I don't know if anyone else does this, but quite often I'll hear someone say something and it will take an hour or two for my brain to process exactly what they said. If I'm lucky, it won't be a big deal, but sometimes it's the sort of thing where I think, hours later, "This is what I should have said."
I had just such a moment this past week. A woman with whom I am becoming acquainted was talking about adoption. I don't know if she reads this blog, but I hope so, because I want her to know what I should have said on Wednesday.
I had mentioned that Roo looks like P and M. It's not particularly important to me that she looks like them, but the fact is that she does, and that's what I said. This woman - I'll call her C - said, "Isn't it funny how that happens sometimes?"
"It is," I agreed.
"I know a family who adopted kids who look just like them. You look at their family and you can't even tell which ones are their real kids."
I heard the words, but I didn't process them properly. If I had, I never would have let them slide like that. I never would have let the conversation continue from there. But I did. And I hate it. I had a prime opportunity to correct a misconception, and I didn't. I want to do it now, as I should have done it Wednesday.
C, I know what you meant to say. I know that when you said "real" you meant biological. But here's the thing - you didn't say biological. You said real. Adopted children are real children. Roo is 100% real, and 100% really P and M's daughter. She is their real child.
You're new to the adoption world, C, so I don't blame you for using incorrect language - most people do. But I want to correct it, because if you're going to be coming to my birth mom group to support your friend, if you're going to be around people who are so intimately acquainted with adoption, you're going to have to change your vocabulary.
All adopted children are real. They are real children. Being adopted doesn't mean they're not their parents' real children. Ask any parent who has adopted - their kids are their kids, all of them, no matter what.
If Roo isn't her parents' real child, what is she - Pinocchio? Psh. Roo isn't going to grow up wishing on a star that someday she'll be real. She is her parents' real child. She was from the moment they first held her. I think they would agree.
Maybe I'm belaboring the point here, but I want to make it abundantly clear. Adopted children are their parents' real children. I don't believe for a second that P and M (or any adoptive parents, for that matter) consider their children to be anything but their real kids.
Blood doesn't make a family. Love makes a family. It makes them real.