Using inclusive and positive adoptive language has been something has become really important to me, and has been an area that I have chosen to be more outspoken about. I give people the opportunity to learn when they have said something I find offensive or hurtful. I let people know when they say something that may be hurtful or offensive to someone else. Well, hey, I’m writing this post because I needed people to read it!
I have way more opinions that I express through writing this blog than I generally ever speak out loud, because I am way more gutsy in type than I am in word. But positive adoption language is one of those areas I don’t keep quiet about. This is an area where things aren’t really an opinion more than right and wrong.
The first three are the big dos and donts when it comes to positive adoption language…. And some of the other ones are big ones that are obviously important that people need to change in vocabulary.
Biological vs Natural
- This is something that has bothered me even when referring to parenthood without talking about adoption. You never know what kind of interventions people had to use to have biological children. So many families are created through medical or “unnatural” procedures but still create a biological child. It’s unfair to all of those who didn’t (for whatever reason) create a family in the Mom+Dad=Child “Natural” formula. This not only affects so many families created through adoption, but the many who are created assisted through different kinds of fertility treatments, surrogacy, insemination, etc. If you are talking about a biological genetic connection between humans. Name it so. The word natural doesn’t just have to do with genetics.
- Birthing a child does not give you the right to be titled as a natural parent. Natural has multiple definitions folks. Once again, if you are referring to genetics, referring to the biological connection is much more clear.
- Being an adoptive parent, I am did not physically give birth to my children, but I’m a very natural mother. My skill as a parent came naturally to me. I had children in a very natural way to me… What was my first choice in having children… No one can tell me that my choice isn’t my natural just because it’s not biological. *My children are my natural children, but no, they are not my biological children.
- First of all, my children are my own. Doesn’t matter if I birthed them or adopted them they are still equally (and legally) my own.
- Drives me crazy when people have biological children and adopted children and refer to their children seperately: “nice to meet you, these are kids of my own, and this is my adopted one”. It makes my blood boil. Some adoptive families do not use positive adoption language. Not everyone is as forward thinking as Ontario and not all have to take as much training and go through such a lengthy process as we do to be able to adopt. Not anyone cause just get a kid here folks. Just saying. Do you ever hear people saying “nice to meet you, this is my daughter who we conceived with donor sperm cause my husband is shooting blanks” or “you have a lovely home, I was on clomid for 17 months before I got pregnant with my twins.”
- Don’t ask me if I didn’t want/try to have my own. This is how I tried to have my own. It was a hard wait for these kids. My labour pains were different, my delivery was different, my post partum has been different… But these are my own. If you want to know if I tried to have biological children, ask that question. That’s a different question. Adoption is how I wanted my “own.”
Was adopted vs. Is adopted
- I’m pretty sure their adoption happened in the past…. It’s a verb that should be used in the past tense… It’s not still happening right now, is it? Are they still being adopted right now? Cause I think they are just your kid now… Just your OWN kid that WAS adopted.
Anyways. Just thought I’d share some of those thoughts I had on being a natural parent, having my own children and adopting them… in the past… 3 years ago. 😀
My Plea for the Celebration of Mother’s Day… Especially in the Church.
Mother’s Day is always hard for me as I grieve the loss of my children’s biological family while celebrating my own motherhood. It’s twisted as I feel torn and guilt. I think of Amaris and Makaio’s birthmother and how she is not with her children on this day. I wait alongside my many friends who are trying to start a family whether in the adoption process or biologically, and it is a difficult day with so many emotions. When Mother’s Day is celebrated in the church, traditional mothers are often singled out and asked to stand in church and praised or thanked for all they do… But what about the rest… What about all the other women.
There is so much to consider in how Mother’s Day is celebrated within the church and it can be a very “loaded” day for so many… Not only those women that wouldn’t be described in a Mother’s Day greeting card but all of those who have a mother. And that’s all of us.
I hope that churches are very prayerfully considering how Mother’s Day is being discussed on Sunday. I always have concerns going into the day worrying about how it will be celebrated and I’m speaking out. No matter how it’s happening in your church on Sunday, here’s a blog post that will hopefully meet you where you are at when approaching this challenging day.
Churches & Pastors: Thanks for considering all women on Sunday, and not just the women who are traditionally mothers. Celebrate that everyone has a mother and concentrate on that instead of singling out those who are currently a traditional mother.
Thanks again to Amy for your post:
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you.
To those who lost a child this year—we mourn with you.
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains—we appreciate you.
To those who experienced loss through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you.
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment—we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms—we need you.
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children—we celebrate with you.
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children—we sit with you.
To those who lost their mothers this year—we grieve with you.
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother—we acknowledge your experience.
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood—we are better for having you in our midst.
To those who have aborted children—we remember them and you on this day.
To those who are single and long to be married and mothering your own children—we mourn that life has not turned out the way you longed for it to be.
To those who step-parent—we walk with you on these complex paths.
To those who envisioned lavishing love on grandchildren, yet that dream is not to be—we grieve with you.
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year —we grieve and rejoice with you.
To those who placed children up for adoption—we commend you for your selflessness and remember how you hold that child in your heart.
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising—we anticipate with you.
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.