Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Yes, She's Mine

I was thinking of changing my China adoption blog title (not this one) to a new one to better describes where we are today vs. where we/I was, say, 4 or 5 years ago. Then, I decided just to update the look of said blog... for now, without giving it a name change.

But then, last night, T (of all people, again) were having a conversation that disturbed me. :(

A little background... I was attempting to date a guy had problems in the past with someone accepting his son as a part of the family. How do you handle blended family issues, if/when they are posed type stuff.

So, T said... of course, Melissa, you wouldn't have a problem with blended families... we're not yours...

What?? Not mine? Who's not mine?

To which, I responded... yes, Lil M is mine. And then she retracted and said, yes she's yours... but I can see she struggles with those ideas. She really believes that family is by blood, for good or bad.

Now, don't get me wrong. I don't think that T has a problem with our family. She's trying to make her way just like we are. And she's gone through way, way more than any teenager should have to in their life. So, I do try to take it all with a grain of salt.

But that my foster child thinks that this family is not "real" just because I didn't birth either of them is.... Ouch. I might have to revisit the whole adoption blog name thing... and one thought/suggestion had been to re-name it to "Yes, She's Mine".

The positive is... yes... it is a true statement.

The negative's... well, I'm not trying to negate any birth mom's feelings, or any adoptees' feelings for that matter. Oh, and I don't believe in the whole ownership of children, and this title implies that.

Today, I'm feeling like it is not my responsibility to educate others. And, yet it is, if I want to be an advocate for change. It starts with one person, right? Comments like that hurt. Plain and simple. They hurt those of us who have worked so hard to have our own family... and especially when that family looks different from others.



Tom in Vegas said...

Again, as in previous imbroglios, you're the one who is going to have to be the patient one here like it or not (I don't mean this forcefully or insensitively).

I know irrefutably and incontrovertibly that YOU are the REAL parent of MIA, and ANY allusion that suggests otherwise is going to get your blood boiling very fast. What you are dealing with is a situation of someone speaking without actually thinking first. In "T's" case, she is only a teenager who doesn't understand the dynamics that exist between you and Mia, so she has a pretty decent excuse for not knowing. In the case of an adult, you have a combination of ignorance and complete insensitivity to parents who have adopted. Sometimes grown-ups will make the same mischaracterization not out of rudeness but purely out of ignorance.

Unfortunately, this WILL happen again. Did it not happen once with your dear grandmother? You know she loved you (well, I should say STILL loves you) very much, and Mia, her granddaughter, as well. You know your grandmother was not mean nor was she ignorant. But when she said she would love Mia as if she were her real granddaughter, she simply did not understand completely about her relation to Mia. There was no malice in her heart whatsoever when she said that. If anything, it showed what a loving human being you had for a grandma and how willing she was to accept Mia into the family.

So, it's you who is going to have to be patient - like it or not - with people who might make a misleading characterization about you and Mia. Just politely set them straight\ and explain what you are the REAL parent and not some generic custodian. Okay?

I can't keep up with your posts. Could you help keep up by you commenting on some of the stuff you've written and then just end the comments with "What time is it anyway?" Just make sure your comments are consistent with something I might have written, and at the end conclude with "What time is it anyway?" :0)

Mama Melissa said...

actually... i know i need to be more patient... i sort of tried to say that at the end... try to continue to educate people. that's what i meant.

as far as my being her real parent, of course i am. :) and people say things for a variety of reasons... a lot of which you mentioned. especially for those close to us, we hope they don't mean anything negative or have malicious intent.

but, of course, that doesn't keep me from writing something about it or thinking about it all. if i didn't, then i would feel bottled and eventually blow up on some unsuspecting person!! ;-)

What time is it anyway? :D

Tom in Vegas said...

"[I]f i didn't, then i would feel bottled and eventually blow up on some unsuspecting person!! ;-)"

I would too, Tom! You know, Tom, you're so darn smart and perceptive. Perhaps that's why i base my life on your teachings;-)



Mama Melissa said...

you are great to listen to, tom...

i don't mean to come off as complaining all the time, and i hope i don't. i also write about these things to maybe help other people who might be going through the same or similar situations... :) i mean, i don't know if it's helped anyone, but a girl can hope. lol


Tom in Vegas said...

You don't come across as someone who is complaining or whining or trivial or anything dull. I GUARANTEE you that some of the stuff you write many people out there (some who may visit your blog but are too shy to comment) are going through as well.

My last comment was a (failed) attempt not to sound like you or mock you but to conclude a post as you would, just as I asked you to write stuff on my behalf since i couldn't keep up with your posts:0) So DON"T stop writing because we are still reading your blog whether we leave comments or not. I certainly appreciate your honesty and your lack of pretentiousness in all the things you write. As a distant, far-off stranger that considers himself as your blogger pal, I certainly enjoy interacting with you on all matters under the sky;0)

Mama Melissa said...

actually... that DID sound like me!!! hehehe. very good of you! :)

you are my blogger pal, for sure. and especially since we hang with the pink unicorns together and get our nails done.

What time is it anyway?


PFM said...

Yes these comments do hurt. I understand about wanting to take a break from educating. But as a parent we are always educating on something. Adoptive parents have another topic to continue to work on with their own family and others. ICLW

ellen said...

I know it must have hurt when T said she & Mia were "not yours", and that she doesn't think of you as her "real" family.

You've probably thought about this, but I wanted to share my thoughts on this. I think T's comments are self protection because she doesn't feel secure that she can count on a foster family be a family for her entire life. Her last foster home didn't work out, and she recently was placed with you - so perhaps she's hesistant (maybe unconsciously) to think of you as family and get hurt if the placement ended. (I'm not implying that you have any intent of ending the placement. Just that she might be insecure that could happen to her again.) She might also be hesistant to call you & Mia family - for fear that her biological family would be hurt.

You're doing all that's in your control which is to love & support her. Hugs, ellen (you are part of my family!)