I remember talking to my mother about this very question when I was a child. I also remember my mothers answer. She said “You are the twinkle in your fathers eye on our wedding day.” When I was a child I didn’t question that, I enjoyed being there for my parents wedding even though I didn’t remember a thing.
In all matter of the truth, my parents didn’t have me until they were married for two years. When I found this out around the age of six, I asked my mother again “Where did I come from?”. I knew that I could not have been as young as I was and have been around when my parents were married. My mother responded with an anatomical response that left me with the knowledge of what a penis and a vagina were and what they were used for.
I remember talking to my friends about where I came from and having them go home and tell their mothers that they knew where I came from so they wanted to know where they came from. I caused quite the stir at my preschool. I remember sitting down with my mother and having her talk to me about how not everyone is ready to know where they came from. I recall wondering why everyone would not want to know how they came to be.
Because of my knowledge of bodily functions and parts I called the parts of my body as such. I remember being reprimanded for shouting across the playground that “that boy’s have penises and girls have vaginas.” Time out was a common occurrence until my friends parents started telling them where they came from and the differences between girls and boys.
I am made to believe that though my experiences of being raised to know where I came from and that the parts of the differing male and female bodies gave me a greater knowledge of who I was going to be. I could look up to my mother and aunts and see that they were strong women who took control of their bodies and that is what I wanted to be.
But as shown in Lisa Jean Moore’s article, children who are made in ways other than the heteronormative style between a male and a female can feel othered. As Moore points out those children who come from families that differ from the norm that is found in our society can have a hard time in developing a sense of self that I found to be most helpful when growing up.
I am made to think about the differences that my classmates encountered when they asked where they came from as one of my best friends at the time was adopted into a loving family that had trouble conceiving and carrying to term. Does this difference in the system of being made my two loving parents who have the ability to raise a child with love and care differ if the child is adopted into a different family that they are not genetically related to? Did my friend have a hard time dealing with the aspect of her life that revolved around being different from the rest of our friends in the fact that we were “made” by our parents?
I can see how there could be difficulties in understanding who you are when you don’t know your birth parents, but I don’t think that it’s the top priority of raising a child. In my opinion, a child just needs love and support to develop into a strong person with goals. It did not matter to my friend later in life that she was adopted, it was a point of pride for her that her family had chosen to take her on and raise her as their own child, because she was and still is their own child.