It’s complicated.

A few weeks ago, at the doctor’s office, we were discussing the fact that William hadn’t gained any weight.  She commented that maybe the “real” mom was thin.  I was so focused on answering the question and taking the super-mature opportunity to say that she was actually over-weight, that it didn’t register right away.

Real mom?  What should I get upset about first?  The fact that you said that in front of my impressionable, and already confused by his past, 8 year old.  Or the fact that, wait a minute, I thought I was his real mom.  The woman who neglected and endangered them gets the title of real mom.  But, the one who adopted them, turned my life upside down, takes care of them every day, (insert other dramatic mom statements here), etc…I’m, well, I guess I’m the mom, too.  Just not the real one?

It’s important to point out that the doctor is a very nice person, didn’t mean anything by it and was only using it for clarification.  But, there are better ways to clarify, for sure.  I also know what probably bothered me most of all was that I said nothing.  I just stewed about it later (obviously, much later.)  The good news was I didn’t make that mistake the next time.  While on vacation, the “real mom” was referenced, I don’t even remember why.  I almost said nothing and then quickly realized that it would become the biggest memory of my vacation.  So, I said, “Oh, you mean the biological mother?” and then answered the question.  The person then realized and said “Oh, yeah, I probably shouldn’t say it that way.”   Well, look at that, I’ve educated and headed off an obsession on my part! (sort of) ( :

Foster care adoption can be complicated.  But, I have no regrets.  Given a choice between having biological children and these 3, I’d pick them every time.  But, I do sometimes wish that they were, in fact, bilogical.  Not for any big, bad reason.  Just so they would be all mine, in every way possible.  And, I’d never have to hear the term “real mom.”

Sometimes it is fun to pretend.  In a waiting room, a woman was talking and relating to me about how her husband is very dark-skinned (can’t remember where he was from) and how you never know what your kids will look like with such different skin-types of the parents.  Brian wasn’t there, so she didn’t know that my hubby wasn’t black; rather very white (maybe a little pink).  I realized she thought mine were biological.  I didn’t correct her.  I enjoyed just being a typical mom who had typical kids in a typical way, for a moment.  And, quite frankly, I sometimes forget that they aren’t biological.  I couldn’t love them anymore, if I had given birth to them.  They are in my heart, they are my heart; which is a way more important organ than the belly…

But, of course, they are not biological.  They are adopted.  And, that’s ok, too!

There was a time that an aquaintance looked at a family picture on facebook and commented that she couldn’t decide if the kids looked more like me or Brian.  What??  Now I enjoy pretending they are biological, but we all know that they are not and they are, in fact, black.  And, that’s in fact, very ok.  And, it’s ok to acknowledge that.  I don’t wish they were biological because I’m ashamed of any part of who they are or who we are all together.  I’m just possessive.  It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that my son had a whole 5 years of existence before I met him.  Someone else got to be his mom and the fact that she did such a crappy job is the only reason that I get to do the job now.  It’s hard to understand even when you understand it.
So, yes, it stings when you mention their real mom.  I guess it’s my own personal “r” word. 

I know one day they will ask about her.  We’ve already talked to William about it a little.  Although, the topic hasn’t come up in a couple of years.  It’s going to be hard to answer those questions. Especially since there’s not a lot of positive to report.     

I try not to think about what will happen if they want to find her.  It’s hurts too much.  I do know that it would be wrong to stop them.  Well, I think it would.  Is it wrong to try to spare them the disappointment?  No.  But, it would still be wrong.

11 thoughts on “It’s complicated.

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