Lately I’ve read of several different families who, like our family, have both biological children and adopted children. These families struggle with how to answer when people ask, “Which kids are yours and which are adopted?”
In an effort to show the importance of sibling equality and family belonging, these families have chosen to say, “We forget.” Of course they don’t really not know which are bio kids and which are adopted, but we all understand the point — these kids are ALL our kids and there is no distinction now.
We Don’t Forget.
I don’t say, “We forget.” We remember who is adopted.
Before I go into the why of that statement, I want to say I’m not knocking the families who choose to use it. There is no right or wrong to these things, and no one hands us parents an adoption manual. I’m sharing our family’s experience. Mileage may vary.
I don’t typically get questions about which kids are adopted and which kids aren’t (they are all mine, by the way, but I don’t get too freaked about those little slip-ups of wording — I make them myself sometimes.). One of my kids who is adopted has dark brown skin, gorgeous Latino hair and deep dark eyes. The other has Latino and Native American features, so we are fairly obvious which is which here.
What is a Multicultural Family?
It’s not that my kids who are adopted are multicultural and I am not. We are a multicultural family now. Both my totally Caucasian husband and me, my kids with white skin, and my kids with brown skin — we are multicultural together.
Adoption is celebrated here. The two times we had a Forever Family day, we had a huge ol’ party. We celebrate adoption anniversaries. We take the books to classrooms and we discuss it often. Adoption is a whole family event. It’s not this child was adopted and that one wasn’t. It’s — our whole family changed on this day and we are a new and different family now — better forever as God created us to be, unique together.
Please understand, friends. I know the underlying concerns are, Are all the kids loved the same? Are the kids who are adopted treated as well as the kids who are biological? Do the kids who are adopted feel left out or as if they don’t belong?
As much as I want to reject these questions, these are fair ones. Some kids who are adopted struggle with a sense of belonging. Some do not. What I can say is this — I know in my deepest heart of mother hearts that these children — all 5 of these beautiful, intense, giving, world-changing children are meant to be ours. God had plans since before the world began, and He gave them their names. God knew these children were going to belong here.
God chose each child for this time, this place, and this family. For this reason, we remember.