When you are in a same sex marriage with an adopted son, this is a question that is bound to come up. I have not read the books and I don’t know who I can believe when they say they are an expert; so my plan had been to just wing it when pressed to answer this type of question. And by winging it, I mean to be as honest as possible, with occasional evasiveness.
“You have a birth mom.” This is how I refer to the woman that grew my son in her belly for 8 1/2 months. She is not his mom, I have been the one doing all of the traditional mom jobs in my son’s life. But she did give birth to him. And five other children. So I tell him that she couldn’t take care of any of them. Not to demean her, but to allay any thoughts he might have that he was the one left behind, not kept. Again, honest and also protective.
And he knows we are his parents. Any questions that come up are not to put distance in our relationship, but rather, just to answer his own queries as to how we all came together. And he loves us and is completely part of the family, just as much as we are. But he has 2 dads and no mom. So whatever comes along, there will always be that tiny bit of difference for him. Thankfully in this day and age there are other children with 2 dads. And 2 moms. And several single parents in our school who are single and parents by choice, families with only 1 parent. I use this to point out to my son that all families are different. “So and so has no dad and only one parent, you have 2!” And I know she really doesn’t, her mom was artificially inseminated. Again, thankfully, there are many adopted kids in our school, many families that came together in different ways, my concern is always that my son not stand out for this, my concern that he will know he is different, with the knowledge that many in his life are different. In that respect we are hetero – heterogeneous!
Next – can I see my birth mom? No. No way. Not ever. Over my dead body.
Of course that is just in my head, I am not perfect, I have some fears resting in the back of my insecure brain. But, out loud, I say of course, when you are 18. “Why 18?” Because when you are 18 she cannot steal you away from us! Again, I do not say that out loud, but that is the fear in many adopted parents minds. I tell him 18 because that is when he is legally an adult. He has not pressed me for more information yet on that score. I know that he needs some amount of maturity, that being 18 will bring, to face such an emotional situation. My philosophy is, the truth is important, I want to support all his needs, and I get to decide when he is ready to handle this part of his personal history.
So I will just continue to stalk her via social media until my son turns 18! Shh, don’t tell him!