Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Own

From Sarah's Blog:

"As I drove 80-plus miles an hour because my baby was in pain and needed her Mama to fix her, I thought to myself, "If this isn't my child, then who does she belong to?" Seriously, if you ask me if I want "my own" kids that implies that the kids I have are not mine, and if they are not mine, can someone please tell me whose they are? If they aren't mine I am certainly going to a fair bit of inconvenience and enduring a fair bit of life disruption for children that belong to other people. They certainly appear to belong to me when one of them wakes me up screaming at 5 am or when one of them grabs both of my cheeks in her small little four year old hands, puts her nose to mine and and says "I love you, Mama" or when one of them calls for me from her darkened bedroom and says in her smallish two year old voice "Mommy, I want you. Sleep with me, Mama." From all I can tell practically speaking, they are mine. Two governments say they are mine and more importantly God says they are mine and will hold me accountable for what I am doing to raise them. So, dear friend, please don't ask me if my precious girls for whom I have rearranged my career, my social calendar, my sleeping schedule, my bathing rituals, my long-term financial plans and, generally speaking, the sum total of all my life goals are "mine". It should be obvious to you by now that they are and it breaks my heart when you ask that because these children are as "real" to me as yours are to you. They are my life as your birth children are to you and no child that comes from my body will ever have more status as "my own" than these daughters born of my heart."


Faith said...

What do you say when you get the "own" question?

Teresa said...

Well said!

graceling said...

Faith- it depends on who makes the comment...

If it's a stranger or someone I don't know well, I explain that yes, we would like to have biological children and possibly adopt again. I take it as an opportunity to educate people who don't know the differences in adoption "lingo" such as biological vs. adopted, and use "your own" to indicate the former.

For someone I am close with, it's a different story. I do educate them, but if it persists, I ask them how they would feel if their use of phrases like "your own" made Anna think she didn't belong in our family... that usually opens their eyes.

I think it is extra complicated for us because sometimes people mean "own" as in John and I together (be it bio or adopted) rather than the 2 girls that were "mine" before he and I got married. It depends on the circumstances.