Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Thursday, September 18, 2014

What not to say to a mom who has just been in 3 IEP meetings

So I was sitting at karate class with D and Wy just politely chatting with another mom.  She's seen me and all of my kids for months.  I've seen her and her son.  She knows we've adopted, mostly because my kids still have very pronounced accents.  

 I let my guard down today.  I felt normal.  Accepted even.  No awkward stares.  No "OMG you look too young to have a TWELVE YEAR OLD!"

We were just moms... just talking about our kids.
So it hit me out of the blue when I got the question...

"So which ones are yours?"

It just hurts.  It does.  I didn't sit in a meeting room at school from 12:30-3pm advocating for someone else's kids.  I didn't drive someone else's son to karate class.  I am not the baby sitter.  I am not a pretend mom.

They are mine.  They are all mine.

I didn't say what I was thinking because I didn't want to make this class awkward for me or her from now on, but my gosh... how can anyone see me with them and still assume that I feel some of them aren't mine.

I'm sure what she meant to ask was, "Which ones are adopted?" but honestly that question just makes me feel like a novelty item at a store being closely examined.  Adoptive moms have feelings.  We are the ones paying for the "real" mom's mistakes.  We are picking up the pieces, glueing them back together with blood, sweat, and tears, and we are the ones advocating our hearts out to schools that don't get it ;yet, we still aren't real.  Our families are still viewed in pieces of "yours" and "not really yours."

And you know what?  It breaks my heart.  I used to want to yell from the rooftops that kids needed to be adopted, and now its the last thing I want to mention.  I'd rather endure the rude comments about how "good" I look for "popping 6 kids out" than continue to explain why they are all mine.



SammE said...

Oh sweetie. I get it. I have two adopted sons, infant adoptions, and two stepsons. My husband had custody of these two, so they became my boys too. We lived with threats and the fallout from horrendous past parenting and continued undermining. And more. These are my sons. All of them. Yes, two of them have a living Original Mother, who continues to cause chaos and heartache for them, but they know who loves them, who they can count on, and I am their mum too. All my boys are grown now, three of them raising my grandchildren. :) You are your kids' mum, all the way, doing all the things you listed. Mothering! They know where they belong and who loves them, and I understand how much those kinds of questions hurt. But I think the people who ask these things cannot understand, for probably they have never mothered or fathered a child who had a beginning other than with them. There are people who are incapable of empathy, and maybe that is the problem for them. Please know that there are many of us out here in blogland who do get it! Who live it! And who admire you greatly and love to read about your family. I wish I could still adopt kids, I would in an instant. I've outgrown the age limits :) so I have to watch and thrill and ache along with you and others who are going along in this amazing journey with your kids. And I thank you for sharing the journey. A big hug to you from this "real" mum. LOL What's realer than what we do!

Ellie said...

I found your blog by googling "blogs kids adopted from ukraine"

anyway I have an 11 year old home 10 years from Ukraine (and an 8 year old from China plus 2 bios.)

I can't remember what someone said when my 11 year old was newly home - something like "so he's not really yours?" I remember such a strong reaction- fierce really - I remember either thinking or saying "if he's not mine whose is he?" I have no idea why this concept is difficult for some people!

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson