If you're a mom by adoption, you'll be ready to fist bump Sandy, too. If you aren't, you may want to take notes on how to properly address someone who is. 

May 07, 2018
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock.com

Adoptive moms generally get no respect. People are always asking about our kids' "real moms," as if we're just playing house with our children temporarily until the legit parents take over again. We have to come up with clever responses for when someone comes up and asks how much we paid for our kids or expresses their sorrow that we couldn't have "one of our own." And a few years back, one clueless company even ran a Mother's Day contest that separated adoptive mamas from the from-your-womb mamas, into an "other" category with overinvolved aunts and other not-quite-your-mother figures. Not cool.

That's why I always appreciate when someone who gets it makes some wise comments that can help educate the masses on what adoptions all about. And this time around, it's Sandra Bullock who's schooling people, in an interview with InStyle to promote her all-girl Ocean's 8. She gushes about her "old soul" Louis and fierce daughter Laila—just like a real mom. (Pssst. It's because she is a real mom.)

Then she makes it clear she's getting really tired of every article (including the InStyle one she's being interviewed for) making it clear that her kids were adopted. "Let's all just refer to these kids as 'our kids.' Don't say 'my adopted child.' No one calls their kid their 'IVF child' or their 'oh, shit, I went to a bar and got knocked-up child.' Let just say, 'our children.'"

YES. Because once a child enters a family—whether it's in a hospital's birthing rooms or a civil affairs office in the middle of China—they're just family. And adoption isn't a constant state of being—it's a past event. So, maybe we don't have to single out which celeb's kids were adopted every time they're mentioned, for years after they've been part of the family.

More than a decade into this grand adoption adventure, I can tell you that while adoption will always be an important part of our lives, it is no longer the main focus of our lives. We are too busy doing the same stuff that your more standard-issue moms and dads do—helping with homework, nagging them to wear a jacket or clear their dirty dishes, worrying over the state of our college savings. And we don't deserve to feel like we're something "other," every time we're confronted with the story of a fellow adoptive parent in the media.

Because just like Sandra, and just like you, I'm hoping to watch my, "...kids grow up to be hopeful, grateful, healthy, kind, and safe … and in a bubble with a chip in their head. I’ll be right behind them."

Advertisement


Comments (3)

Anonymous
March 9, 2019
I am also an adoptee with a "life sentence called adoption". On one level I understand where Sandra is coming from if she was talking about how that embarrasses the children, but if we didn't try to pretend that adopted children were their natural children then it would be easier to address the children as son, daughter, but society complicated things with formal adoption, similar awkwardness exists with children in foster care and how you refer to them in public without embarrassing the child. What you have said davebarry1967g is absolutely right Adoptees with lived experiences are totally ignored. The writer here has got to be kidding, the media is overwhelmingly biased in favor adoption, they like a good news story -"Don't spoil a good story with the truth". Adoption is not the Unicorns & Rainbows experience all these adopters would like it to be. Adoption is by its own definition Identity Theft, Starting with the legal severing from Biological Family, History and culture, siblings, aunts cousins and of course vital family medical history that affects an adoptees children and grandchildren. Why would they cancel an Original Birth Certificate of a child (what should be a factual and trust worthy record of birth) and replace it with a Fake, Fabricated Birth Certificate that falsely and ludicrously state that Adopted parents gave birth when they were clearly not at the birth let alone the conception. Deception of falsifying of the birth certificate is an absolute lie, a draconian idea invented by some psychopath (possibly Georgia Tann 1920's USA), it is certainly not a good basis's to build a life on. It is the foundation that all subsequent lies are built on, and just like a house with poor foundations one day it will collapse and end in trauma. Sandra should be embracing her children's biological families, and understand just how important that is for them, I am not sure whether that is happening or not, doesn't sound like it! It is absolutely natural an adopted person would want to discover their biological identity, the fact that some do not seem to does not negate the hundreds of thousands of adoptees worldwide that actively seek out biological families, and discover their heritage and culture just like I did. I begrudge that as a baby I was a commodity to make someone else's family whole and that my identity was stolen to fulfill their overwhelming desire to be parents. Not once do they talk about the child but for that old overused and under-defined statement "in best interest of the child" which overwhelmingly means best "interest of adopters". A Child's need to safe and loving environment does not have to come at the expense of loosing their identity,name, family history, culture and medical records. There are other methods of permanency that achieve safety and security. With more frequency adoptees are having their adoptions discharged (annulled by courts) thus making their own decisions to take back identity as adults that were denied them as a child.
davebarry1967g
March 9, 2019
So adoptees are over-represented in counseling rooms and suicide statistics, the adoption experience troubles many adoptees lifelong (not all), irrespective of how much the adoptive families love them.... And Sandra thinks its no different? Very sad. Very wrong. When will society accept that there is no infant adoption without developmental childhood trauma for the adoptee? Why do people not want to hear these voices? If this message irritates you, take a few minutes of time to educate yourself to another point of view from a professional https://youtu.be/Y3pX4C-mtiI
Anonymous
December 28, 2018
I think She's a wonderful mom! The mother who tried to resend my adoption after my Fathers death always called me her "adoptive" daughter! It really hurt my feelings as a child. My father NEVER called me his adoptive daughter and like her, when others did he corrected them. So far in my life, I have only had one Parent who has wanted me ... That's my father, yes he adopted me but I will be forever grateful he was everything a real parent should be.