Saturday, December 28, 2013

Definition of an Aunt or Uncle

The other day at daycare I heard a teacher tell one of the other children to ask "Aunt K" to pick you up (implying the other teacher in the room).  At the time it took me back for a moment and then I thought well maybe the teacher is her Aunt K.  I didn't say anything because I wanted to think it thru.

We run into this "aunt/uncle" thing a lot.

DH's is a police officer.  We have two other families that we are close to.  The parents tell their children to call DH and I "aunt/uncle"  I have never asked Baby Girl to call them aunt/uncle.  Another close friend of DH's that he grew up with.  In that case the friend calls himself Uncle Matt to Baby Girl and refers to us as his sons aunt/uncle.

In some ways these families are like extended family.  We see them more often then a lot of our extended family.  In the police community it is an unwritten rule that if something was ever to happen to DH or one of the other officers that we would support the remaining spouse like we would a family member.  Matt I think would give his left arm to DH if he needed it and has written letters of recommendation for both of our home studies.

I think I would still find it weird no matter what, but because of Baby Girls adoption I think I find it harder to encourage.  Baby Girls family is complicated enough without people who are not family using terms that define family.  She already has two extra grandparents, siblings that dont live with her, one birthparent that is involved and the other we may never hear from again.  She has aunts, uncles and cousins some she has met others that have chosen to keep a distance.

I do think that family fundamentally is defined by love.  By that definition all of these people listed above are family.  I could be wrong but I feel like using names like aunt/uncle with people that are close family friends muddles the waters of the importance of her birthfamily; however I can't fully articulate this.

What do you think?  Do you have friends that you use family titles for?  If you are an adoptive parent has this muddled the waters?

Our department friends have ever only asked their children to use the terms to describe us but never have asked Baby Girl to use it towards them.  DH's childhood friend has used it to describe himself.  I have up to this point ignored it but at some point I'm going to have to figure out how to articulate my discomfort with it.

No matter what I need to inquire if they ask all students to call teacher K "aunt K" because I'm totally not OK with that one.

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