Wow, I can hardly believe that it has been almost a year since I started my humble little blog. I also can't even begin to tell you how therapeutic it has been for me to find some funny and write about my family so that i don't go crazy! In honor of my upcoming anniversary, I thought I would re-post my very first blog. The one that started it all. It was originally published by the fabulous ladies over at Rants From MommyLand. And now, without further ado, allow me to reiterate....
Thoughts From An Adoptive Mom...
I feel the need to write about this after a disturbing encounter this weekend. Let me start by introducing myself. I am the mother of 3 beautiful children…let’s call them Mario, Luigi and Peach. (Yes. We have a bit of a Wii addiction in our house!) My babies are the loves of my life and the direct cause of all of my insanity. I used to be a fairly normal person that had not yet surrendered, but now….well, let’s just say the surrender has fully taken over. What most people don’t know is that one of my babies is adopted.
This past weekend, my darling husband (let’s call him…..Bowser) was sweet enough to let me go to a scrapbooking retreat ALL BY MYSELF. 48 full hours of ME time! I know…you are sooo jealous! The bonus, it was at the Embassy Suites where they have a FREE happy hour for two full hours every evening. Can you say awesome? Scrapbooking and free drinks. I was in heaven. But, I digress….
While sitting at my station, getting all nostalgic over baby pictures of my sweet little terror suspects, I overheard another girl talking about her fertility battles. Now…I want to say here for the record, that I COMPLETELY sympathize with her. I, too, had fertility issues and know the pain of not being able to get the baby that you so desperately desire.
So, nosy girl that I am, decided that of course she wanted to hear my 2 cents on the subject. After all, we could bond, right? WRONG. I casually mention that one of my lovely little cherubs is adopted and that it is a wonderful option when you are struggling and want to build a family. OK. So, maybe it was none of my business, but I must say, that I was not at all prepared for the response that I got. It went something like this…
Me: Infertility totally sucks. I remember all of those awful feelings when I was struggling myself. Have you ever considered adoption? It is a wonderful way to add to your family.
Queen Mean: I would NEVER consider something like that. Adopted babies aren’t even like real babies.
QM: Well, everyone knows that you don’t really love your adopted babies the way a real mother loves her real babies.
Me: Oh, I can guarantee you that my Luigi is every bit as real as Mario and Peach. And so is my love for him.
QM: If you were being honest with yourself, you would admit that you feel differently about him than your “real” kids.
Me: Why do you keep saying “real” kids? All of my children are actual live human beings.
QM: Well, I just mean that an adopted baby isn’t really like having kids….
The conversation kept going along these lines, and…well, you get the point.
I found it hard to believe that someone so desperate to love a baby, could be so ignorant about what family really is. So, just to clarify some things from my unique perspective as a mom with both biological and adopted children:
1. All of my children are, in fact, REAL. I have cleaned enough butts, kissed away enough tears, tickled enough bellies, and wiped enough noses to say with all confidence that all 3 of my children are most definitely REAL.
2. Yes, I love them ALL THE SAME. Let me repeat that. I love them ALL. THE. SAME. I may not have bonded with Luigi in my womb, but I was there the day he was born and can promise you that the amount of love I felt the first time I saw his beautiful little face was the same as when I first saw Mario and Peach.
3. All three of my little monsters, er…children, get the same kind of discipline. And all three get the same kind of affection.
4. Each child comes with his own set of issues, problems, quirks, etc. I have drank many a beer over my “bad days” with Mario, as I have with both Luigi and Peach.
5. In case you may still have doubts about whether or not my Luigi is a “real” member of our family, I will take this opportunity to let you know that on his “adoption day” a judge declared us a family. That is right. It is legal. He is mine, all mine! Boo-yah!
6. No. We are not afraid that Luigi’s birth mother will come back and try to take him back. *See #5. When the judge declared us a family, her rights were terminated.
7. However, I do send letters and pictures once a year through our adoption agency to let her know how he is doing. It is the least I can do. The day she put him in my arms, as happy as I was to hold my new son, my heart broke into a million pieces for what she was losing. Her strength and her love for him were actually tangible in the room that day. I will fight you to my last breath if you think that a birth mother “gives her child away” because she does not love him. It is exactly the opposite. I have seen that love and I will forever be touched by it.
8. Yes. We will tell Luigi that he is adopted. Why should we keep it a secret? His is a wonderful story of love. Without him, our family would not be complete. His birth parents are in his baby book. His birth mother wrote him a letter that I will give to him when the time is right. It doesn’t matter if he grew in my belly, or in someone else’s. What matters is that he is here.
9. Having been through both, I must say that adoption is the best “pregnancy” you will ever have!!! Nothing can boost the ego quite like walking through Target and having someone look at your newborn baby and say, “WOW! You look great for having a week old baby! How did you do it??” Seriously. No better feeling. Not to mention the lack of morning sickness, weight gain, stretch marks, body aches…oh, and that pesky thing called labor and delivery! [Editor's Note: Also, you can go to Five Guys without fear. - Lydia]
10. I actually get amusement out of it when some jackhole acquaintance says “oh, I heard one of your children is adopted. Which one is it?” I just smile and say, “well, if you can’t tell, then neither will I.” Love it.
Now, I realize that adoption is not for everyone. I just felt the need to clarify a few things on the subject. I was shocked by the reaction of Queen Mean at the retreat. I really did not know that people could still be so ignorant and closed-minded about adoption. The definition of "family" can mean so many different things...A mom, dad and two kids, 2 women and a son, parents with 19 biological children, parents with one adopted child, a man and his dog... Really pretty much whatever combination you come up with can equal a family, if there is love and respect holding them together.
So, thank you for the chance to get on my soapbox. And thank you for reading my crazy and sometimes rambling thoughts.