I'm not sure what hormonal imbalance has led to my week of angst-y adoption posts. I feel like I should have on heavy, black eyeliner, at least one piece of clothing with a safety pin in it, and The Cure or maybe The Smith playing mournfully in the background. I swear this will be the last one for a bit...
All of these post made me think about the language of adoption. And the power our word choices have, not just in adoption, but all the time. All of the paperwork that Pie's birthparents had to sign was filled with words like relinquish, terminate, and surrender. Her birthfather said he felt like he was signing up for a war. We joked about it, but it made me think about how harsh that language is. I understand that the legal documents have to be air-tight, and unquestionable, but do they have to marginalize the birthparents so much?
Birthparents/mom/dad/family is another source of language confusion. We had a brief conversation with Pie's birthparents and that's the terminology they prefer. But I've heard biological parents, first parents, initial parents...I don't know which is the most appropriate. Anybody who falls into that category, please feel free to teach me the etiquette. Because of our previous relationship with Pie's birthparents there has been an ease to that piece of it. They have also jokingly referred to themselves as our baby mama, baby daddy, incubator and unintentional surrogate. I'm not sure that what they are called is all that important to them, but we try to be as respectful about it as we can.
But above and beyond all of that is the word "real" used in reference to adoption. This one makes me want to shank somebody. And believe me, I've watched enough prison escape/life in prison/crazy shit prisoners can make shows with Husband to know all I need is a toothbrush and a lighter, or a Bic pen and some duct tape, and I could do some damage. What I mean is when people ask what Pie's "real" parents are like, or if we intend to have "real" children. As if anyone in this situation is imaginary. WE are Pie's REAL parents. So are her birthparents. Each of us is equally important in the equation. And Pie is our REAL daughter. If we win the lottery some day and have endless amounts of money to throw at fertility treatments and end up with a biological child, that will be our REAL child too. I'm not sure what it is about adoption that makes people lose their sense of decorum. I have no problem talking about the adoption, or the fact that Pie is adopted, but it makes me crazy when people assume that her brthparents are felons or drug addicts or that there would be some struggle to bond with Pie because she's not our biological child.
Several of you have mentioned that you love reading the adoption stories and I get the sense that you may be curious. Honestly, I am an open book about it. If you have questions feel free to ask, just be aware of your language...otherwise I'll have to get my stabbin' knife.
Here's my REAL daughter kicking back in her swing. "What up my peeps?"