“Real” Dads and “Real” Moms aren’t Made by DNA

“Real” mom.
“Real” dad.

Can I just say how much I hate those terms??

Being raised by adoptive parents from the day I was born, I learned that what made a parent “real” had nothing whatsoever to do with DNA, and everything to do with who loved me, cared about me, took care of me, watched me grow, disciplined me, taught me, RAISED me.  I can’t count how many people would ask about my “real” mom or “real” dad when referring to the biological mother who put me up for adoption before I was born and the man who got her pregnant in the first place.  But she wasn’t my real mom, he wasn’t my real dad, they were simply the means by which God gave me to my real parents.  I was raised in full awareness of my adoption, and never remember actually being told.  I simply have always known that my real parents loved me enough to choose me and raise me when someone else could not.

I still field questions regularly about “real” parents… whether about my own, my relationship with my first daughter who I put up for adoption when I gave birth to her at 18, or my three year old daughter’s “real” dad, the subject comes up frequently.  Although I don’t typically tell anyone outright that I hate referring to birth parents as “real” parents, I do mildly correct them in my response.

Because you see, my real parents are the two that actually parented me.  My first daughter’s are the one’s who welcomed her into their home and accepted her as their own.  My three year old’s real dad is the man I married, who chose her and I for life, who loves her as his own, and who will raise her with the deep love that only a Daddy can.

Now please understand that this is not without acknowledgement and thankfulness for the birth parents in our lives.  My own parents would not have children if not for two beautiful birth mothers who made the right choice to bless others with children to call their own.  A wonderful family in Maui would not have a beautiful little blonde daughter if not for my own shortcomings.  And my husband and I would not share such an incredible daughter if not for her birth father, and his absence.  With birth parents comes the responsibility of sharing truth and love with the children we are so gifted with.  Birth parents gave us the lives we raise, and God chose us to be the parents to love, cherish and protect those lives.

Honestly, I have no interest in finding my birth father or reconnecting with my birth mother at this time.  That is not a road I feel I need to take.

My real mom, dad and I on my wedding day
My real mom, dad and I on my wedding day

I may or may not get to see my birth daughter again, and that’s ok.  I have no right or tie to her now, as I chose to give her a life that she deserved.

My birth daughter, with her real mom, sisters and dad.  Christmas 2014
My birth daughter, with her real mom, sisters and dad. Christmas 2014

As for my little J.R., maybe one day as an adult she will be curious enough to venture down that road.  But I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt that if she does, she will do so knowing full well the love of her real Daddy, and in the end be deeply grateful for the life and love that he has given her.  No one else will ever come close to taking his place in her life.

My family
My family

Because real families are those whose bond holds them together, not blood.

J.R. with her real Daddy and I and her two older brothers.  April 2014
J.R. with her real Daddy and I and her two older brothers. April 2014
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