Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Explanation for the title of last post

I was just reading that and thinking, "Hey, I never really got to my point in that long rambling diatribe."

Without further ado, Real, semi-real, fake. What place do those words have in parenting, especially in reference to the status of your children?

What got me thinking about it was the conversation with a friend that started the last blog post wherein she said, "Once Frank has a real child, he'll be so happy." Needless to say I mentioned that Sarah is very much real. But I knew her intent, even if her delivery was sloppy. My guess on her intended statement, "Frank will love having a biologically related child to see grow and marvel at the coincidences and quirks of nature and nurture." I was perturbed, yes. But will I end a friendship over it. Not likely, although I will be more careful about interactions that have the potential to hurt my kiddo.

There is, in my opinion, an underlying belief in this world that for you to be a real parent, you must have had sex, gotten pregnant, and then squeezed the infant out your vagina. Any other path is seen as "less than". "Not equal". "Not the same". From c-sections, to adoption, to step parenting, to fostering, to surrogacy, to egg donor adoption, to egg donor adoption, sperm donor adoption with surrogacy, gay partner adoption of baby via ivf and on and on there are many ways to be a parent. None of those ways are better than another, none convey a greater status, or love or statement of family. Some are harder than others, some are easier. Some convey greater intent to parent than others. But their validity is all there.

So, to all those who might ask, "Is she your real child?" I answer, emphatically, "Yes, as will be any child who comes into our family via any means." or maybe I'll just say, "Yeah, I squeezed her out my hooha, wanna see my scars?"


Becky said...

Ah yes... I have been asked in the past "Do you regret not having children of your own?" Um. If these kids aren't mine, whose are they? I took them home from the hospital. I've changed almost every diaper, cleaned the puke, kissed the boo-boos, potty trained, schooled and loved my boys just like any other mother. My kids are my real kids. It doesn't matter how they got here. I am the mommy and they are my sons. I've seen the term "real" crop up before too. "Oh! Your kids are adopted? Do you have any real kids?" Um. What is this thing drooling on my neck. A "fake" kid? I've taken heat before too when I've tried to educate people about how incorrect the term "real" is. I get flack about being an officer of the PC police. This is NOT an issue of political correctness. It's an issue of dumb-assery. "Real" is just NOT the right word to use. All kids are real. And if "real" is just wrong usage, then "fake" is a moot point. Anyone using the term "real" just needs to be gently corrected with the question "Oh, do you mean biological? Because, you know ALL kids are real. Who ever heard of a fake kid?"

Becky said...

I can go on a whole other tangent about people asking who the boys' "real" mother is. Or how I felt when I met MY "real" mother. I am my boys' ONLY mother. The real deal. And my bio-mom wasn't my "real" mother. That crazy chick up north is the real deal. LOL

Picara said...

I knew you'd get it Becky. It's like we need a new vocabulary card to hand out to people. These are the words we want you to use, and this is what they mean, and now go home and study.