So Lizzie was watching a scene where Supergirl went to see her biological mother. Well, actually, it was more of a hologram recording of her because she actually died on Krypton. Sorry, not the point. Here is the point. When Kara was talking to her, Lizzie asked "Is that her real mom?"
My heart broke for a moment. All my preaching about correct terminology and the damaging message that it can send when some words are used and those words came out of my daughter's mouth?! It's just not fair. I have always bristled at the use of "real mom." Biological mother, yes. Birth mother, yes. But, what I've been doing all these years is nothing but real. I'm her real mom. Anyway, with impressive fake casualness, I said "That's her biological mom, yes." I then tried to let it go and instead focused on the fact that she was curled up under a blanket with me. And that was exactly where she wanted to be. :)
I think too much. I know this. She didn't mean anything by it, just like the well-meaning people who often use those words don't mean anything by it. I know that her choice of words meant nothing. Still didn't love it, though.
There's another show that I watch. This Is Us. And, wow, it is good. There are so many storylines that are relevant to my life. Transracial adoption and reconnecting with biological families are at the top of that list. Anyway, in an uncharacteristic move, I decided to sneak an episode in before surrendering the tv to the kids. I didn't think anything of it since they were entertaining themselves but then William sat down to watch and started asking what it was about. I gave him a brief synopsis and we started to watch.
It started with a scene with Randall's biological father. (Randall is black and was adopted into a white family.) I was keenly aware of how they were portraying the reconnection as a successful situation. And I was just as aware that I don't particularly want William to go looking for his biological father. The father he has is pretty awesome, after all. Now don't get me wrong. I understand that it might happen and I will support it when and if it does, but I'm not going to lie and say that I "want" it to happen. Anyway, I selfishly turned the show off after making an excuse that I couldn't hear the tv, anyway.
I wasn't proud of myself. I know I'm supposed to be a bigger person. But, when it comes down to it, I'm still kind of mad. Really, really mad that I couldn't get pregnant in the first place and that I now have a complicated life that might later result in a complicated reunion. Which will end with me in tears, no matter how it goes. I cry easily so that's not necessary as dramatic as it sounds. ;) But, t's important that I emphasize something. I love Kaleb, William, Antwan, and Lizzie. They are my children. And I wouldn't give them up for anything in the world. And I still believe that it was all meant to happen this way because if we had created our family through biology, we may not have known to go looking for them. And that would truly have been tragic. But it would be nice to take away some of my insecurities and all of theirs. It would be nice to watch a show without feeling like I need to do damage control. But, of course, now that I've vented that out, I am remembering that protecting your children is just part of life and all parents share that; no matter what their situation.
So, I have to remember that turning off a show won't stop William from wondering about his history and we will continue to answer any questions he has. And I have to remember that sometimes a word is just a word (especially when it's coming from an 8 year old!). And I just have to hope that they are just as unwilling to give me up as I am unwilling to give them up.
And, I have to remember what else Lizzie says when she talks about adoption. She makes it a group effort. She says things like "when we got Kaleb." And, the other day when she was asking me about when she came to us. (I was trying to clarify something that I had said earlier about how she was with us at 2 weeks but that we adopted her officially at 12 months.) She said "So I was a baby when we got us and then we adopted me later?" For her, adoption is who we are and what we do (as evidenced by the insane amount of animals we've also adopted, haha.) It's us. To steal my new favorite show's title - This Is Us.
And, she was one of us all along. They all were.
And just as they are really our children, we are really their mom and dad. And we always will be. Real.