Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"You mean my aunt"

That's what Evan said to one of the social workers when he called to ask if they could help with transportation to counseling. "You mean my aunt. No, she can't drive me because she is working."

The social workers encourage the kids to call us foster parents "mom" and "dad". At least they refer to us that way.

It made me remember how important that is to him.

I sometimes get calls from the school where someone ask's "Is this Mrs. Kid'sLastName?" I figure that's just another way of say, "Is this the right adult to talk to about Kid's problem?" So I just answer "yes." I don't correct them about my name unless I think they are going to be writing it down. It just is not all that important to me.

But it is important to Evan.

It is important for the reasons we originally suggested it. Being his aunt means that he does not have to feel any particular emotion for us. There is no suggestion that he has some sort of attachment problem if he simply likes us or even if he were to merely tolerate us.

It is also important though because he has a mother, and I am not her.

It's one of the differences between doing foster care and adopting. I am not the real mother. I became (one of) Carl's real mothers; I am the closest thing that David has to a mother (which is not the same thing); but I am Evan's aunt.

And that is fine with me.

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