MicroblogMondays: “Natural Parents”

I was telling myself that after Halloween, I’d start looking into preschools.  I didn’t have any idea what kind of preschools I’d like my kids to attend, but I knew that I had to go visit a few to see my preferences.  One with Cantonese immersion and close to home would be ideal.  But given that our house is not exactly in the city, it’d be very difficult to find a Cantonese preschool within a 10-minute drive.  So I focus on the schools around us.  The first one I visited was a little co-op preschool that was in a crowded neighborhood.  My first impression was it was hard to find parking.  That would definitely add to the time it’d take for drop off.  I really liked the school.  It was play-based with various stations for different activities.  The atmosphere was relaxing. The kids looked very happy.  The preschool ends at 1:30 and offers extended care for working parents.  One morning a week, a parent or family member is assigned tasks to help out at the school.  For someone like me with twins, it would mean two mornings a week for me.  And if we don’t want to do that, we can pay one participating family tuition and one nonparticipating family tuition.  I thought about it, and thought that if I only had one child, it’d be a wonderful opportunity to experience what he/she learns at school.  But with twins that I intend to put in preschool three days a week, it would take away 2/3 of my time that I would like to use for starting my career again.  Of course there is a waitlist, but apparently next year 16 kids are going to be promoted to kindergarten, so there should be room for everyone on the waitlist.   The second preschool I visited is part of a Catholic school.  It is a block away from my brother’s house, which is a 5-minute drive.  Drop off should be easy with a huge parking lot.  The director was warm and knowledgeable.  This is a more traditional preschool but still play-based.  The place is organized and clean with various different areas for activities.  The kids were playing outside when I arrived.  They all looked like they were having so much fun.  When I was waiting for the director to give me an application, I sat and watched one of the teachers do circle time.  She was so lively and the kids were super engaged.  I remember our pastor’s wife told me why she loves this school: the teachers genuinely love her kids.  I can totally see that.  Of course this school has a waitlist as well, and seems to be harder to get into.  But I’d love to send the babies there.  The tricky part is that their birthday is in mid-September, and there are two of them, so even if there is room for them in August when school starts, they will have to wait until September to attend when they turn two.  I ideally want to send them to preschool at 2.5, but it doesn’t work that way for many schools.  I looked at the application more closely at home.  The first thing that stood out to me was family information: Child lives with Both Natural Parents, Mother Only, Father Only, Parents have joint custody, Parent/Step Parent, Guardian.  What do we circle?  I mean technically I am not my twins’ “natural” parent.  And we did need to get step-parent adoption in order for me to be legally their mother.  But do we circle Parent/Step-parent?  What if they ask us about the “natural” mother?  What a headache.  I didn’t anticipate such a dilemma for filling out a preschool application.  It goes to tell you that decisions we have made in the past because of infertility affect us way beyond the years we were in the trenches.  I haven’t decided what to circle yet.  If we do circle “Natural Parents”, will that be lying?  If we circle Parent/Step-Parent, will we have to further explain the complicated nature of our babies’ birth?  I will have to give this one some serious thoughts.

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12 thoughts on “MicroblogMondays: “Natural Parents”

  1. I didn’t even think Cantonese immersion pre-schools even existed. Here in Toronto, where some 11% of the total population is of Chinese heritage (it’s pretty significant, considering half of the population is non-white), all school-related programs I can think of are either English, French or Mandarin. It’s just what people want, I guess. Mandarin is of more “importance,” even though Cantonese could very well have been the “official” language in China and WAS the language of the educated classes (apparently, anyway) some centuries ago. It’s all about what’s happening NOW. Supply and demand.

    I started looking at preschools for Junior before he was born. Some programs pretty much want you on their waitlist, like, a week after a baby’s birth (okay, within the year. One school even told me that families are contacted chronologically. I wrote back, asking whether kids born earlier in the year, therefore, have a better chance than those later. They said no, because some people with earlier kids contact schools later. #whatever). This isn’t my first choice, first choice, but I’m keeping my options open. Also, my parents wanted me there when I was little, but all I could get on was the waitlist because they didn’t apply until I was two.

    For the school asking about “natural” parents, all you have to do is ask around, to see what adoptive parents do. Because adoptive parents aren’t “natural” either.

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  2. I also think natural parent is the appropriate box to check!

    You are so good that you’re already looking into preschool! I have looked at one. I have a list of places to call but I just haven’t done it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It confuses me… But I do think that “natural parent” is honest. You aren’t the babies step parent, it’s just the unfortunate way that legal things were worded for parents who needed to use a gestational carrier. But you are definitely their natural parent, in my opinion. 🙂

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  4. Oof, what a funny way to set up paperwork. “Natural parent” seems like a very outdated, noninclusive label. What would an adoptive parent check?? If it’s just to separate out parents and stepparents, then those labels seem perfectly fine to me. No need to throw “natural” in the mix and make people question of someone they are “unnatural.” Grrr… I’m sorry this was a trigger. I don’t think you need to disclose your reproductive process, and you can totally check “natural,” but maybe ask them why they use that terminology when families are made in so many different ways now. Seems they could update it.

    Liked by 2 people

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