Mother vs "Real Mother" vs Adoptive Mother

Lately I have seen many news stories that identify the mom as the adoptive mother when it has zero pertinence to the story itself.  That bugs me.  It wouldn't bother me as much if every other story always identifed parents by HOW they became parents yet it seems the reporters like to throw in the term adoptive as if that makes any difference whatsoever.  Occasionally that can provide added details to a story (as in, if speaking of the act of adoption) but usually it means nothing and most times it seems as if it is being used to discount the role of the mom or the bond between mother and child.  When will they get it that the mom is the mom.  Period.  HOW she became the mom doesn't really matter. 

The other irritating thing is when people ask a mom who became a mom via adoption about her child's "real" parents.  Hmmm.  Real parents?  As opposed to fake ones?  As opposed to make believe ones?  Plastic ones?  Cartoon ones?  Paper ones?  What other kind of parents are there?  I know most people don't mean to strike a nerve but it would be nice if more people were able to realize that you ARE speaking to child's real parent and you are completely undermining that relationship and most likely really hurting that person's feelings.  And try to pay attention to if the child is in earshot.  How do you think that makes the child feel to hear their mom have her role discounted, albeit unintentionally?  And depending on the level of understanding the child has of adoption in general, you just might trigger some major insecurities in that child. 

Plus, most adoptive moms live with that fear of how they are going to feel the first time their child uses adoption against them.  I've spoken of it here before when I was talking about feeling slightly rejected long before the teen years showed up and the 'I hate yous' started.  After that post, several people came to me in regards to the "real mom" part of that and I realized that I may not have gotten my point across exactly.  I AM Reagan's mom but I remember being a teenager and saying whatever awful thing I could think of when I was mad at my mom and I have no disillusions that Reagan won't go through that same stage herself and quite likely reach for the adoption card.  Today I saw this post on another blog and was so glad to see that very topic being discussed.  She does a great job of putting the situation into perspective and helping to ease that fear.

So, as with many other situations, try to think before you speak and if you aren't sure how to phrase something I'd much rather you tell me that and I can offer you some help.  I've used that method myself with others in different situations too and the appreciation is evident. 

Comments

Rachel said…
Thanks for saying that!! I am a "step" mom and that card has been played - it does hurt. Although the biological mother had little to nothing to do with these precious children - that card does hurt - especially when it comes from the spouses family!!

God gives of these children to raise - we are their parents - we love them, nurture them, provide for them and try to teach them not to label. I am so proud of you and your stance!! Your daugther seems full of life, loved beyond measure and treasured because she is yours.

Love you and God Bless, Rachel

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