Sunday, August 30, 2009

"It's not the same"

I've been thinking about whether I should post this or not for a long time, like over a year long time. I only ever told Shawn about the what happened and he didn't know what to say. I've been revisiting this situation in my head and I think I handled the situation correctly but I'm wondering about what someone else would've said.

I was talking to someone who had always been very supportive of our adoption about a friend of mine that I had reconnected with. I mentioned that this friend had had a little girl in the years we were not in touch. Her daughter is now about 6 or 7 years old.She was not with the father of her child but was engaged to another man. I told this person how my friend was telling me how well this man treats her and her daughter, that he treats her daughter as if she was his child.

This person gave me a skeptical look and said, "Hmmm, it's not the same." I in turn said "Well, what's the difference between this situation and someone who is adopting?" The person then retracted and said "You're right, I hadn't thought about it that way." We left it at that and didn't bring it up again.

I couldn't believe those words came out of this person's mouth. Like I said, this person has always been very supportive of our adoption so I was floored when I heard that. To me there is no difference between someone adopting a child and someone who becomes a parent because their partner has a child. As a result of this comment, I started thinking, will people always view our family as "not the same"? Will we be viewed as the parents who love our child but not the same since we aren't connected genetically to our child? Now, if a comment like that came from a stranger, I wouldn't have given it a second thought but this comment came from someone I really trust and care for.

I'd like to hear others thoughts on this.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you... We pulled out of our China adoption.. We just had to many issues and was breaking us apart.. Long story.. Anyways we are now foster parents for our state and right now we have a placement of a newborn who is a month old. She is my daughter.. Whether she is with me for a month, a week, a year or forever she is my daughter while she is here.. I call her my daugther and I am her Mommy... Everyone in the family assumes that she is theirs too. They have all welcomed her and any other children that we will bring into our home being foster parents... it might not be the same in the sense that the genes do NOT match, but to me sometimes children are born in your heart not your belly!

I agree with you on this one.. it is the same... You can love a child that was not born of you!

Anonymous said...

It is that old adage that step parents are not as good as real parents. Or that bio kids are "real" children. I have heard this before. I do not agree.

As much as folks are supportive and what not, they do not always agree with us. Keep in mind that we are a minority that would want to adopt a child. For many, many people, biology is destiny.

Kathy and Joel said...

I agree with Nicole. For a lot of people biology = real family. Of course, those of us who are or who were adopting do not feel this way. Doesn't it make you wonder what people really think? I mean, besides what people say...I think what they really feel is different.
I'm glad you posted this.

Michelle said...

I think the answer is yes, that people will always see our situations as not the same as families that have genetic children. I think adopting trans racially exacerbates the problem. People look at you and instantly you are different.

I was adopted. No one would know that unless they were told but I can't tell you how many times growing up that I remember people saying things like "This is Dr. So and so(my Dad was a dentist) and these are their 3 kids. They are adopted". I never understood why that little piece of information was included but it made me realize at a very young age that my family was not the same as others(who hadn't adopted their kids)

Anonymous said...

Sorry but I agree with the others. For most of the world genetics= family and the lack of a genetic connection makes the family "less".

Janet said...

Well, all I can say is that I love my adopted children just as much as my other children. I could care LESS if they have the same blood. In the same vein, my step-father was waaaay more of a father to me than my bio father ever was. I consider my step father my dad in EVERY sense of the word. I think that is why I "get" adoption. I had a bio dad that was never there for me. My step father, who has no "blood" relation, was ALWAYS there for me, from the time we met him and he came into our lives. SO I have a REALLY hard time understanding why people feel that blood matters that much. I feel closer to people who are not related to me than some of my relatives.

Kris said...

wow... if biology alone were the definition of family?? think of the state of this world right now and what constitutes a "real" family.

it is in no way defined by GENES (solely and sometimes never). i don't think i have to extrapolate on that.

Lisa said...

I agree with all the ladies above. Sounds like this person has that age old diease of foot in mouth without thinking first.

Mary Beth in A'dam said...

In my humble opinion, I think what matters most is if the child is in your home and you are caring for the child on a daily basis. I have step-children who did not live with us, and I do NOT feel the same love for them as with my bio daughter. Yet I know my husband cares a LOT for my child who did live with us.