When little M is hurt, baby J gets upset.
When baby J is crying, little M says “it’s ok, little buddy. It’s ok.”
Little M shares her stuffed animals with baby J “to help him sleep.”
Little M tattles on baby J.
Baby J annoys little M on purpose.
When baby J sits on my lap, little M gets jealous and sulks.
Little M bosses baby J around.
Baby J does whatever little M wants him to do.
They both vie for my attention.
Little M proudly introduces baby J to whomever will listen as “my little baby brother.”
We are finding our way as a family of four.
They are real. They are real siblings, and I am their real mom.
When someone asks me if these two are REAL brother and sister, my first response is anger, I want to cover my kid’s ears so that they don’t hear and question this insensitive question, and to give the person asking a lesson in adoption lingo (the correct term is biological. Asking if they are real is annoying and offensive.), and my second response is worry. I worry about my kids and what they think when they hear questions like this. What would you think if you were five and someone asked if your brother were really your brother, or your mom was your real mom? The term “real” is ridiculous…as if they would be “pretend” or “fake”siblings. This question is not only offensive, but it undermines the concept of family to our little ones.
So instead, I say “yes.” Because blood is not the only guarantee of love.
Yes, they are real brother and sister. They are real siblings. We are a real family. In every way that matters.