We were trying to leave for lunch today and Julie went into full-on misbehavior mode, to the point where it left Gretchen completely wrecked. This resulted in my administering a spanking as she tried to hide behind Gretchen, which -- as Gretchen noted -- was a remarkable place to be trying to hide given how Julie had just treated her.
Julie was (both before and after the spanking) busily threatening to leave and never come back. I have explained to her before and again now that she cannot do that; that if she did that her best result is that she would end up with foster parents who -- no disrespect to the good foster parents out there intended -- would never love her the way that we do.
And in the middle of this extended shouting match, when I asked her why she would think that Mommy and Daddy don't love her, she dropped this on me:
"You're not my real father!"
Shortly after that, I had a sobbing Julie on my shoulder as I sat on the couch. This was not the time for the adoption explanation of how we would love her just as much if she were adopted; this was the time for the assisted reproduction explanation with eggs and sperm in a dish. (Which elicited a "Yuck!" from Katie.) And eventually calm was achieved.
I wonder who it was who gleefully taunted her with the bit about us not being her real parents. There is a special circle of hell for them somewhere, although the offender was most likely a minor and I'll have to forgive them for just being ignorant.
And if she had been adopted (in other than the technical sense due to Wisconsin law), it would have been just as bad.
You raise your daughters, care for them, and (most importantly) love them.
If there's a better definition for "real father" I'm not sure I'd believe it.
My sister and I got teased with "one of you was adopted" more than once in gradeschool from the other kids because we look almost nothing alike, even now. (We take after our grandmothers, one each.)
Still, sympathy. Regardless of the cause, these things are really hard on everyone involved.
Julie is still a bit young to understand the science / technology involved, if I remember right. And explaining complex things in simple language--I suppose you've had some practice at that by now, but still hard to do in an emotional moment.
Hugs to you and Gretchen and to Julie.