Several months ago I was at a wedding and met some extended family for the first time and some I haven’t seen for many many years. I felt really silly referring to them as my “aunt” or “second cousin” or even “brother”. I mean, aren’t those titles really for the adopted child, to acclimate them into their adoptive family. For a child’s benefit? And also the adoptive parents’ when the child is young?
As adults, I think we all know: I am adopted. They aren’t really my “family”. They are people who raised me and who I was raised with. I’m actually ok referring to my immediate adoptive family as my family, but really have to desire to vehemently defend this title to others like I did when I was a kid.