I'd love to know your opinion on this one.
The other day Wenxin and I were talking, and I'm not even sure how it came up. I think I was telling him that I bet his foster mother would be so proud of him.
And then he asked.
"What about the other one?"
"The other what?" I replied.
"The other mom. You know . . . my REAL mom." (emphasis mine)
"Oh, I see. I bet your first mom would be so proud of you, too."
We talked for another minute or two, and as he ran out the door to go play, I said with a wink, "Hey Wenxin, don't forget. I'm REAL, too."
Big grin, and he was off.
So here's the question. He's 10 years old and adopted for three years now. Is it important for me to teach him what most people consider to be appropriate adoption language? Should he call her his first mom or his birth mom instead of his real mom? Does it really matter?
My gut tells me he should be able to call all the mothers in his life whatever seems appropriate to him -- because it's his story. My gut says I should follow his lead on this one. But he is only ten and is still making sense of his own history. On this issue, does he need guidance from me? Specifically, does he need me to choose his words?
I'm not concerned about my place in his life. I know this kid loves me. I also know I'm his third mom. I'm OK with this. And I think I can live with him calling her his real mom.
But since it's not what's normally done in the adoption world, I'm wondering if I'm missing something here?
I also have a real fear that some adoptive parent will correct him. It could happen, you know, cause calling the birth mom the real mom. . . those are fightin' words in a lot of places.
I'm also pretty sure he'll call her whatever I ask him to call her. He's sweet and obedient. And he believes what I say about things. If I say he should call her his first mom or his birth mom, then I'm pretty sure that's what he'll do -- for now, anyway. But do I want to make that decision for him?
So what do you think? What would you do in my place?
Waiting for all of your words of wisdom.
If you are an adult adoptee, please let your voice be heard on this one.
Sharing today over at Emily's place.