I Hate the Term “Adoptive Parents”

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In one of my recent posts I used the term “Adoptive Mom” when referring to my mom. I did so for clarification purposes because I had also referenced my biological mom within the same paragraph. I hate that I called her my “adoptive mom”. Even as I wrote that portion I labored over it, wavering back and forth but, at the time, I couldn’t find a better way to make my point. Even so, I still hate that I used that term. My mom is my mom. She’s not my “[enter disclaimer here] Mom”. She just my mom. She’s the woman who nursed my wounds, fixed me breakfast, made my Halloween costumes, corrected me when I needed correction, loved me, encouraged me, cared for me and mothered me from the day I became hers. She taught me how to be a wife and how to mother my own daughter. The only thing she did not do was give birth to me which I think makes all of the above even more amazing. There is nothing that could change the deep love and affection my mom and I have for each other. It’s deep and wide and beautiful.

My hatred for the term “Adoptive Parents” is all a part of my struggle and the turmoil I feel over wanting to discover more of who I am biologically. I assure you that I am not being dramatic when I use the word “turmoil”. Opening myself up to these feelings and desires has proven to be more tumultuous than I had anticipated. It’s unsettling. Overwhelming. Scary. The best part of it all though? The support and encouragement of my parents. I had no fear in revealing to them my need to explore my roots because I knew they would both respond positively. I knew they would urge me to seek what needed to be sought. I knew they wouldn’t be hurt or offended. I knew they wouldn’t worry because what we have is unique; what we have is a shared love and respect and confidence in the depth of our family even though there are no biological ties. The depth of love we share transcends genetics. Isn’t that beautiful? I’m overwhelmed by their desire for me to really know who I am even though it means I will pursue a path that is foreign to them; a path that is outside the family structure they built around and for my brothers and I. The support of my husband, parents and brothers is what allows me to delve into my history so deeply. I’m thankful to have a family that offers me such a firm foundation from which I can reach out for a knowledge and fulfillment I crave beyond what they can provide.

My parents are not my adoptive parents. They are my parents. My mother. My father. They have loved me longer than anyone. I belong to them. I am their daughter and they have never referred to me as their adoptive daughter. I wish I hadn’t used the term “adoptive mom” in my previous post. I’ve often thought of going back to edit it out but I think I’ll keep it simply because it serves as a reminder to me; a reminder that, although they adopted me, they are not my adoptive parents. They are my parents.

The love and affection I have for my mom and dad does not negate any feelings I have for my biological mother. While I don’t need her to be my mom, because that part of me is fulfilled, I do want to understand her life and circumstances. She’s a stranger to me on the surface but perhaps, on a different level, I know her more intimately than I’ve ever known anyone apart from Rubina. Whether she is living or not, I want to discover all I can about her because I believe knowing the life she lived and the environment she lived in will help me to better understand and know myself.

I believe I am better because of my parents and I believe I can be better because of the pursuit of the place where my life began.

One thought

  1. I am also adopted and have never been referred to as “adopted” nor referred to my parents as my “adoptive” parents. To be a parent is to be a verb, a verb describes an action. Like my ‘God’ verbs, there is no god in empty words, God is action. My parents actively parented me. Good luck in finding Calcutta, Lori

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