November is National Adoption Month. Let’s all take a few minutes to educate ourselves better about adoption.

Your baby looks just like you!!
We know you mean well, but really, we are not as beautiful as our little fellow. He makes our family look beautiful.

Where is his real mother??
Seriously, we are all “real.” None of us is playing house here. My son has two mothers, the one who birthed him and the one who is raising him. Trust me, we are both as real as can be.

You still keep in touch with the birth family?
Why?—Did you think we would forget all about them in a few years?? Every day, when I see my son, I am reminded of his birth family and the joy they have shared with us.

Aren’t you afraid that he will grow confused if you keep in touch?
I am still confused about my family and don’t expect our little fella to be any different.

Have you already told him he was adopted?
Of course. Why should it be top secret?

These are just some of the questions we hear and have been trying to educate our friends and family about. We are not ashamed of our son’s biological family, which is ours as well. There is no reason to be.

Our son, Ashwin, every so often hears me talk to people who are considering adoption and want to know about the agency we used and more. Many of these calls go on for an hour at least. I had the pleasure of talking to someone last week, and Ashwin asked me innocently, “Were you talking to a stranger or a friend?” I replied, “We started off as strangers, but I think she is my friend now.” He wanted to know what she wanted. I told him she wanted to know how we became a family because she wants a family just like ours. With the most beautiful smile on his face, he said, “Invite them home and they can be our family forever.”

I think our 4 year-old summed up what adoption is: Open your heart, invite people in, and they become family.

This month of November, talk to your children about what adoption is. Your family may not be touched by adoption, but their friends in school might be. Teach them we are all real families.

This blog entry is by Shankari Arcot was originally published in and republished with the author’s permission.