Monday, March 24, 2008

Liam's Real Mother

One of the mostly hotly debated topics in the land of on-line adoption forums and blogs is semantics.

"If she's your "real mother" does that make me fake?"
"Birth mother vs. Expectant Mother"
"I'm a mother not a biological vessel"

and the list can go on.

I grew up using the term Birth mother to refer to Iris (long before I knew her and had a name and a face) and we do use birth mother for Liam's mother if we need to label at all. For the most part we just refer to her as "your mother 'K'" And he will occasionally ask for clarification about having 3 mothers, but in his mind he knows who is who.

So I was kind of surprised by a conversation that he and I had the other day. It was "K"'s birthday, so Liam and I were talking about her, wondering what she was doing, how she and her children that she is parenting celebrate the day. And then out of the blue he said this:

""K" is my real mom you know, you and Mummy just look after me."

hmmmmm..... interesting. "Real" is not a term we have ever used. Not that "K" isn't real, but it's just not terminology that fits for us. He wasn't' saying this in anger, like I did when I was seven. During a heated argument with my mother I spit out the most hateful thing I could think of "you aren't my real mother anyways! You can't tell me what to do!"... oooopphh! I don't remember what my mother's reaction was, but I can only imagine the hurt that those words caused her. And he wasn't trying to hurt or be mean. He was just being very matter of fact. I acknowledged that "K" was indeed his mother, and that now Hilary and I are also his mothers. To which he agreed.

It makes me wonder if something has been said to him at school. I can't imagine him making a leap to fully understanding adoption and pregnancy and birth and all the other things that go into making someone a "real" mother in the terms that he was implying. He also didn't dwell on it and didn't seem upset or concerned.

While the topic came up out of the blue, I was really glad that it was not unexpected. Being adopted myself and being active in the on-line adoption world, I felt ready to handle it. I would hate to be a parent who chooses to raise their adopted child in a "as if born to us" bubble, thinking that adoption issues will never affect them. Because you honestly never know what will come out of the mouths of babes.
Post a Comment