Sharing the Title
I don’t often put disclaimers at the start of my posts, but today I am. Today, I feel the need to say that I may upset some people. So, please let me state, without hesitation, that this is not my intent, rather this is simply about me exploring some feelings I’ve been experiencing.
I’ve noticed lately a lot of people are asking How’s Baby MPB’s mom? (I know what people mean when they ask the question – they are clearly asking about his birth mom and not me, because they wouldn’t refer to me in the third person, instead they would just ask how are you?)
And so for the first time, the importance of adoption appropriate terminology is starting to hit me.
When we discuss Baby MPB’s birth mom in our house, we simply refer to her by her first name (which I will not share here). We’ve never used the term birth mom or mom – Baby MPB is too young to understand right now so the language we use is just what comes naturally to Mr. MPB and I. When we refer to her with family, we usually say birth mom – we made the choice, for now, not to share her first name with family and friends as we want to protect her identity from anyone being overzealous and searching her out on fac.ebook.
But, when I’m specifically asked How’s Baby MPB’s mom? I wont lie, sometimes it irritates the heck out of me.
My first unsaid reaction has been I’m great. You know, since I am Baby MPB’s mom by all practical definitions of mom. I change diapers, I feed him, I sing to him (albeit poorly), I worry compulsively, I worry obsessively, I make silly faces just to see him smile, I snuggle him any time he needs a snuggle, I pick him up when he falls, I bathe him, I console him, and I love him with every ounce of my being. Since the moment I met him, in every sense of the word, I have been his mom. And I will always be.
But of course, as almost everyone knows, our family was brought together through open adoption and so while I care for Baby MPB just as any other mom care’s for her child, we do not share DNA. I am thankful that we are a family, please don’t misunderstand me. In fact not a day goes by that I’m not thankful to be his mom. It’s just that this also means I am not his only mom. I am proud of the mother I am – I do not always get it right, but I try my hardest and most days we get by. But, I am also proud of the fact that another women chose me (and my husband) to raise the child she created and cared for until birth and will forever love. Rationally, I get that our family isn’t as simple as everyone else, and that’s not a bad thing. We embrace it as part of our family identity which means that our son has 2 mom’s. Which of course means I share the title of mom.
I’ll be honest, some days I wish I didn’t share the title. Some days I’m a tad envious of Mr. MPB because no-one asks him these types of questions and no-one ever asks about Baby MPB’s birth father. Some days I wish I could have it a bit easier too. I guess, some days I just wish it were easier.
Yet, when I look into his eyes and I simply see a beautiful little boy who I love more then anything else in the world and I am beyond thankful for the opportunity to be his mom. Some days I just wish we weren’t a complicated family. And some days I wish our family narrative wouldn’t include having to explain all this stuff to family, friends and sometimes even random strangers who don’t get it or are overly curious. And some days I worry about the day when Baby MPB struggles with his emotions around his adoption and we have to support him as he works through that. Honestly, some days I just wish we had a boring family narrative.
But one thing I know for sure is that wishing won’t make it so. This is our lives, for better and for worse. And so, the unique challenges that come with being a family brought together through adoption are ours to deal with today and in the future. I knew this when we chose adoption so in many ways I have no right to complain about the narrative we have.
So, how do I actually answer the question How’s Baby MPB’s mom? Usually I just say she’s doing good. Or sometimes I say his birth-mom is doing good. I guess like most things it just depends on the day and the exact circumstances.
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