“I have four children. Two are adopted. I forget which two.” Bob Constantine
I read this quote recently, on an adoption agency sponsored Facebook page. I received a lot of likes, and a few witty comments by adoptive parents about how it applied to their life or things like, ” I have two adopted kids, you guess which, I love them the same.”
I wanted to respond, but “bit my tongue,” because I don’t need to get sucked into an online comment war on a publicly sponsored page. But what irks me about comments like that, is how invalidating it is for the adoptee. Sure, in theory, it’s nice to know that that dad loves his children equally, but what it feels like, is that adoption is forced into fitting the exact same mold as biological families. Because, while I love and consider my parents my parents, I have never forgotten that I am adopted, and that they are my adoptive parents.
And similarly, now that I have a child, I KNOW that I could never forget giving birth to him. And if I ever were to adopt, I am sure the experience would be very different than giving birth to Potamus. So, I feel that quotes like this are invalidating and gloss over the differences that can be nurtured and honored rather than swept under the rug.
I can see where this kind of quote/mindset would be invalidating to an adoptee. If you were an adoptive parent trying to desribe this (loving your children the same regardless of giving birth to them or adopting them) or if you were to hear an idea way of describing it out of your adoptive parents mouth, what would that sound like?
That is a GREAT question, and one I don’t have the answer to yet. Sometimes I want my parents to acknowledge my adoptedness in public (like when someone asks) and other times I don’t, because it seems personal and none of that person’s business. It feels like there is no win-win situation.