As a young adoptee, my ten year old daughter (adopted at the age of five) has been faced with the task of explaining adoption from time to time, to her friends. This is a topic she and I have spoken about several times and will continue to discuss as she grows up. I feel very strongly that we, as parents of adopted children, should empower them to be able to answer questions about adoption and educate the people they come in contact with.
This past weekend, she had two sleepovers. She had one friend spend the night on Friday and then a different friend spend the night on Saturday. My older daughter (age 13) also had sleepovers those same nights so we had a full and fun house this weekend!
After her friend left today (Sunday), she and I hung out and rehashed the weekend. One of the things she told me was about an incident that came up Saturday afternoon. It seems she and her friend were playing with her Barbie dolls and they were pretending that their dolls had each adopted a child.
My daughter and her friend each had a mother and a child doll that they were playing with and speaking for. While the “mothers” were having coffee, the “children” were playing. One of the “children” (the doll that belonged to my daughters friend-who is not adopted) told the other “child” (the doll that my daughter was using) that she doesn’t remember her “real” mother.
My daughter told me that she told her friend that she meant her “biological” mother and that her mother that was having coffee was her real mother. She told me that her friend must not have understood because when it came up again, she said the same thing. Again, my daughter corrected her. (Yes, she’s persistent- like her mom!) When it came up again for a third time, she told me she stopped the game so she could explain it to her.
She told her friend that I (meaning me) was her real mother and that she was my real daughter. That when someone adopts a child that child becomes their real child and the parent becomes their real parent.
It must be hard for a child to hear something like that. My daughter and I are very close and for someone to think (especially a friend of hers) that somebody else is her “real’ mother instead of me, just because she was adopted, must hurt her feelings.
I’m so proud of her for speaking up. I also happy that she told me because I had a chance to discuss it with her and tell her how much I loved her. My real daughter.adoptee, Adoption, parents of adopted children