A little Adoption Rant

Adoption Peeve Rant: 

My peeve is this, when someone, even 50 years later, still regularly introduces their son or daughter, as "This is my adopted son......" or "This is my adopted daughter......". 

Especially someone in a high profile position, who makes that distinction regularly....and the introduction usually includes race, and place of origin as well.  

 It makes me all like "GAAAH!".   

Adoption is a PAST TENSE VERB, not an adjective!!  

Their culture of origin should be respected (and even embraced), they should know about their adoption, and their race is a part of who they are.  Those things need to be acknowledged and celebrated  throughout their life.....but our children are not the sum total of those factors.  Do they constantly need us reminding them, in front of others, that they are different?  A different sort of son or daughter?

The word "adoption" describes how that child came into your family it does NOT forever become their title.  It does NOT describe them as a person, or describe their position in your family. 

We don't go around saying stuff like,

"This is my caesarean section son" 

"This is the fruit of my loins daughter" 

"This is my IVF son" 

"This is my 'I pushed for four hours' daughter" 

...so why do we not find it strange when people do this with adopted children (especially into adulthood)?

I wonder how people would respond if we started introducing all our children by describing how they came into our family, or the situations surrounding their birth?  

Would you introduce your child as:

"This is my 'We got frisky in the back of a pick up truck' son" or

"This is my 'oops, the condom broke' daughter" 

Not likely.  If you do, you have issues. 

Would we introduce our daughter for 50 years as  "This is my premature NICU daughter"

Do you honestly think a person wants to be referred to as "my adopted son" their whole life? Do we not think that would make our child feel like a second rate heir?  Do we want them to feel like they get our second class love? 

I will introduce all of my children as either "this is my son" or "this is my daughter" because that's what they are, regardless of how they came into the world, and into our family. 

I'm proud of them, and love how God brought them into our family through the gift of adoption, I will continue to talk about and advocate for adoption.....but they are now simply and truthfully "my child". 

 Obviously two of my kids look nothing like me, and if someone wants to come up with their own conclusions (even incorrect ones) I don't actually care. If they are genuinely curious and want to inquire more, I am happy to give them situation appropriate answers. 

 I'm obviously not trying to hide the fact that a couple of my kids are adopted, from them or anyone else.  I see adoption as a beautiful thing, not as something shameful, or secret, or a second best attempt at being a parent.....BUT we have to be careful how our own kids view the word "Adopted" and how their identity is formed (or preferably not formed) around that.   Constantly referring to them as "my adopted son" is a great way to make them feel either indebted, or resentful.   

So here's the thing....

I am my kid's Mom.  I'm not someone merely pretending to by their Mom, or acting as a life long babysitter.  I'm just their Mom, no more, no less.  

They are "my child".

1 comment:

BumbersBumblings said...

Amen!! totally agree! My other pet peeve is seeing it in obituaries. Like so and so has 3 great grandchildren and one adopted great grandchild. What in the world?