rosefox: "Angsty about it?" "No" "Yes you are" (angst)
Rose Fox ([personal profile] rosefox) wrote2014-05-16 02:01 am

"And the person inside says nobody's home"

Ugh, got hit with a massive wave of insecurity today. I keep picturing the three of us out in the world with FutureKid, and everyone assuming that J and X are "Dad" and "Mom" and I'm a friend or something. Realistically I know that X and I will immediately look like the classic Brooklyn lesbians-with-baby couple (you should have seen us the day we showed up at the cat shelter in Park Slope and realized we were wearing matching rainbow jewelry... gayest moment of my life, and that's saying something) and people will probably assume that J is the "friend". Or because J and I are the chatty extraverts, we'll look like a couple and X will look like the third wheel. Or who cares what strangers think anyway. But I'm not going to be a biological parent, and we have to fight the state and jump through absurd hoops to get me recognized as a legal parent, and all of X's pre-IUI appointments are at 8 a.m. (so they can do same-day bloodwork) and I'm on a West Coast schedule that makes that feel like 5 a.m. for me and I really can't be there for them, and right now I just feel so disconnected from the whole thing and it hurts and I'm sad. And desperately, desperately insecure. Which is triggering my dysphoria too, because why only care that strangers won't see me as part of my family or as the parent of my child when I could also care that they get my gender wrong? Bah.

X promised me that on Saturday we'll go shopping for baby things together (not a whole lot, since they aren't actually pregnant yet, but just some onesies or something) and that will help. Unless I sit down on the floor of Old Navy and burst into tears. You'd think I was the one getting all hormonal.

I would really appreciate any words of support from non-bio parents and parents-to-be out there! Not just "once the baby comes you will absolutely feel like a parent" but sympathy/empathy from people who've been in an emotional place like this. Fellow-feeling. You know.

Bonus: I had a total foot-in-mouth day on Twitter (I think I managed to piss off four separate people, mostly without meaning to), and meanwhile Daniel has been totally splendid and fierce and eloquent, and so the insecurity says that he's the visible "parent" of Long Hidden and I'm relegated to a dark dusty corner or something. And I'm white and that cancels out all my queerness and transness and polyness so really who am I to talk about being marginalized anyway. And augh brain shut. up.

I haven't had to deal with insecurity this bad in ages. I have no idea how to deal, other than by maybe having a good cry (why couldn't I have cried while everyone else was awake? I hate crying alone) and going to sleep.
sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)

[personal profile] sovay 2014-05-16 07:27 am (UTC)(link)
I haven't had to deal with insecurity this bad in ages. I have no idea how to deal, other than by maybe having a good cry (why couldn't I have cried while everyone else was awake? I hate crying alone) and going to sleep.

*hugs*

Rob was raised by two dads and a mom. This happened because his biological parents divorced when he was a toddler, his mother remarried very shortly afterward, and his biological father stayed involved in active parenting, but for all intents and purposes he had a three-parent family until sometime in his mid-teens. And that's a way more obscure example of non-bio parenting than my goddaughter who has two mothers. Or the child my cousins eventually have, who will also have three parents, one of them genetic. Your family will be your family no matter what. You and X and J can all wear matching rainbow jewelry if you're really worried.

Anyway, you are awesome and I like talking about books with you.
sovay: (Default)

[personal profile] sovay 2014-05-16 05:41 pm (UTC)(link)
But my relationships with my stepparents ranged from indifferent to actively hostile, so I can't draw on that as a source of comfort. Rather the opposite.

Understood, and I'm sorry if I stepped on anything.
amaebi: (Default)

[personal profile] amaebi 2014-05-16 11:56 am (UTC)(link)
I am a non-bio-parent of a child who looks Asian. (Because he is.) And particularly after adoption training-- which was focused for White parents-- I wondered whether things would be really weird in terms of how I was treated.

As it turned out, when Sheeyun, Chun Woo and I are out together people think he's home-made. Chun Woo's school colleagues, who've barely seen Sheeyun, were arguing with Chun Woo this last year and assuring him that he's home-made, which unnerved him. When Chun Woo and I are out together I get the impression (sometimes verified) that I register as his Adoptive of Course mother. And I feel edgy about people registering me as one of those White women who goes International Baby Shopping. I feel edgy about that because I'm a jerk. :D

In fact, there was more weird (and overt) reaction from my No Blue Without Pink rule. People are very, very into gender policing and got really nervous. Sadly, the rule had to die in Chun Woo's toddlerhood, as I wouldn't dress a chihuahua in frilly non-durables, and that's where all the pink went.

But, briefly, relationship shows, and assuming that the usual thing happens and you live as a parent, you and futurechild will look like parent and child.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2014-05-16 03:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Not a non-bio parent, but a non-bio child, so if at some point you want words of reassurance from FutureKid's potential perspective, I'd be glad to do that.
Edited (typo) 2014-05-16 15:40 (UTC)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

[personal profile] kate_nepveu 2014-05-17 01:17 am (UTC)(link)
Ugh, keyboard error, lost first draft.

I don't remember any random person ever giving us shit / doubting we were family / whatever when we were very obviously not biologically related. Which is not to say that it never happened, but if it did, my parents must've handled it so that it didn't register for me.

(And they are my family, no qualifiers necessary or desired.)
dantesspirit: (Default)

[personal profile] dantesspirit 2014-05-16 04:33 pm (UTC)(link)
I have a good friend- on the west coast, no less- in a very similar relationship set up as you. She is married to the guy as well, and his girlfriend lives with them- she gave him her blessing to have a girlfriend, so not exactly the same, but similar family unit. They share a delightful little boy to whom she is not biologically related, but he considers his mother just as much as he considers his birth mother, his mother.

What you are describing- the insecurities over not being a true bio-parent, health issues, etc- is very, very similar to what she blogs about. Her blog might be worth reading for you.
( http://familyvalues.dreamwidth.org/ )

Meanwhile, all the hugs you would want.
dantesspirit: (Default)

[personal profile] dantesspirit 2014-05-16 05:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Ah! well, there ya go then.}:P Mary's awesome.}:P

You are very much the book baby's parent

(Anonymous) 2014-05-16 05:29 pm (UTC)(link)
Rose,

I'm not qualified to talk about any of the other things you bring up in this post, but NEVER think you are (or are perceived to be) anything less than a wonderful, loving and hardworking parent of Long Hidden.

Best,

Sabrina
wendil: Waterhouse (Quiet)

[personal profile] wendil 2014-05-17 09:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Hello there :) I don't recall how I found your journal but I peer in for the excellent recipes, book recommendations and other bits here and there from time to time. I read this before going to sleep last night, and you were on my mind. I dreamed about you. In my dream you were sitting on a bench in some sort of store, looking lost and sad. I remember presenting you with a pair of baby shoes (baby Top-Siders, I believe) and telling you that you were going to be an excellent parent.

If you meant for this to be friends-only, then I do apologize for stepping into the conversation. I just wanted you to know that I am rooting for all of you and hoping for the best of all outcomes. Good luck to you, X & J on the coming of FutureKid.
dangerpudding: Just Me. (Default)

[personal profile] dangerpudding 2014-05-18 04:25 am (UTC)(link)
I, too, can only really speak from the perspective of the child - my messy family of bio, non-bio, and oops-actually-bio (or oops-actually-non-bio) parents and all.

I can say that from there? The biology is so much less important than the love. I don't miss Dad any less because he wasn't involved in my genetic material, or love Paul any more because he was.

Also, most of the world was perfectly happy to believe and act as if anyone I said was my parent, who acted as my parent, was.

Mary is good peeps to talk to on this one, as might be [livejournal.com profile] chinders, if you know her (or I'd be happy to introduce y'all).

Non-biological parent

[personal profile] sorcharei 2014-05-18 04:52 am (UTC)(link)
In my experience, where there were three people in parenting roles on a daily basis, what really helped for the non-bio parent was that the three of us picked out names for the kid to call us ahead of time. Mom, Dad, Mum. These stuck, and because we had a way to refer to one another, it prevented that feeling of two parents having obvious names and one not, which led to insecurity before we talked it down and picked the names (in the waiting room for the IVF, as it happens).

Also, random bouts of insecurity and feelings of being disconnected were common for all three of us in the ramp up to parenthood. Even the bio mom, eight months pregnant once broke down and cried for awhile because she felt like the events taking place in her body were taking place without her involvement, just happening to her.

It all worked out in the end, which was nice.
willow: Red haired, dark skinned, lollipop girl (Default)

[personal profile] willow 2014-05-18 11:08 pm (UTC)(link)
I'm not a parent.

I'm an older sister (by some serious years). And it blew me away a year or so ago when my little sister told me she still (and will always) consider me one of her primary care-givers.

As in, she has a mother, a father and Sis.

So whatever feelings you're having now - I can't speak to. I can only speak to the feeling of responsibility when you hold a little human being, all squish headed and semi-ugly in your hands, squinting at the light and wondering wtf is going on. And, how BEING there for them affects THEIR bond to YOU.

Given the complicated thing my sibs and I go through to treat each other as sibs and not 'Second Mom and kids'.

The interaction and BOND matters.

I have a paternal little brother who didn't meet me until he was 14 yrs old and YET? For years? Even though all he had was a picture? He'd let EVERYONE know he had a sister; all his school applications, any paperwork, people he met asking if he was an only child, etc. Leaving my father to explain the long drawn out saga of separation and lost contact and private detectives.

People will think what they think and you can't change that.

But the child will always KNOW who loves them, watches over them, who they WANT to have a relationship to, who's their family and NO ONE will be able to talk them out of it EVER. At the most outside influence might get a sullen grunt that's not really assent but - I'm telling you no loudly in my mind.

Also? If Biology made parenthood - adoptive parents would be shit out of luck. FOSTER parents or adoptive parents of older children would be shit out of luck. And there'd never BE adult adoptions.

Also consider that you might be feeling similarly to a heterosexual man whose heterosexual cis female partner needed to use a sperm donar for fertilization and whose schedule keeps him away from appointments. But that doesn't change the fact that post successful impregnation? You've gone 9-10 months of bonding with baby in womb; talking, singing, feeling the baby move to the side to nuzzle against the warmth of your hand, feeling kicks and punches, reading stories, etc...

Just because your part in things doesn't START at the same time - doesn't mean it's NEVER starting, no matter what your brain weasels tell you.