My children have never been in my birth canal. That is unchartered territory.
Seven years ago my husband and I adopted our children. Our adoption story could fill volumes. It would make you laugh, cry, and cringe. In the end, you would realize adopting my children was one of the longest labors on earth. Yes, labor. I pushed, I screamed, I cried, and, at times, I thought I might not survive. I just never actually carried my children in my body.
Our adoption story is laborious, but I would do it again in a heartbeat. Adoption is a truly amazing experience. However, I'm always amazed by people's reactions. Most people respond positively, but some are confused by it. I think one of the more amazing responses from seemingly kind, intelligent, and rational people is:
"So they aren't your real kids?"
Please rest assured that these two energetic, inquisitive creatures are my very own real children.
If they weren't, I wouldn't nag them so much. I would be less critical of their posture, eating habits, and hygiene. I would not be saddled with chauffeuring them to and from after school activities.
My house as well as my brain would be less cluttered. I would have less laundry to do and more money in my pocket. My toilets would be clean, and the front of my refrigerator would not be covered with photos, drawings, and school calendars. I would have floors that aren't dotted with Legos, an occasional bead, and a dash of glitter.
I would be well rested and therefore more enjoyable company after 8 PM. I would be well read and well informed about matters of political importance.
I would be more likely to find things of importance like car keys, house keys, and my sanity.
I would be able to make eye contact with you at the city pool when you're talking with me instead of watching the deep end of the pool like a hawk. I would show up places with ironed and stain-free shirts. I would be able to talk about things unrelated to child care, school menus, and the price of kid shoes.
The inside of my car would look more like the inside of a car and less like the inside of the world's largest waste receptacle.
I would go to the theatre to watch rated R movies or any movie not animated and in 3D. I would not stock my pantry shelves with a nearly endless supply of canned ravioli and juice boxes.
I would actually cross things off my "to do" list instead of just adding to it.
I would have something referred to as "time."
In short, if these weren't my "real" kids, I would be utterly marooned.
On July 21st we celebrate our Family Day. That's the day they became my children and I became their very real mother.
It's my favorite day of the year!