My Son Was, Not Is, Adopted

I love talking about adoption and I love answering people’s questions. I’m not the type to take offense if they ask something that people in the adoption world would normally take offense at, so for me, no question is off limits. It brings me so much joy being able to share our story and shine light on the truths of adoption.

I feel like so many people still think of Lifetime movies when they think of adoption, with crazy birth moms that come looking for their babies after twenty-one years of no communication and bitter adoptees that hate their adoptive families…but real life {and real adoption} just isn’t like that! At. All. So I thought I would take some time to share some common misconceptions and incorrect adoption terminology.

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The first thing I would like to share is that Mason was adopted, not is adopted. It sounds like such a small difference, but to an adoptee, it is a huge difference. This terminology walks the line between event and identity. Mason’s adoption was an event that happened in his life, not his identity. He is my son, not my adopted son.  His identity is in the Lord who created him and knows his every step before he takes it. His identity will be the man he becomes and the amazing character traits that he will grow to possess. His identity is not defined by the event that happened when he was two months old.

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Another common phrase people use when asking questions is if he will know who his real mom is. Well, yes! {haha!} Because I am his real mom! As far as I know, I am not a ghost, a mannequin, or a robot, {and unfortunately, I’m also not a Disney princess}, so I’m pretty sure that makes me real. I am Mason’s real mom. This has never been too touchy of a subject for me, but just be mindful, because this can be hurtful and like a little dagger to the heart of a woman who struggles with infertility and chose adoption as a way to grow her family. Regardless of how our children come into our lives, we are mothers, real mothers, who love and care for our children unconditionally. The better way to ask that question is to use the term birth mother. And just so you know, birth mothers are real mothers, too.

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There are so many more misconceptions out there about adoption, and one day I’d love to cover them all, but for now, the last one I’d like to cover is the misconception that birth mothers don’t care about, love, or remember their children after making an adoption plan. Birth mothers don’t give up their babies, they make an adoption plan and place them with a family. Birth mothers are brave, selfless souls that were able to set their own pride aside and make one of the hardest decisions a woman can make by giving her child the gift of a life that she knows she can’t provide at that time. There is nothing shameful about that decision. It’s a beautiful act of love, and birth mothers remember and think of their children for the rest of their lives.

We love having an open adoption with Mason’s brith mother. I love that I won’t have to feel helpless when he asks questions that I don’t have answers to about his birth family, because he will have her to fill the gaps. I love that I won’t have to mark “unknown” on all of his medical history, because we can ask her about what runs in his family tree. I love that he won’t grow up feeling abandoned, but instead know how loved he is by her because he will be able to hear it from her own lips, feel it in her own hugs.

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Adoption has grown our hearts and minds tenfold since beginning the process. It has challenged us and changed us, and ultimately, made us better parents and better people.

With love, Mal

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