I’m Absolutely Real

I received some shocking news today: I’m not real. BE was the one to break it to me, and one of her teachers was the one to break it to her.

Apparently, BE told this teacher that she is adopted. As an aside, I was kind of proud of her. I think this is the first time she has shared this information on her own, and I’m hoping it means that she feels somewhat comfortable about it. Anyway, this teacher went on to tell BE that J and I are not her real parents.

BE was telling me all this at lunch and I asked her how she felt about it. She said she felt sad, because she was afraid that it meant that we wouldn’t always be her parents. To borrow a phrase from a good friend of mine – “it just burned me up!” I felt very angry. BE’s school was closed this afternoon, so I didn’t expect to reach this teacher, but I tried. When I called the school, I was told that nearly everyone had left for the day. I left a message to have the teacher call me back next week. I hope I’m calmed down by then.

But, BE and I talked about what makes a family and that although she has two sets of parents, each performing different functions, both sets are equally “real.” I also warned her that she’s likely to hear a lot more comments like this over the years.

The whole situation made me think of an anecdote I read in one of my many adoption books. In the story, a woman asks an adoptive mother if one of her daughters is her “real” daughter. The mother replies, “she’s absolutely real.” So clever – I love it!


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