Saturday, January 16, 2010

My turn

The reason I asked adoptive parents how you all felt about your children's birthparents calling the child you adopted as her son or daughter was because, last weekend I was blog hopping and came across an adoptive mother's blog who was upset because the birthparent called the child my son or daughter. Also, said that she didn't deserve to call him or her that. It made me wonder how you all felt. I wasn't upset at the blogger, because I don't know their whole story. I don't even remember where the blog was.
I am glad that the majority feel comfortable with the birth parents calling the child my daughter or son. When my husband and I used to fight over the adoption issues he would tell me I didn't have a right to call her my daughter, because she wasn't. It always hurt a lot, because I wasn't able to give her much and I don't have much, but don't take away what little I do got.
I can relate to wanting to keep a special name until you have children that you can raise, because well think about it. When we have dreams of having children, we don't have dreams of letting others raise them. So, if someone had a dream of a child and a name, I could see why they might want to save it for the child they get to raise. I did get to name my daughter though, but if I ever had a daughter to raise her name would have been Isabella.
If I was able to ever talk to Izzy's parents and said something like what a beautiful daughter we have or I am so proud of our daughter. I think that would be showing them respect and just overall kind of saying, you did a good job and I am not a threat to you.
Lastly, when asked how many children, it's always been hard and is still hard. I always say two boys, but Izzy is on my mind. It's not that I want to deny her, but I am just not comfortable talking about adoption out in the open as much as I am when I write.


Tammy said...

I understand how it would be hard to explain to others when they ask you how many kids you have and I totally get that you don't want to share your adoption story with others.

I don't purposely draw attention to the fact Zachary was adopted, simply because many people just don't get it. It's not that I am ashamed of it, I just don't feel like educating every random person who happens to talk to me.

Maybe when I asked his first mom how many kids she had, she just answered without thinking and it was the answer she usually gives people. When I asked her again later, she mentioned all of her kids. I guess it took me by surprise because obviously I know that she placed her so for adoption LOL!

I *do* think we can get hung up on language too much sometimes. Sometimes there are issues that are so sensitive and we feel so vulnerable that we get jumpy anytime anyone says anything that has the potential to feel offensive. I have to watch myself often because there are many times people don't use appropriate "adoption language" but they don't mean it to put anyone down, they just don't know any better.

The "my son" and "your son" and "our son" can definitely fall into that category. I asked his first mom one time how she referred to him. But since she doesn't talk about him to anyone, she really doesn't call him anything. It was during the same conversation where I asked her what she wanted him to call her.

So that is my question to YOU LOL! What does Izzy call you? What do you want her to call you? Does she call you "mom" or does she call you by your first name? Or something else?

I struggled with this for some time. It's not that I have a problem, per se, with my son calling her Mom, it's just that he's only 12 months old and he won't understand the difference. Just like we only call one grandma "Grandma" and the other one "Mimi" because he doesn't understand when we are talking about two different people. I would think it would make a difference for someone who is older, like Izzy. But that brings in a lot of different issues too, because she hasn't known you growing up.

Debbie B said...

I have a friend who lost their son at birth (he died within a few days) and they have adopted a daughter. When asked if this was their first she responded that this will be their first daughter. The same way you mentioned that you say you have two boys. You're not mentioning Izzy but you are remembering her when you say it. I think unless it's a conversation that you're going to share about the adoption that is the best way to do it.

Our daughter's birthmom choose her name and it is a name she has always wanted to name a daughter. She is pleased we kept that name as her first name, Isabel. But I often wonder when she has another daughter if she'll feel like she can still use that name if she wants to. Any thoughts on that?

birthmothertalks said...

I can't even begin to imagine having my baby die, but I know the panic, because my youngest son didn't cry and had to have medical intervention right at birth.
I love the name Isabel. That is where I came up with Izzy from. Isabel isn't my daughter's real name. I did get to name her though and they kept it.
I don't think it's fair to either child to share the first name of a child that has been placed for adoption. I never had another daughter, but I wouldn't have used the name again, because I wouldn't want the child to feel like she was a replacement. However, I think it would have been nice to have my daughter's have the same middle name or maybe even take the first name as a middle name. As the child is older explain in the same way as if you chose to honor another family member.