99 problems but biology ain’t one

Alee and I both recently posted on Facebook about a little cafe debacle that occurred recently, but neither of us really elaborated on what actually happened and people seem interested to know, and many have shared their similar experiences so I thought I might blog about it.

annoying-meme

We were out at breakfast a few days ago with Oakland when an older (meaning maybe 60ish) woman approached our table and asked “oh what  beautiful baby, whose is he?” to which Alee replied “he’s ours”. This little rapport then went on for some time a little something like this:

“Yes, but whose is he?”

“He’s our baby. Both of ours”

“No, whose is he though?”

“Ours. He’s ours. She (pointing to me) had him though, but he is ours”

She then turned to me and exclaimed “ohhh, so he’s yours!?” and I replied “no, I carried him, but he is both our baby, we got a sperm donor”. It was in that instant that I saw about a million emotions and realisations cross her face in a microsecond before she tried to gather her mental and verbal shit together and cover her ass by saying “oh, I was just saying to my family at our table that you both look like good mums”. Um no bitch, you weren’t. You veryyy obviously had zero clue that we were a couple.

Or did she?

It’s one of those situations where you stop and think about how some people genuinely have no idea that we are a couple. Some don’t understand two women can have a child together. And other people are still scratching their heads over the fact we are both extremely white and have a very caramel baby somehow in the mix of it all. So whatever of those stumped her, it got her good and she made a really poor attempt to cover it up.

What else is totally bizarre to me is that this week I had lunch with a friend of mine and she brought her girlfriend with her who is trans and whom I hadn’t yet met. I wouldn’t normally feel the need to say “such and such is trans” however it is relevant here as we were sitting together watching Oakland run around like a feral in the grass with no shoes on when the girlfriend asked me if it was hard going through the adoption process to get Oakland. The reason I bring trans into the story here is that I just assumed that someone who is also a member of the LGBTQIA community would be slightly more open around the concept of a person who is in a same-sex relationship potentially having accessed a sperm donor that was dark-skinned before immediately jumping to adoption. We’ve been asked quite a lot if Oakland is adopted however never by an openly queer person, so this actually caught me off guard. That is not to say I was at all angry, I wasn’t. I mean, if he were adopted he would be just as much my child as any child I carried in my womb but this day, I just really did not see that question coming.

It makes for an interesting point, why the hell do people feel the need to question us about who the parent is, or about Oakland’s conception? I am not referring to my friend’s partner here by the way, we were openly discussing everything under the sun that day and it was a natural part of the conversation. I am talking about complete fucking strangers going out of their way to approach us then probe us about our personal lives, and also our child’s personal business. I just find that really fucking rude for one thing. Do straight people get that very often? Do two straight girls having brunch with a child present get it often? Are people asking us completely innocently, or maliciously? Are these people really fucking ignorant or just naive and stupid? The question I hate the most is from people who figure out we are together then ask “no, I mean who is the real mum?”, because you know, obviously if you are not biologically his parent you aren’t really a parent. You’re like a fake parent apparently. Ok, well you explain that to step children, foster children, adopted children and any child that is being raised by someone who is not related biologically, or perhaps that is being raised by someone other than their parents. I know many people, and this doesn’t just mean LGBTQIA people, that do not count biology as a determining factor in whether or not a child is yours.

When I was pregnant we got asked at so many of our scans if we were sisters, or was Alee just my friend supporting me that day (because clearly being tattooed and pregnant without a man, I am just some deadbeat who got knocked up and my baby daddy is long gone right?). It’s like I’ve tried to explain to straight people, queer people don’t just come out and it’s like whewww, thank fuck that is over and done with. It is a daily thing. You will be coming out repeatedly for the remainder of your life. It’s not like once you do it, the entire world population gets a little memo and everyone is aware. We came out at every antenatal appointment, every scan and during the birth. We come out every day that we leave the house and people are probing us about who is Oakland’s mum. I come out every time I go to the shops and people ask me where his dad is from and I instantly reply ‘well the donor was African American”. I had to come out when I started a new job and everyone asked me if I had a boyfriend. I come out at play groups and mummy meet ups when people inevitably begin talking about their baby daddies and then suddenly it’s my turn to speak about Oakland’s other parent. So often I refer to Alee as my partner not because I’m embarrassed, but because people seem to be taken aback when I come straight out and say girlfriend. We will continue our conversation on with them oblivious and if they happen to change partner to boyfriend/husband then 9 times out of 10 I’ll correct them. That 1 time in 10 I don’t is again not out of my embarrassment, but theirs. People will legitimately always assume I am with a man. 

The struggle is real and it is daily people. Please do the community a favour and raise your children to be aware that families come in all kinds of colours and flavours. Mummies, daddies, aunts, uncles, grandmothers and grandfathers, foster parents, adoptive parents, carers, single parents, queer parents, surrogates, blended families and probably a billion other combinations I haven’t even touched on. There is no normal and abnormal, it is not polite to assume that every child you see comes from a cookie cutter nuclear family. Definitely don’t fucking run up asking assuming and naive questions. Not only is it putting the parent/s in an awkward as fuck situation, it is demonstrating to that child that the world assumes they should be coming from a certain type of family environment and as they get older they will begin to question why that is or isn’t the case.

 

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40 thoughts on “99 problems but biology ain’t one

  1. A-fucking-men to that!!! I love reading your blog because you tell it how it is! No sugar-coating, no bullshit just real, honest experience! I’m a single mum and constantly asked about my sons “dad”. 2 of my young nieces live with my mum and step dad and when we all go out people give us the weirdest looks when my 5 yr old niece calls my mum, mum. I hate that we live in a society that is so damn judgemental. I don’t think there is such a thing as a “normal” family anymore because normal is different to everyone. You ask my son about his dad and he will proudly say he doesnt need one because he has a mummy and she is both. You and Alee are amazing mums and Oakland is so advanced for his age! Never doubt if you are doing a good job because the proof is right in front of you πŸ™‚ He is a lucky kid!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! That’s so true, I was raised in a split family and my half siblings are not called that normally. They are my brothers and sisters. I don’t see why we feel we owe society an explanation of our genetics. Family is family, blood or not. I’m closer to some friends than I am some members of my family so to me they are my family. I’m so glad you enjoy the blog x

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is so interesting to read as I was brought up the exact same as Oakland, I have two mums, one carried my twin and I, both my mum loved me so much and through school it was tough but now looking back and how society has changed, so many find my upbringing cool. I am grateful to have had two perfect influences.
    This was amazing to read.

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    1. Thank you! It’s amazing how people feel they can just put in their opinion on another person’s life. I’m glad you had such loving mums and I can imagine some days weren’t easy but as the world grows and changes hopefully people will come around πŸ™‚

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  3. This reminds me of my friend she is very white but is married to s lovely man fron Ghana, we were out shopping and she has three children, three little boys – the older ones are twins… an older couple came up to us and just flat out asked her “where did you get your children from” like she bought them at a store or fed exed them from the internet…she was so mad because this was like the 100th or so time someone had questioned her on her children and she just turned to them and polietly said “from my vagina – where did you get your children from”. Probably a little frank, sure but her older two children are 6 years old and understand what people ask and she is then left trying to explain why people ask such questions.. Its weird when it comes to mix race children people feel they can ask inappropriate questions, my husband is Punjabi and we have people blatently say to us “you must be so glad she is fair” or “she looks so much like her mum, such a good thing”.. argh normalised racism.

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  4. Wow.. I somehow stumbled across this on FB and was blown away. My wife and I are expecting our first child in June and we have had many conversations on how we are going to deal with nosey strangers. It was amazing to read something that hits so close to home.
    It seems like you are doing amazing and your son is absolutely gorgeous!! Thanks for the great, honest read.

    All the best for the future
    Tara

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Tara. Every day is a struggle when you’re a parent and unfortunately some times being in a same sex relationship it makes it even more so but he is so happy and loved and wanted. Congrats on your bubba, that’s so exciting!

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  5. I also stumbled upon this on Facebook and found so many similarities in situations my wife and I have experienced since having our son, Taven, six months ago. I carried my wife’s biological child via IVF once an autoimmune issue was discovered in my wife following four years of fertility struggles (including heart breaking loss).
    Whenever we take our son out, we are constantly asked “who is the mom” and then, when our answer doesn’t satisfy their curiosity, “no, the real mom.” I like to give them a 20 second version of our story and watch their heads explode! Then they have So. Many. Questions.
    I’ve never been so shocked by the lack of boundaries people have until we became mothers.
    Keep on fighting the good fight… Your son is gorgeous, and will undoubtedly know more love than most children.

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    1. It continues to baffle me how blunt people can be, I would like to think the majority of probing questions stems from genuine interest and lack of knowledge, not people being rude. We can only hope! Congrats on your little family, what a blessing after such a long and trying journey x

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  6. All three of you are beautiful. My husband and I have raises his nephew as our own since he was 4. So 22 years now. We got questions about how was my labor. I say “Is was great. No pain at all and didn’t gain any weight.” So what if they didn’t get the inside joke. He has my husbands last name so a lot of people didn’t and still don’t know he isn’t our biological child. He is our gift from God. It does get a little odd when his biological mom gets mentioned. We one biological child together but we always say we have two boys. All family pictures are of the 4 of us. Sometimes people are just trying to start a conversation and it gets a little mixed up. There are 86400 seconds in a day, so don’t let someone’s negatively ruin any of that time. By the way I love your tattoos. I personally don’t care to have any but so many people cop an attitude when you ask about them or try to look at them. I’m just trying to start a conversation but back off. Dont know if its a USA/California thing but it’s their loss I love to talk. Good job mommies. Oakland is in great hands.

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  7. On the flip side when I hang with my girlfriends that have really short hair they assume we are a couple? Like having short hair means you MUST be a lesbian? Stereotype much! I really wish people would just stop assuming everything and not judge! You both are awesome so just keep doing your thing 😊

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  8. I adore reading your posts, I’m a gay single mum, have an 18 month old and have raised her by myself since day 1 and some days I struggle and feel i’m not a good mum constantly comparing myself to others on the internet, it’s nice to read your blog as you don’t sugar coat anything and you write about all the ups and downs of parenting, it’s very real and very relatable.

    I met a beautiful lady when our babies were in neo natal together, she is a pale red head and her partner is from South Africa, they have the most gorgeous caramel babe and i was so shocked to go out in public with her and all the comments she got from complete strangers she said it happens all the time. One lady came up and said “when did you get your baby” and she replied “he’s mine” to which she said in a very condescending way “I know he’s ‘yours’, but when did you get him”.

    I think some people are very sheltered and have no idea about family dynamics other than the ”norm” and others are just nosey, i can’t understand complete strangers going up to someone and asking who’s the real mum or where the babies from or other personal questions. Blows my mind

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    1. Blows my mind too! Some people just lack tact or maybe it is ignorance or lack of understanding? I honestly don’t know but some times it doesn’t bother me and other times I just have zero patience for it. On those days I would hate to be the person asking me about my adoption process haha.

      I am glad you enjoy my blog, thank you so much. Parenting is hard and being solo would be even harder. I hope that you have support around you though x

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  9. You are a gorgeous family! And little Orlando 😍 Makes my ovaries skip a beat! Reading this has given me a peak into the lives of my cousin and her wife (married in the states). They are pregnant now and it’s very exciting for them!

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    1. Oh awesome, anything to do with hearing about new babies makes me so clucky haha. We named him Oakland haha, but Orlando is actually super cute for a name too! And maybe a nice way to remember the people who died there recently, I bet somewhere out there a same sex couple has named their child that in memory.

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  10. I somehow came across your blog and story from good ole South Carolina. (I seen the picture/post on facebook and creeped) My partner and I would one day like to have a kid and I was mostly interested in the daily struggle of two mothers. Especially as we are below the mason dixon line. It will be very similar i imagine. Except i dont believe you or anyone else owes anyone an explanation. I figure when asked the question ill direct them to the local fresh market where we picked out our baby. Or give them a spin off story of how the stork is real and does drop babies to the loving homes of america. Anywho, dont let asshats make any negative impact on your family. And dont ever feel you owe an explanation.

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  11. I grew up accepting all kinds of family , but my family isn’t “perfect” but then again who’s family is? a little back story is there are 4 children from my mom My older sister (dad 1) , my older brother (dad 2) , me (dad 3) , and then my brother (dad 4) Dad 4 died when my brother was 8 months old….my dad was the most consistent one there (when he wasn’t in jail) and here where it’s crazy….Dad 2 married Dad 3 (my dad) sister….so my my older brother’s dad (dad 2) has been my uncle for about 14 years so yea I get that whole having to explain the story over and over, but it gets easier….and I for one support you guys….raising a child is hard….people ask where my son’s dad is and I had my nd and my baby daddy and 2 of his friends come up with me and my neighbor said who’s the daddy…Just stay strong guys and keep telling your story..Blessings to your family β™‘

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  12. I absolutely love reading your blog Carly! I always grew up thinking of my friends parents as ‘mums’ and would even tell people they were my mother at some points. Love is love and family isn’t necessarily blood, I just can’t fathom why some people can’t seem to wrap their head around such a simple concept. You and Alee are doing an amazing job with Oakland x

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  13. Thank you for sharing this, I am going to binge read on your blog now I think. I have a 4 month little girl and having grown up in a Christian-based-values home I would like to be more aware of things I say without realising, and improve the world… starting with me and what questions my little girl will one day ask or be asked.

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  14. This level of ignorance crosses all boundaries, gay, straight, mums of one ( so you JUST have the one child do you?…. are you planning more children?….. mums of several… (do you not have a TV? ) mixed race, new relationships (so when are you having children) what do you mean you don’t want to be a mother? So you work FULL time… what about your kids? Oh you’re a Stay-at-home mum… hmmmmm
    No wonder we end up with mental Heath issues FFS!

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  15. Funny story for you…
    I was out with my 2 boys yesterday and Mr 9 and Mr 6 took great delight in telling a perplexed woman that they don’t have a dad but they were really lucky because they have two Mums.
    Mr 6 proudly pipes up with: “Yeah, we have a doughnut dad.”
    Mr 9 was quick to explain that it’s a “donor dad”… πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

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  16. Great blog. I am white and have six adopted African children – I cant even begin to count how many times I get asked…Are they adopted? Where are their parents? Are they real siblings? It drives me crazy. They are my kids. They are brothers and sisters and we are a family. Having to explain it to nosey strangers is boring and unnecessary. Your family is beautiful by the way!

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  17. Ive lost count the amount of times people ask me “Is he yours? Or “where are they from? even “wow,they sure are dark what mix is that? We are now use to the puzzled stares lol. (I have four boys to an african man)

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  18. Excellent post. Oakland is beautiful wishing you all a happy & healthy life together. You do it your way parenting is hard doesn’t matter who you are x

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  19. To answer your question yes straight parents get asked these questions as well. I for one had three daughters close in age who look like triplets and I literally had people ask me if they all have the same father. I had a million and one questions asked to me and I would often have fun with the answers but I never got mad at the people who were asking the questions. I’m not one to step on toes but it often happens in my matter-of-fact way of life. Definitely not against transgender in fact one of my children is trans. But I don’t believe you have a right to be angry at anyone for asking a question that you may be offended to Simply due to the fact that it’s a part of life.

    Two of my children are year and a day apart and when people would ask if they were twins I would reply no they are a year and a day apart. One day I was in a rush and had a bad day I was completely exhausted and I wasn’t in the mood for it when I was asked by a lady who was simply making conversation if they were twins. I replied yes and to my surprise one of my children piped up and said no we’re not we’re year and a day apart period I was humiliated I immediately apologized for the lie and the lady was very understanding. My point is if people are inquiring about your family and you don’t know them and they’re complete strangers I would be proud that they’re showing an interest in my family. I wouldn’t play the he’s ours game I would immediately tell people what they want to know and not beat around the bush. He’s our son she had him and we used a surrogate period that would eliminate a lot of your problems. When people beat around the bush and play games and as you put it have fun it’s always going to be at someone else’s expense and often times when people are asking and seemingly innocent question you can pretty much bet you going to run into bigger problem and most definitely more questions if you don’t just give them a matter of fact answer.

    Congratulations on your beautiful child. People are simply making conversation I don’t think it’s fair for you to take everything personal.

    If people were asking questions about your family you should be proud and you should be proud to give them honest upfront answers to their questions. If you’re having a bad day give the shortest answer you can give just hope that little boy don’t overhear you cuz he’s here and everything you say. One day you’ll be standing there with your foot in your mouth just like I was when my daughter put me straight the day I tried to live to a complete stranger.

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  20. I follow you both on insta, & I have Alee of Facebook. You both are so inspirational and are exceptional parents to Oakland, and I have to say, he is just the cutest 😍 Biology doesn’t matter, he is loved, he is happy, and he is adored. By many many people. Society these days doesn’t understand how hard it is to be a same sex couple, never mind adding a baby to the mix. But I gotta say, you two women do it well!

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  21. I soooo understand where you are coming from.
    My ex wife and I did reciprocal IVF and my son is super fair, blonde hair blue eyed.
    I’m with him 24/7 as she’s FIFO.

    I can’t even count the amount of times people have asked me ignorant questions.
    It’s draining to have to repeat myself on a daily basis but biology isn’t a thing and never will be.
    I get asked “where did you get him from” at least a few times a month and I always say “from my vagina, where else?” The looks on their faces are priceless.

    When I gave birth to him, people were assuming he’d come out with some type of darker pigment because I’m part islander.
    I’m carrying my bio baby at the moment, so I’m going to be in for a world full of questions once they’re here but I’m so looking forward to seeing the kids similarities and differences given we used the same donor.

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  22. People ask all sorts of strange questions regardless. Do you sons take after you or your husband (uh, neither. they are our foster children). Is that your real son (yes, he is not fake)? No, is he really really yours (do mean biologically, cuz no he’s adopted, but he really really is mine) Is your son brown and your daughter white because you had an affair (if, this was your way of propositioning me, you are not getting any so go away now please)? Do you love your daughter more (more love because she’s biological? no. But I do love her more every day, ‘cept when she’s being a real pain)? How come some of your kids are Asian, others are Latino and others White (genetics. Oh, you mean cuz some are fostered, some are adopted, and some I birthed)?

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