head, I always have this speech prepared: My real parents are also known as my adopted parents and ultimately known as just my parents. Rather than say something, though, I usually respond to whatever the original question was, without correction, and just make sure I carefully say biological or birth parents whenever I get the chance. Most people catch the clue.
Once, when I was pregnant with my first child, I was having a conversation with a person I knew who was also adopted. She didn't have the best relationship with her adopted parents, and always felt - misplaced, I guess, for lack of a better word. She started searching for her bio family when she was still a teenager, and really believed that once reunited with them, she would finally become 'whole.'
She was talking about how the blood connection was so much stronger than anything else, and I was basically disagreeing with her. I believed then, and still believe now, that love is the big connection in any family. Anyway she said to me that, since I was about to have a 'real' child of my own, I'd find out how right she was.
Well, she moved away shortly thereafter, and we lost touch. I never had the chance to tell her that I found out how very wrong she was, although having been pregnant and giving birth to my two precious boys did indeed make the whole thing very clear to me.
I treasured being pregnant, and all the scary yet wonderful feelings that go along with it, but - for me - it had absolutely nothing to do with being a parent. Real parenting is all about what happens afterward. Who is there when they are sick in the middle of the night? Who helps them with their homework? Who teaches them manners and makes them say 'I'm sorry' when they screw up? Who is there to hear about their first broken heart? Who is the one who loves them when they are darn near unlovable? That's a real parent.
Get Ready For SANKOFA!
11 hours ago