I had an interesting experience at the lake a couple weeks back. I was talking to a friend about his wife's adult-adoptee relationship with her birth family. He was saying how she and her birth mother are extremely close and talk on the phone almost every day. How they love to spend time together now that they've been reunited. It was making me feel kind of melancholy--just thinking about our son and how he may likely never have that experience. Plus, if I'm being honest, I was also thinking about the adoptive mom and what her feelings would be about her grown daughter having such a close relationship with her birth mom. Then, in what was an interesting reversal of terms, my friend said, "Of course she's still really close to her real parents too--you know, the ones who raised her." I thought it was kind of funny that he used the words, "real parents" to describe adoptive parents since there is such a stigma about that in the adoption world. Oftentimes strangers will ask, unwittingly, about our son's "real parents." I want to (and sometimes do) point out that we are right here--as real as can be, living life with our son day in and day out. They don't really mean anything by incorrectly using the term "real parents," they just want to know our story and don't really know how to ask. I do keep that in mind when such conversations arise, but I also think it's appropriate to do a little PAL (positive adoption language) education sometimes too.