Valentine’s Day is next week and, in the convoluted way that I process information and life, the recent onslaught of Hallmark commercials got me thinking about my kids: how I love them and how I have learned through years of parenting, specifically adoptive parenting, to let the romance go. You with me?
I know, I know… Alarm! Or maybe just a big cavernous yawn from those of you reading this and wondering, “You, too?”
Well, hold on a minute. I’m not talking about my love for the big guy (my husband). What I’m talking about is my mother love and how it is perceived by many—tied to their romantic perceptions about adoption, adoptive parenting and everything related (i.e., saving a child, rescuing a child, parenting someone else’s child). That’s a whole lot of “related.”
Merriam-Webster defines romantic as “the imaginative or emotional appeal of what is heroic, adventurous, remote, mysterious, or idealized.” I’d say that, based on the countless number of experiences I’ve had, many do romanticize adoption and/or adoptive parenting. I am seen as a hero (I’m not), a special person (ditto), or a saint (definitely not). All of these romantic perceptions used to bother me, get my dander up. However, now I let the romance go. I just say, “Thank you.” Or smile. Time has given me the gifts of perspective, wisdom and distance.
As a family, and in smaller conversations, we have discussed how we are seen by the outside world, often romanticized as being special or enlightened. We know the truth. Romance? We choose to not to.