Mom

I grew up believing the concept of a mother was very simple. She was the one and only mom I ever knew or thought I’d know. She was irreplaceable. I don’t even have words to describe our relationship – it just felt right, it just felt like love lead the way and everything else fell into place. I know I look back at it with rose-coloured glasses, but I still think it was pretty much the ideal mother-daughter bond. For years, my mom was simply mom, so for me, she embodied the concept and therefore the only definition I ever knew.

Then she died, and my dad re-married. And I quickly discovered that the term mom had many more connotations and complexities. I received a step-mom, regardless of if I wanted one. She never tried to replace my mom, which I’ve always been grateful for. But she also never seemed to take an active in mothering me either – If anything, for my teenage years she was rather distant focusing on her own children with me feeling a bit like a necessary burden.

During my teenage years I turned to an Aunt for many “mothering” activities. She lived on the other side of the continent and in a different country, yet she always made me feel special – something I was desperately missing in my life at home. She seemed to understand simple things like that no young teenage girl wants to buy any sort of feminine product for herself, so whenever she visited she stocked me up with the necessities. Or, she took the initiative to take me bra shopping. You know, simple necessities, and also simple acts of compassion and love. In my humble opinion, these are the things that all great mom’s have in common.

In the last few years, I’ve become a mother, yet I have no living children to show for it. I know understand the fierce love that comes from a mother to her child. A never ending, life altering, pure love, so deep that it will stay with me for the rest of my days. Love, free of toxin’s and complexities. Love, based purely in innocence combined with hope and fear for the future. No questions asked, no hesitations allowed, simply love, unlike nothing I have ever experienced before.

And today as I look forward to adopting our child(ren) I cannot help but wonder, what will I be? I will be a mom, absolutely. But will I be an adoptive mom? At our local adoption group meetings all the mom’s refer to themselves as an adoptive mom, and I am not sure if this is just in that room as a descriptor to indicate a difference between adoptive-moms and birth-moms. (I’ve never asked the question, but maybe I should). Honestly, I cannot imagine for the rest of my life saying I am an adoptive mom when I’m asked if we have children. I just want to say I am a mom. Selfishly, I want to be just like my mom was to me. I know I will exhibit many of the characteristics that my mom demonstrated – love, compassion, strength, unwavering commitment, and even patience from time to time. Yet, as we’ve chosen open adoption I know that I never will be the only mom my child knows. If I’m honest, this more complex relationship scares me on many levels, but I also realize this is my issue based largely in my insecurities of the unknown.

And, I do not want my child to grow up hearing they are our adopted daughter or adopted son. Just as I hated being known as the girl who’s mom and sister died in our small town, I do not want my child to be always identified as the kid who was adopted. Yes, these descriptors are accurate, but I don’t want them to be the basis of all our interactions. Instead I want, in an ideal world, to allow my child to express themselves (adoption included) how they see fit, but not predicate themselves on their adoption. It will be part of their very being, but it does not have to define them, unless they want it too.

I want us to be a family, just like everyone else. And yet, I sit here and wonder, is that even possible? Adoption makes us atypical and different, just like having two mommies/daddies also makes families different than the typical.

I want to value our difference, not be ashamed of it. I want my child(ren) to do the same. But, how do we navigate these waters appropriately? How do we be the same and yet different in ways that will help our children grow up to be respectful of their past and responsible for their futures?

I’m curious for those who have adopted children, are you just mom at home? Do you call yourself an adoptive mom or dad in some or all circumstances? What about those who were adopted, what are your thoughts?

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70 Comments on “Mom

  1. I do not have any experience with adoption or a step mom, so this might sound one sided. I think a mom is a mom, you dont need to classify what is the genetic relation. If someone is not a mom( all the feelings and emotions you so well put are of a mom) then they are just gaurdians or carr givers. IMHO, your step mom was a mom to her kids and a care giver to you and shame on her for doing this to you. (Sorry, i know v opinionated)

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    • I tend to agree with you – mom is simply mom. There may be times where there is a descriptor attached, but the traits of a good mom make no difference.
      While on some levels I do agree with you about my step-mom, but to be fair to her, I’m not sure how anyone could appropriately manage becoming a step-mom to a 15 year old girl who’s mom and sister just died. I suspect she was trying her absolute best to navigate very difficult waters.

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    • I often wonder, if we adopt, will my relationship with my adopted child be different than my relationship with Lettie? I like to think that it will be exactly the same, that a mom is a mom is a mom. I truly believe that is the case. But I also don’t want to be naive. It’s important to ask these questions and think of these things before our kids get here, so that we can help them (and us) navigate this terrain.

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      • I asked someone I know, who has both biological and adopted children and she said that was her biggest fear when they chose to adopt. In the end, she felt no difference at all. 🙂
        I hope the answers I receive today will help you just as much as they are helping me today. 🙂

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  2. My hubby is adopted (in fairness it was a very old-fashioned closed affair with even his birth certificate modified, but that’s a function of the times I guess) and mom is simply mom. There is no distinction for him: family stories of long-dead relatives are his family stories for example. He doesn’t have any interest in the circumstances he was born in or who he was born to. I think he would be desperately hurt if his mom or anyone else began referring to her as his “adoptive mom”. It has taken me a long time to understand the dynamic as it goes against the Hollywood and tv depictions of adoption but they are clearly mother and son – done. xx

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    • Thank you so much for sharing this. I really appreciate hearing stories of how others have dealt with their adoption through life. I tend to think the same way, in that I don’t intend to use the word adopted in from of mom all the time. Sure, there may be conversations where adoption comes up and I wont shy away from it, but at home I will just be mom and our kid will just be our kid. 🙂

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  3. My cousins are adopted. We didn’t call them our ‘adopted cousins,’ but legit, straight-up cousins. My aunt and uncle were their mom and dad. Period. When she was a teenager, one of my cousins decided she wanted to find her birth parents which my aunt and uncle helped her do. My other cousin (who had different biological parents) decided he never wanted to know– as far as he was concerned, my aunt and uncle were his parents and that was enough for him.

    I admire how my aunt and uncle allowed the definition of their family to change over time based on the needs of their kids, and for each child to figure out what was right for them.

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    • That’s exactly like my adopted cousins, they are just cousins! Nothing more, and nothing less. There simply is no distinction. I hope we have the strength to allow our family definition to change over time as needed to support out children, because at the end of the day, it is all about our children and what is best for them.

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  4. These are very important questions. As an adopted child, I can tell you that being adopted is very much central to how I identify, even as an adult. Being given up on one hand, only to be adopted by a couple desperate to be your parents is bound to have a large effect on who you are. I have friends who were both given up by their unfit parents as toddlers and raised by their grandparents, and this has also become a part of who they are. So, basically, if your children identify as adopted, it is no reflection on how you are raising them, instead it is almost inevitable.
    BUT you will NOT be identified as their adoptive mom. You will be their mommy. Even as an adult who often thinks about being adopted, I never think of my parents as adoptive parents. They’re just my mom and dad. This may be slightly complicated due to your open adoption, but someone who visits and writes to your child will not be their parent. Really. You, who will be raising those children, are their parents. They’ll know this and love you the same as if you’d carried them in your womb. After all, you’ve been carrying your children in your heart for a long time already.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing this! Your experience and your words are exactly what I hoped to hear today. I think you are right, no-matter what our child will identify as being adopted, but I want it to be their choice on how much they express it. I don’t want us to force conversations they are not ready for and I also do not want us to be the reason they don’t speak their minds and hearts. I want them to feel safe with their adoption story and their individual expression of it – does that make sense?

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      • It makes a whole lot of sense. I think the best thing you can do is keep the conversations about their adoption positive. Mention it enough so that they don’t feel the subject is taboo. I think I mentioned how my mom did it; she often called me her little adopted baby. When I was about 3 I asked what that meant, and she explained it simply. By then I was so used to hearing the word adopted it never felt like a big deal to me.

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      • In the adoption classes/information given out today, they are pretty amendment that we start talking about adoption right away, from the day we are a family. We plan to do that, clearly just as your mom did too. And, we’ve even bought a few of the adoption specific baby/children’s books – not that we are going to focus on their adoption all the time, just that we want them to know about it from the very beginning, and help them to know that they can always discuss adoption with us. We want to foster their adoption story to simply be part of who they are and hope for the best as they grow up and explore their own emotions related to their adoption.

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  5. I can only speak from my experiences of watching my friends that have adopted. In all their cases, they are just Mommy and Daddy. I believe my one friend has a fairly close relationship with the birth Mom and Dad and with the friends that have adopted all 3 of their children, I’m not sure on. I don’t think they get together regularly with them if at all. You and Mr. MPB will be all they know as their Mommy and Daddy. You will be the ones whosgive them the love and hugs. The one to wipe their tears and read them their bedtime stories. You will be the ones that will teach them manners and the ones that will have to discipline them. You will be, in every sense of the word, their Mommy!

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    • Thanks for sharing your friends experiences!! I love your attitude to all of this: ” You will be the ones whosgive them the love and hugs. The one to wipe their tears and read them their bedtime stories. You will be the ones that will teach them manners and the ones that will have to discipline them. You will be, in every sense of the word, their Mommy!” I tend to think the same way, but it’s nice to hear it from someone else who is at the same point in this adoption journey! 🙂

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  6. The most important thing I learned from my adoption search is, if a parent can love more than one child, then a child can love more than one parent. The gratitude and appreciation I felt toward my adoptive mother increased after I met my birth parents.

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    • This sentiment is simply beautiful!! Yes, if a parent can love more than one child, then a child can love more than one parent! Thank you for sharing this perspective with me.

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  7. My mom once told me that she purposely called her/us an adoptive parent/family…because she never wanted my brother to be the “adopted child” and I the “biological”. He is her child no different than I am her child. For her, she saw this adoptive mom descriptor as her attempt to make her different, not him. I have always been touched by this little protective choice of words and when I talk about my family i try to remember this when choosing my words too.

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  8. One of my friends is adopted, and she in turn has adopted a child (open adoption). When we’re out and about – and more importantly, in day to day life – she is just MOM. When you take your child to preschool, you will introduce yourself as “X’s mom”, not “X’s adoptive mom”.

    Sure, you will be an adoptive mom. But that doesn’t mean that label will hang over you in your day-to-day life. In the thick of motherhood, the means of how you became a mom will not matter as much.

    I’m a single, lesbian mom who conceived with a donor. But my child’s peers don’t (need to) know that. And neither do their parents. If it comes up in conversation, great. But it’s not a label I have to wear in all of my interactions. I would imagine it will be the same for you.

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    • I love this – “In the thick of motherhood, the means of how you became a mom will not matter as much.” I think you have wise words here!
      I tend to agree with you about your child’s peers don’t need to know everything, and if it comes up appropriately then so be it, but it’s not the first thing you say. I suspect you don’t wear a sign on your back everyday that says “I’m a single, lesbian mom who conceived with a donor.” Thankfully our labels are not that blunt in society and we do have some discretion in sharing and disclosing intimate details. 🙂

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  9. I love your honesty in this post. I do have step-parents on both sides of my family. My dad remarried when I was 7 and my mom when I was 13. So, essentially, I have four parents. It has been interesting, to say the least.

    In terms of adoption, I have observed children in foster care and some who have been adopted. For most of them, even when open adoption occurs, the person or people who adopt them and take care of them every day are just mom and dad. I think it is a largely individual thing for some and depends a lot on age and circumstances. Like someone said above, there is enough love for biological parents/families and otherwise. I wholeheartedly think that love is love and while some times may be difficult, it can overcome almost anything. ❤

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    • In an odd way I always thought it was a bit of a mixed blessing that we were a blended family without step-parents on either side because it meant that we had a little less complexity in our day to day lives. I have no idea if that’s accurate in reality, but I do remember thinking that way the odd time as a teenager.
      I love your experience with children in foster care as seeing their care givers are mom and dad. I do believe there is enough love in the world to go around, and it can overcome everything including my own insecurities. 🙂

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      • I would tend to agree that having four parents is more complex and complicated than having two if you with with them all. There are two households, two sets of rules and expectations, etc. There were advantages and disadvantages to it for me. For one, it’s never bad to have more people who love you!

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  10. Online many use the descriptor adoptive for clarification, in real life, no. Our home, we had mom and dad, we also each had a mother and father – that was before they came up with additional words for parents by birth that really aren’t needed. None of us were confused, the mom and dad were terms of endearment, closeness, whereas mother and father correctly identify the role they held…

    As to the define aspect, it’s an overblown fear in the adoption community for parents. I will always be adopted, if I wasn’t, I’d be a different person – it just is, everything that has happened to me, makes me (shapes me) into who I am. Just like you are who you are because your mom passed away, you got a step mom, and a special aunt stepped in to fill the gap, and every other thing that happened to you. You can’t take away a part of who you are because you wouldn’t be you. You are the sum of all of what made you, you, not just one part, all. If you try to hard to not allow the being adopted to be part of who your child is, you will make them feel that part is shameful. Just accept it, you can’t change it.

    I was dad’s girl, why I write more about dad. Our personalities and interests were aligned, where mom and I are different but we are still good…

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    • Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience growing up. I actually really like the use of the words mom and dad / mother and father. At times I’ve really struggled with the term birth-parent, and I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one in the adoption community. I like the simplicity of the words you used.
      Also, thank you for sharing your thoughts on the fears of adoptive parents. I think you are right, it really is a fear of the adoptive parents, which we are continually told by others who have adopted that it’s really not that big of a deal in reality. But alas, the fear of the unknown sticks with us.
      Also, I do want to add that we chosen open adoption and intended to raise our child from they day they enter our lives knowing that they are adopted. As you say, it is core to their identity. We want them to express that however they see fit, not trying to protect us from being hurt or be shameful of their past. My insecurities are mine to deal with, and not something I ever plan to place on my child’s shoulders so that they feel indebted or burdened to us for adopting them – that type of thinking and approach just makes my skin crawl.
      Thank you again for sharing.

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  11. I absolutely agree with you. A mom is a mom – no qualifiers required. Obviously there may be occasions when you mention adoption – as part of getting to know someone that you want to let into your life, or – if your child looks very different from either of you – people may ask. Or you may find yourself in conversation with someone who is considering adoption, or who was adopted, or or or – any number of possibilities. No reason to see that as a bad thing; telling people your child is adopted is just sharing information. But why would you label yourself an “adoptive mom”? You’ll be a mom, and you’ll be a person who has adopted a child. They’re related, but they’re separate. That’s my opinion, anyway, speaking as someone who has zero experience of any of this … Usually I wouldn’t comment because of that, but I really detest labels … They’re useful in their place, but they can be so limiting!

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    • You make a very good point, if the child looks different then us. There is a real possibility that our child will not share our skin colour, so in that respect adoption will be central to everyone who encounters our family – there is no hiding it when we literally wear our skin every single day, as the world is still not colourblind. If this is the case, our adoption story will likely come up more frequently.
      Also, I tend to agree with you, the reality is mom and adoption are clearly related, but they are also separate. In my mind, its similar to the fact that I am a women and my mom died as a child. They are all part of who I am, but while the fact that I am a women is obvious, but the first words out of my mouth when I meet some are not “my mom died” and so unless I tell people about my family history it’s not a detail they immediately know. I suspect adoption will be similar. There will be times when we share and there will be times when we don’t want to talk about it. I just hope we always create a safe space for our child to talk about it whenever they want to.
      An thank you so much for your comment, direct experience or not, you are still have life experience and wise words that always provide me deep thought and reflection! 🙂

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  12. I sometimes think society’s necessity for labels impedes growth and development. I don’t mean to sound Ultra hippy and by no means am I advocating no labels, categories, social boxes that people and things fit into because they do help us understand. But sometimes we just get so fixated on trying to “understand” that we just forget or get caught up and don’t just live. I say this all in hopes that in whatever choices you make about titling your relationship with your child, only do it for you and not for anyone else’s understanding. At the end of the day, we all know You’re going to be a great mom to this child 😊

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    • Thank you for your kind words. 🙂
      Yes, I love this!! I too am not going to advocate that we try to create a no labels/categories/social box society, but wouldn’t it be great if we could? I think there is a balance in the labels we are assigned and the labels we choose.
      I also love your perspective of choosing the terms that work for us, and our child. At the end of the day, our child is what matters more then anything else and so we will always do what we believe is best for them. 🙂

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  13. I think a mom (or dad) is just that, mom or dad. It doesn’t matter how you came to be a parent, it just matters that you’re the one that’s there every day, taking care of that child and helping to teach them and mold them into a good person. I don’t think there’s a need to define it any further than that. You’re both going to be awesome parents, and that’s all that matters. 🙂

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  14. I was transracially adopted as was another one of my siblings, and the others are biological/not adopted/whatever you want to call it. We have all always called our parents Mummy and Daddy and then Mum and Dad as we grew up (or actually nicknames that are funnier than M+D). There is no “adoptive” about it. I think my family would be horrified if there was. (*Just my family – I understand others are different.) We have always been very open about it because we’ve had to be. It’s pretty hard to keep it a secret when you aren’t the same colour as the rest of your family!

    What I’ve realised since reading through other sources online compared to my experiences IRL (with adopted and bio siblings, people very close to me who were adopted, acquaintances and people who have adopted in more recent times) is that there is a massive variation in people’s experience of adoption and how they choose to define themselves. (I have a draft post on this but haven’t gotten round to it yet.) I mean it has been quite a revelation. I would say IRL most of the adopted people I know are very positive (“the traditional adoption mythology”) and wouldn’t really question the nomenclature (ie wouldn’t want to distinguish by prefixing anything with “adoptive”, just stick to the general mum/dad/parent/child/son/daughter terms). Whereas online there is a lot more varied experience, and I think by virtue of it being a discussion topic you end up qualifying statements to explain whereabouts you are in the adoption triad / what your experience of adoption is, etc.

    My experience tallies most with LibraryOwl33 above – I do think that having been adopted is quite central or significant to my identity. (But it’s not my whole identity – it’s a factor.) There’s the obvious difference in skin colour and the fact that I’m really not at all similar to anyone in my family, in looks or personality (or anyone I know, for that matter). I often find myself explaining my “heritage” because people ask about it all. the. time. and I feel like I want to pre-empt the questions (“How do you speak such good English?”, “Do you speak XX?”, “Where are you from?”)… questions on identity and belonging need to be qualified more when you were adopted. Maybe it’s actually easier in a way if it’s transracial as you have a handy discussion point to hang it off and people are usually interested rather than negative.

    I think the difference from what I’ve been reading online and in adoption literature is that I’ve never felt the same sort of horror about discussing it as some people have said they experience. Generally I just find it funny when questions of mistaken identity come up (particularly with relation to male members of the family and speculation that I’m a girlfriend/hooker). We are quite open and outspoken in our family and we’ve always been encouraged just to deal with it. According to a lot of what I read, this means that I probably have some repressed grief about it (I’m sure I do but on a day to day basis it doesn’t affect me that way).

    What I’m trying to say is (sorry for all the blether), I think my family and my relationship within it is defined by me/us in the same broad terms as most people refer to their family, and in the different terms (nicknames) that are special to our family. So I’m a daughter and a sister and an aunt, but I’m also [“nickname”] and that nickname actually references quite obliquely my adoption. It was my childhood family nickname based on my [original language] baby name. I’m not defined by adoption, but it is an irrevocable part of who I am at any given point, because I wasn’t originally intended to be this person in this family in this country. So in a way I am the same as anyone else, and as different as anyone else.

    (Ha, that probably didn’t explain anything… sorry!)

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    • It explained, a lot! Thank you! I really do appreciate learning from your experience as the child (now adult) in a transracial family. We don’t know yet if we will be a transracial family, but I do believe that adds another dynamic to an adopted family because you cannot “hide” it on days when everyone might just want to blend in with the other families on the block.

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  15. It sounds like you’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on your questions! My cousin, and a very close ex of mine were adopted, and while it is a big part of their identity, there was no conflict in who they considered “mom” or “dad”. I’m sure that part of it is the traditional closed adoptions that brought them together, but I’ve also heard both refer to their birth moms as the person who required the descriptor. The moms who raised them are simply “mom”.

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  16. I never have thought about this; I just assumed I would be “mom” and then there would be a biological mom as well (closed adoption, so different). Very interesting thoughts. I like how one person said you can be an adoptive parent, but you are always “mom.” For me, since our child will have dark skin and I have lighter skin, it will be obvious that he/she is adopted so – as long as people assume my child is mine, of course – there won’t be a question about bio or not. It sounds like you also may be open to different races (I know you haven’t explicitly said) so you may just have to wait and see a) how obvious the adoption is, b) how involved the birth mom is, and c) what the child communicates to you as he or she grows up. I definitely think you will be just “mom” though. It’s just the outline of the language and your communication that will be up to you in the future. It makes me happy thinking about that step for you!

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    • I think you make a great point about the possibility of not sharing the same skin colour – if that is the case then the fact that we are an adopted family will always be evident. And I think the most important thing really does come down to how we communicate with our child as they grow up including giving them a safe space to explore their emotions around their interpretation of the word mom.
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! (I cannot believe I didn’t respond to this earlier – I remember reading, but evidently I didn’t finish replying on this post…ops.)

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  17. Another thought I had, and I’m very aware of the fact that I’ve read A LOT of stuff lately online and in adoption literature that says this doesn’t work for everyone… is that if my mum hadn’t been mum, and my dad hadn’t been dad, I think I would have been a lot more insecure than I was.

    I mentioned in my other post about adoption that I think there is always this kind of insecurity that comes from being adopted. (Again, just me and based on people I have discussed with who were adopted.) Even if I can’t remember ever not being there, I think I’d have felt VERY insecure about who I was if I’d been told to reference my parents and siblings in a distinct way from the members of my family who are biologically related. Like my place in the family was somehow less secure because of it.

    For me and my other adopted sibling it was always a point of security and reassurance that we weren’t referred to all the time as being adopted. This isn’t the Grateful Adoptee trope as far as I know. Just a sense of belonging in a family – until I read a lot of adoptee voice literature lately, I didn’t realise that people would want to be distinguished in that way as none of my adopted friends/family did.

    I guess I’m still working through stuff in my mind on this, because if you read all the stuff online I think you (I) sort of feel as one of the so-called “Happy Adoptee” types that I am somehow misguided and I should be sad or angry, or I’m repressed, and so on. Part of me thinks maybe I am, because you always have that residual grief (I can read certain things about being adopted and cry, even though I’m fine 99.99% of the time). But part of me thinks it is better to be happy… If that is denial then I find it works better for me!

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    • Thank you for adding these thoughts! Honestly, I am so glad to be able to learn from your experiences and perspective. I know every child (adopted or not) is different, but I find it so reassuring to hear from those who have an appreciation for what our child will go through – I feel like by learning from you I will be better equipped to help our child deal with some of their tougher emotions.

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      • Well… I definitely can’t speak for all people (at all, believe me!!) but happy to share my experiences. I do feel like a lot of what I read online re adoption is scare stories, whereas the people I know in my family and friends group are possibly more moderate. There is always a loss with adoption but I think from our point of view (in my family) we are very integrated within the family and we don’t view it as a negative thing, although of course there are always things to think about. If you get what I mean!

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      • One thing I’ve learned is that online adoption stories tend to focus on the negatives, just like modern day news stories. So, I much prefer to learn from real like experiences when I can. I know not all experiences will be the same, but I figure it cannot hurt to learn more. 🙂

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  18. I NEVER ever call my foster daughter my “foster” daughter. She is my daughter. If further information is needed I may quietly tell someone. I think you are
    Mom. That is it. If you chose to tell people your adoption story, then great, but you are mom! 🙂

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    • Thank you so very much for sharing! I intend to do the exact same thing – tell the adoption side of it when appropriate/needed/wanted. Otherwise, we are just a family with our own unique quarks, like every other family out there. 🙂

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  19. I want to share with you something that happened tonight because I hope it will help you believe that your mothering experience could play out in a different but no less natural way.

    Tonight I was walking back from the park with the MT and our friends/neighbours asked if I was ready (for baby). They know nothing about our RPL history and I didn’t bring it up. We got to talking about when the MT arrived and I asked if their two kids were early late or on time. Their younger child was doing cartwheels nearby. They told me about their elder child being 3.5 weeks early and then said, matter of fact-ly, that their younger was adopted and a total surprise as they got a phone call saying there is a baby are you ready? We have known this couple, drank wine with them, shared kid stories and advice for over 3 years and not once did I get the sense or ever hear either parent say one of their kids was adopted. They treat both kids as their own and with equal love and affection. Because they are. From the description I know that they used a public adoption process because open adoptions here don’t work like that and the colleagues I’ve had who have used the public adoption process had the same experience – a sudden call and a brand new addition with next to zero notice. So that part is different from what your experience will be but my point and the beauty of what I took away from tonight’s impromptu exchange was that when you find your groove, adoption becomes just one fact among a web of facts about how families are constituted – and neither the opening line or even a priority subject for conversation nor something to shy away from or tiptoe around. My neighbours clearly love both of their children and do not differentiate among them because of the different ways they came into their family. And I’m sure if we were neighbours down the road I would find myself making the same observation of you and Mr. MPB.

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  20. I get that. See my comment below on an amazing and serendipitous encounter I had tonight that showed me how seamless a family relationship with bio and adopted children can be. My best friend as a child was adopted as was her brother but from different birth parents. I have a longtime friend in my adulthood whose circumstances were the same (both adopted, different genetic origins). I have not knowingly spent much time with anyone other than foster or fost-adopt families with bio and adopted

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  21. I think just being Mama to my four is what works for our family:) With two adopted kids and two biological kids, I don’t really think about it until I’m asked questions. Since my two adopted boys are different races it’s obvious that I have some adopted children. But the siblings all think of each other as the same, which I think means that they all just feel like family. My Mama’s heart doesn’t know a difference😊

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  22. You know, I wonder sometimes if Mary will ever see us as her mom-moms, or as her foster/adoptive moms. I hate having to say that I am her foster mom. It just doesn’t sit well with me, but out of respect for her and her relationship with her bio mom, i say it. A few weeks ago, she told us we could drop the “foster” which was really dope! BUt I wonder this all the time. Will I be her adoptive mother, or just simply her mother? Its a valid question that I guess will be answered when it gets answered. Right now, I’m just Mama, and i know that it could at some point, potentially change. And I think I made my peace with that. We are a pretty unconventional, non-traditional family, and I’ve embraced that…your first sentence stuck out to me, becasue really, at it’s core, the concept of “Mother” really IS simple…to give love…unconditional, undying love….I know you’ll be the best mother to your little that ever was

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    • You are such a beautiful soul! You are right, the questions will get answered when it gets answered – whenever that is. And your ability to make peace with that uncertainty and unknown timeline is pretty amazing. I hope I can have as much grace as you when our family goes through it’s inevitable bumps along the way.

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  23. I think that what you call yourself (mom or adoptive mom) might change for different circumstances and situations. Does that makes sense? But overall? You are MOM. And I believe your child will only think of you as their mom. The one who provides for them love, compassion, patience, understanding, wisdom, etc.

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  24. You will absolutely be their mom, you don’t have to label yourself unless it’s something you are comfortable doing. I have a friend that was adopted and she loves her parents deeply and has great admiration for them. They are mom and dad to her, not adoptive mom and dad. Likewise, she’s not labeled an adopted child, she’s their child. I hate that society has this need to label everyone, but take heart that those who love and support you see your unique family situation as beautiful and just as treasured as any other type of family. XOXO

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    • Thank you so much for this reassurance Amber. I do not plan to add any labels unless the situation warrants it, because I am sure from time-to-time it will come up and I wont hide it either.

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  25. Pingback: Adoption thoughts 2: questions | From zero to zygote

  26. Pingback: Diverse Families: Writing Our Family Narrative | My Perfect Breakdown

  27. I’m just Mom, both at home and in public. If we’re in an adoption related setting, it’s obvious and doesn’t need to be stated. If we’re not then I don’t think it needs to be expanded upon. But, my son’s birth Mom is also Mom and that’s how we refer to her.

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  28. Pingback: The language of adoption | From zero to zygote

  29. Pingback: What Kind Of Mother Will I Be? | My Perfect Breakdown

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