I was perusing my Facebook news feed the other day, checking up on friends, reading various articles, when I stumbled upon this meme posted by an online news publication.
Immediately I stopped. “We’re Adopted? You’re not our real mom?” Obviously, it’s a joke about dogs. Great, I get it and I know it’s supposed to be funny, dogs thinking they are human. It’s not the dog “adoption” thing that bothers me (ok, maybe it does a little) but the way in which the joke insinuates that adoption means your mother is a not really your mom.
Now, I had always promised myself I wouldn’t become one of those over the top, annoying, politically correct parents, so I took a deep breath, turned off my computer and went out to run some errands, but everywhere I went those words followed me, ” Not your real mom” and everywhere I went I saw all kinds of moms with kids: infants strapped to moms, young children skipping along next to mom, teenagers slumped down in the front seats of cars next to moms.
Were these children adopted? I don’t know but I what I do know is that all of those tired-quiet-loud- fashionable- sweat pants wearing- silly- serious-hurrying- doing three million things at once, moms were real.
“You’re just overreacting,” I said to myself. So I went home and reread the post, which by now had thousands of likes and then I read the comments below the picture… I shouldn’t have done this. This was a bad idea. Here are a few of the comments I saw.
“I never say the word “adopted” in front of my fur babies because I know they understand English.”
“Mine would never believe you if you told them I wasn’t their real mom!”
“Please don’t ever tell my babies they are adopted!”
“I never say the “A” word.”
Shit. The “A” word? Seriously? Adoption is not the “A” word, something to be hidden away or ashamed of, adoption is something to be celebrated! I really don’t want to be one of those people that everyone has to be extra cautious around and maybe four children back I would have been the one saying, “Oh calm down! It’s just a stupid dog joke!” But you know what, life changes you, love changes you and I am not the person I use to be because, I am my child’s real mom.
I am a real mom who worries when her child is sick, laughs when she is silly and holds her breath when she is struggling. I get annoyed when she is rude, I cry when she is hurting and sometimes when I watch her sleeping and see her eyelashes fluttering against her cheek and that dark tangled mess of hair, I have to take a deep breath, humbled by how fortunate I am to have this child in my life. These things are not imagined; these feelings are real and they occur with all of my children. I love them all, each one, to my core, to the center of my soul, to the middle of my bones, whether they grew beneath them or not. I am a REAL tired, quiet, loud, sweat pant wearing, fashionable, silly, serious, hurried and stressed out mom to all of my children and I am done with people insinuating otherwise when it comes to adoption.
And, by the way, that stupid dog joke, it’s not just a dog joke. It’s an adoption joke and it really isn’t funny.