Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Is adoption "unnatural"?

This evening my daughter and I participated in a walk for Special Olympics to support some friends of ours. When we crossed the finish line I saw a familiar face that I hadn't expected to see.... My son's social worker from while he was in residential care.

We chatted for a bit about how my son is doing, or not doing as the case may be.  We were in the community where my son now resides and where his birth family lives.  I was never fond of this worker, and the following statement shows just one of the many reasons why.

"So, he's living here where his natural family is?"

Well, if his birth family is his natural family, we are not his birth family so that make us, what?  Unnatural?  I looked up the definition of unnatural.

1. In violation of a natural law.
2. Inconsistent with an individual pattern or custom.
3. Deviating from a behavioral or social norm: an unnatural attachment.
4. Contrived or constrained; artificial: smiled in an unnatural manner.
5. In violation of natural feelings; inhuman.

Hmmm.  This does not make me feel very good.  This means for the last 13 1/2 years I have been in violation of the law?   Or I'm a social deviant?  Or am I artificial?  Maybe I am inhuman?

Do people not realize what they are saying when they say these things?  I never proclaim to be a child's birth mother, but I do not think there is anything unnatural about me or my family.  Adoption dates back thousands of years.

if you don't believe me, pick up a Bible and open it to the Book of Ruth.  This is one of the earliest adoption stories.  Ruth's husband dies and she remarries Boaz.  They have a son who she gives to her mother-in-law Naomi because Naomi's children have all died.  Hello adoption.  Thousands of years ago.

So why do people say these stupid things when referring to an adoptive family?  Another "favorite" of mine is that he's now living with his "real" mother.  Last time I checked I'm pretty real.  And what is real?  Does a "real" mother drink and use drugs while pregnant, beat her child. allow others to use that child for completely unnatural purposes?  Does a real mother leave a child go without food so that she can get her drug fix?  

I was really there through every bit of his behavioral issues, through every school event, at his graduation, took him to college, financially supported him, tried to guide him along the right path, gave him a stable home, bandaged injuries, cleaned up after him when he was sick, gave up things for myself to provide for him, and the list goes on.  How does that make me not real?

The worst part of all this is that this man is in a position to know better!! He works in social services for goodness sakes!  He was my son's social worker for about 3 years.  Apparently he learned nothing in those 3 years, or the many others he worked in social services.  I think it's time for some training for these workers!

1 comment:

  1. Kelly, I recently had a child mental health specialist tell me I'm the closest thing to a mother my son will ever have. Huh? When I discussed it with her the next day she was floored at my response as she meant it to be a compliment. Huh?

    I too spent several days asking similar questions. Is my life just a sham? Am I just playing house? My family's not real? I hate those kind of days.