When we go out, I'm often asked questions about our family. I don't have the ability, if I wanted to, to hide the fact that they're not biological. I'm one pale chick and I've got 3 beautiful, black children. The boys are darker and Lizzie is a little lighter. So, maybe Lizzie could be mistaken as mixed, but not a chance with the boys. So, people sometimes ask. And, I don't mind. I feel it's an opportunity to try to educate and encourage others to make the same choice that we did.
The only thing that I do mind is when phrases such as "real mom and dad" are used. Because that just hurts. I am fully aware that I didn't give birth to these children. But, in our situation, that's pretty much the only good thing the biological mother ever did. (Forgive the anger.) That makes her the biological mother, but I'm the mom.
I've blogged about this topic before and I'm sure I'm repeating myself a little. But, it's a recurring topic. So, I guess this is a recurring blog. ( :
I've made a promise to myself that I am not going to let it pass anymore. I truly believe that no harm is intended in these situations, but if I don't speak up, who will? And, as the kids get older, hearing these things, will just give them one more thing to be confused about.
Yesterday, we were playing at the mall play area. Somehow I ended up in a conversation with another mom. She knew that Lizzie, who was staying close, was my daughter. Then the boys came by. So, she asked "All three are yours?" I told her that they were and waited to see what she would ask next, because they always ask another question.
"Do they all have the same daddy?"
Well, this was new. But, I was determined not to let the moment pass, so I said "Yes, my husband. We adopted them. So, he's their father." I think (actually, I know) that my attempt at calmly correcting her came out more angry and ticked off than constructive. I really felt bad about that, but, there it was.
Then she said, "Oh, they're adopted? I totally thought they were completely from you."
It was then that I realized that she was not asking an intrusive question about the adoption or trying to take away Brian's title. She had no idea that they were adopted and just figured my children have a black father or two or three. (Well, they do have black biological fathers, but you get the point..).
I didn't know how to respond. It was a little funny. It was a little embarrassing. It was a little rude. It was a little cool that she thought they were biological. And, it was definitely not the conversation that I expected to be having.
I'm used to people wondering about the adoption and I think it's important that the kids hear me talk about the fact that we adopted them and understand that it's totally normal, ok, and definitely nothing to be ashamed of. But, wondering how many baby's daddies I have? That I wasn't ready for. ( :
I can add it to the list of things that I didn't expect when I thought I knew what to expect. I definitely don't hold the monopoly on unexpected parental experiences. ( : But, these are the experiences in our reality.
Wherever we go, people will notice us. Sometimes, people will ask us questions. Sometimes, people will compliment us (that's way more than sometimes). And, sometimes, people will ask me how many different dads my children have. I've learned my lesson on that one. Next time, I'll just say one. Yes, they all have the same daddy. Because they do. And, he's pretty awesome. ( :