I really hate to use my happy, funny, positive blog as a vent mechanism, but it can't be helped. After all, there are 3 types of communication all woman excel in--nagging, gossipping, and venting. This is my turn to vent. (Cue music...It's my blog and I can vent if I want to, vent if I want to...)!
It's just that I've heard this one particular comment one too many times to stay quiet on the matter any longer. This comment...this ridiculous, naive, sad comment...must be countered. So I'm countering. I'll be that voice. I'm not sure if I'm worthy of the responsibility, but I'll take it anyway.
The comment, usually harmlessly flung in passing from the lips of a quite loving mother with a casual "don't you agree" kind of tone when discussing step children, or foster kids, or adoption, or the motherless problem child down the street, goes something like this...
"You could never really love someone else's child the way you love your own flesh and blood."
To which I want to answer something like this...
"Really? You can't? That's very sad. And pathetic. And self-centered. And narcissistic. And small-minded. And egocentric. And ugly. And...well, and tells me a whole lot about you as a fellow human being and mother. Thanks for sharing."
Is that too much? A little harsh? Am I overreacting? I don't think so. Perhaps the well-meaning mom should reword the callous remark to confess that SHE can't understand that kind of unconditional love. Perhaps SHE is incapable of truly loving any being other than her own flesh and blood. Perhaps SHE shouldn't make claims that that kind of love is not possible.
Furthermore, when she makes this claim, she is telling some precious child that he or she is unworthy of unconditional love from anyone other than a biological parent. That's a really cruel untruth to unload on a child who may have lost parents to cancer or war or any other tragedy.
I used to let these kinds of remarks slide. I used to think that perhaps the well-meaning mom simply doesn't understand because she hasn't been blessed with the opportunity to love this way. However, the sad truth is that I've heard this comment more often lately from well-meaning women who have been blessed with the opportunity and still the comment is made.
So let this be the public counter to well-meaning naivete. A person can love any child as her own flesh and blood. It's possible. It's factual. It's real. It happens every single day, all day long.
I remember seeing Marie Osmond being interviewed about motherhood. She's the mother of 8 children, some biologically her own, some her own nonetheless. The interviewer asked, "Which ones were adopted." She answered, "I don't remember." The interviewer laughed and pressed her, "Seriously though, which ones?" Again Marie insisted, "I don't remember." After a couple more tries, the interviewer finally moved on. At that moment, I completely LOVED Marie Osmond. I understood and she understands. And maybe many of you do, too. The rest of you who don't understand-- perhaps you should consider refraining from confessions of emotional inadequacy. You're embarrassing yourself.