I know I am hard on adoptive moms, and hopeful adoptive moms, here on my blog and I don’t apologize for it. But I do think it is time I step up to clarify that my feelings and the comments I make about adoptive moms do not encompass ALL adoptive moms. I know, with my experience and my son’s experience, I could very easily slide into the habit of clumping every adoptive mother together into one group, doubting and disliking everyone in that group without ever giving them a chance or truly reading or hearing what they have to say.
And honestly, when you spend so much time in a battle for adoption reform and you come up against, over and over again, so many adoptive moms who want to dig a hole in the sand, and stick their head in, who try their hardest to discredit you by calling you crazy, bitter or angry, it sometimes seems almost too easy to fall into the mind-set that they ALL want to believe adoption is great, has no affect on first/natural moms or adoptees and is a right they deserved for their saintly ways.
But I know it isn’t right and there are adoptive moms that remind me I can never say ALL when I refer to adoptive moms. It will never be fair for me to toss them all in that same group, see them outside of the true light of the kind of moms they are.
I don’t fall for the argument I see so often from adoptive parents. The justifications they throw out, repeating themselves and others like an old skipping record. The one that always starts with the same words . . .
“I am my child’s real mom because . . . “
This is always followed by some variation of . . . I changed their diapers . . . stayed up with them at night when they were sick . . . helped them with their homework . . . etc, etc, etc.
My first reaction to this argument is . . .
Those are all actions. Something a nanny or babysitter can, and often, does. Yes, that means you are providing for your child’s basic needs but that, to me, is NOT what makes you a mother. That makes you a good caregiver.
So what is a mother then? What is it that I believe some adoptive moms understand that others don’t?
To me, being a mom is based first, and foremost, on unconditional love. It is the realization that no matter what might have happened to bring a child into your life, the minute you hold your child in your arms, it has NOTHING to do with a need they are fulfilling in you and EVERYTHING to do with their own needs.
I’ve heard more than once in my life the saying . . . “Being a mother is the most thankless job there is.” And not only is that statement true but, I believe, that is exactly how it should be. Being a mother means knowing you may never hear the words “thank you” from your children but are always hoping they know that there is NO ONE in the world they can count on to be there for them like their mother.
It’s about giving them the capability to love and believe in themselves. To know their feelings will be validated, understood and never discounted. That our own insecurities or emotional needs do not restrict or hold our children back from finding and being who they truly are.
And, unfortunately, so often in the adoption world, I find adoptive moms who don’t seem to understand the importance of this. They want to find a way, with everything they have, to deny that their child will EVER face issues from being adopted, instead of putting that same fight into giving their child the confidence and trust that they can go to them with their feelings about adoption, no matter what they might be.
They want to declare they are the only or real mom because they do this, that, or the other instead of offering their child the confidence in who they are and in the very real fact that they have two mothers who play a part in their life.
And they want to believe, to the point of absolute denial, that adoption is truly only about greatness and love without accepting the darker side. That they are truly the only ones who could have given their child the “best” life and are superior in some way or another to the first/natural mother who suffered a great loss before they ever had a child to call their own.
These are the moms I speak about here on my blog. The moms who hold that title as their “badge” and leave me wondering where exactly their child fits into the mix.
But, as I said, there are others. Those who keep me grounded when I want to lash out at all because I’m hurt or my son is hurt. Those who seem to be rare but do exist.
To me, these are moms. These are the women who offer true unconditional love to their children. Who love them with all their heart and want only what is best for them and their lives. They aren’t digging those holes, burying their heads as far as they can go. They are, instead, doing whatever it takes, fighting whatever battle there is, being everything they can for their children. Because that is truly what it means to be a mom.
So, here, I want to share them with others. I don’t currently have links from my blog to adoptive moms (something I am considering changing) so I want to lead others through this post to them . . .
There is Malinda . . . Adoption Talk
And Margie . . . Third Mom
And Dawn . . . This Woman's Work
Three amazing women . . . three amazing moms.
And there is one other. She doesn’t have a blog I can link to. But she is someone who I know I am so lucky to have as a wonderful friend in my life. She is a member on a “networking” site where we first came to know each other almost a year ago and she is a member known by so many others as one who believes passionately in adoption reform, the importance of keeping an adoption open and doing everything and anything it takes for her children.
She has faced her own struggles, own moments of insecurity, but she has never given up. She fights for change but fights even more for what is best for her middle son who she adopted. And even as she faces her own struggles through life, parenting and adoption, she is always there for others who hurt as well.
She has been there for me in ways that still to this day amaze me. She has been there for her son in exactly what anyone should expect for a mother carrying unconditional love.
And she is there, stronger than many, in her voice for reform and more awareness in the world of adoption.
She, and her amazing friendship, offered my first step into realizing I couldn’t judge all. And she continues to be, along with the other three great moms I shared here, my reminder that there is hope. There is a reason to continue to stand up and speak out in some of the most negative arenas for a first/natural mom.
And, most important of all, that the true meaning of being a mom does truly exist, no matter how you might have become a parent in the first place.