Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, two moms, visibility, support, adoption, foster family, birth mother, emotional memory, loss, emotional well-being
Shelby: Mother’s Day and Father's’ Day. Let’s talk about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. So, that came up because what do schools do? You know, the celebrate these Hallmark moments, and they make their own, but you know they don’t support Hallmark, kids get to make you something. And so right from the get go, you know, our son had to deal with well, “I’ve got two moms.” Right? But luckily Mother’s Day is in May, so it’s all well established that there’s two kids, and Father’s Day is in June before school gets out. And right from the beginning with G being bio mom, she’s more close, right? There’s a special bond there between he and her. And she’s called Mama and I’m called Mommy. And so for our kids, the teachers recognized “Okay, huh, you can either make them both something for Mother’s Day, or you can choose to do one now, and one for say Father’s Day so you’re not left out when the other kids are doing something.” And that’s how they, and right from the beginning, that’s what pattern emerged. And every year it was kind of the same thing, and similarly for our daughter. So that has been, but that was probably the most poignant, what are my needs that need to be met, in terms of my parents, or our family being seen or recognized was how they kind of dealt with that particular situation. So what would my kids say? That’s so hard, what would they say?
Tara: Was that a good solution for them? A good solution for you?
Shelby: What’s interesting about that is that, for our son, it was. Although our son, over time, so in the last grade, in grade six, so that worked up until grade five. But obviously there was some thinking going on about gender in the sex-ed class that happened in grade six. In grade six, he chose not to do something at Father's day, and I also got a card on Mother’s day. So his next evolution will be, well let’s talk about the role of mothers in society, unpack all of that for you! That will be our next thing, right, with him. But interesting for him that, okay he had something that went on that sort of dealt with that. So what do they feel they need? I think it’s just that the family is kind of seen, and yeah, just accepted the way everybody else is, you know? The one thing I’ll say about our daughter, and again, she’s adopted, and there's an openness now, that is the standard, and we’ve never met the birthmom for our daughter. We’ve had some correspondence that gets channeled through a third party, that kind of thing. But our daughter who came to us at 11 months, experienced you know, loss of birthmom, experienced then, loss of being with the foster family, and you would think, so there’s no episodic memory around that, but there’s still emotional memory around that. And she gets into a funk every Fall around her birthday, a massive funk. And it obviously has to do with stuff that she can’t even articulate at this point that has to do with loss or what have you. So, and I just want to come back to the narrative for our family, it’s not about being queer that we feel any issues, but it’s about how do we acknowledge her birth mom, because she will say if people ask her about her family, she will say “I have four moms, and one foster dad.” That birth dad does not enter into it. And similarly for our son, there has never been any question for him about “How the hell did I get here, really? I know it wasn’t just the two of you, how the hell did I get here?” has not come up. The only thing that happened recently is he chose a movie for a Friday night movie called The Switch, where there’s a sperm donor, and G and I kinda looked at each other and went, okay, there might be some questions coming, but they haven’t come yet. And we said “You know, if you ever want to talk about this,” “No, I’m good right now.” And he does seem to be legitimately good, so. I don’t know if that answered your question really but...