“Do you love them all the same?” And other such ridiculousness.

A light-hearted look into some of the things we think about the questions we hear.

It’s a common thread running through the life of a foster family.

The Questions.

Questions no one would ever dare ask a “normal” family. Things like, “Where’d they come from?” Or, “I guess you can send them back if they’re too much trouble, right?” And, “Is that one yours?”

Ninety-nine percent of the time any self-respecting foster momma, or adoptive momma is just going to grit her teeth, smile at you and then mentally smack you upside the head.

We live our lives out loud in a way. Open to speculation, inquiry and assumption. It’s hard to hide the fact that our children often look very different from us, not that we want to hide that fact anyway.

Sometimes we can see the question coming and other times it’s a blind-sided smack of “Hey you’re different aren’t you?!”

We do our best to shield our kids from hearing any of the negative stuff, we laugh off the inappropriate inquiries and often later find ourselves with a bag full of quick-witted retorts for next time that we won’t ever actually use.
Being a foster parent, or an adoptive parent is tough. Being a parent is tough. We aren’t any different from you and the next time someone wants to ask “Where did she come from?” my immediate thought might be “Well, duh, from a sperm and an egg!” Or “Geez, from a vagina!” {insert eye roll here}

The reality is I’ll just smile and avoid the question because to explain it to you will take longer than the 5 minutes we will be in the Target check-out line together.

The truth is, our babies, they come from the same place yours did. That deep secret place within your heart where longing for a family is born. The difference being this week my family looks like this, but next week it might look entirely different.

I won’t love them less, I won’t love them differently. I don’t know how to compartmentalize my love for my children. All my children. The forever ones, the ones here for a little while and the ones who didn’t get to be on this earth with us. I’ve loved each deeply, without conditions and in the face of often crass questions.
So, do I treat them the same? Nope! Each child is special and unique and requires different things from me, from our bond and therefore love for one child looks different from the rest. Not less love, not more but unique to the child.

“Where’d she come from?” Well, she came from a birth mom who wasn’t able to handle things for a while. She came from my heart. She came from the CPS office where she had been passed around all day from one worker to the next…That’s the truth, Ruth.

It’s not as funny when you really know the truth.
The questions don’t seem so innocent when you know the truth.

This post is mainly in jest. But when you see a family out and about—and you wonder about their crew—maybe try commenting on how beautiful or well-behaved the kids are, or how lucky their family must be to be so full and overflowing with love.

I promise we will smile, thank you and we won’t mentally be smacking you upside the head!

jamie

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