Monday, April 19, 2010

The Word "Real"

There is no politically correct way to talk when you are an adoptee or when you talk to an adoptee. Everyday language does not always apply. "Real" is one of those words that seems to pop up quite often. Are those your "real" parents? Are you their "real" daughter? Do you know your "real" mother/father? I even got the question, is that your "real" hair? What's up with that?

I don't like it, but I understand it. However, the fact that people would ask those questions of a little girl who really hadn't grasped the whole adoption idea and obviously would not have had answers, now makes me shudder. Now of course, if they asked me those questions now, I would know how to respond. I once worked with a woman who had adopted a son. She and her husband didn't want the son to know that he was adopted. That would've been okay until the fellow started being asked those questions and at the same time was being told that he looked just like someone who lived close by. Totally unprepared for the the questions or the feelings those questions brought, he had a major breakdown and for years didn't have anything to do with the parents who gave him their last name. By the way, the person everyone said he looked like happened to be his identical twin brother! Imagine that.

What I want adoptive parents to understand is that you have to arm an adoptee with all the tools necessary to protect their feelings. People in the city where you live know you adopted because they never saw you pregnant. But you want the adoptee to act like everything is normal. Teach your adopted child about the words they will hear, especially the word "real"

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