Tell me how you feel about your position as “mother” and how you look at the adoptive mothers role. One of my biggest fears right now during the adoption approval process is that if we go with an open adoption and the birth mom is involved- that I won’t feel like the mother of the baby we would adopt.
I feel like tyson has two mommys! Each of us has our own role but I consider us both mothers even though I don’t have him. I’m his birthmom and Mrs. R is his mommy! You can’t change feeling like your his mom as a birthmother because you are and always will be. The adoptive parents are the parents though and I think when you actually go through the adoption process the birthmother realizes shes giving this child new parents and will respect that you are the mother. It all falls into the plan that was created before we came here so it works out :)
I am not his mother, but there is a bond there. One that I think I won’t understand until the next life. I think of myself as more a fairy godmother or something. I helped him get to his family like the fairy godmothers got Cinderella to the ball. But there is something that I cherish that will always stick with me: that little special spirit chose me. Out of every woman throughout time, he chose me, he trusted me to find his family and deliver him safely into their arms.
Once again I am not his mother, he is not my son… sounds harsh but that is the way I feel. Giving birth I don’t think necessarily makes me his mother. I did participate in his life at a very special stage, but I don’t know of a title that really fits that. Birthmother is close and works for now. I just can’t describe how strongly it was known that his time with me was just a step, a step I will never forget and I will always cherish. There is a family here that will always love him and think of him and pray for him, but he didn’t belong with us. And through the miracle of adoption and the sealing powers of the temple he has his mother and his father and his brothers and sisters, he has his home with his family. And most importantly he is sealed to his Heavenly Father.
This is a very hard question to answer. I don’t know how to reply without sounding very brutal but I will try my best:
I personally do not like being called a mother. I am fine with the term ‘Birthmother’ because that is indeed what I am. But I do not like to be called an actual mother because in my mind, I’m not. I want the day that I actually DO become a mother to be a very special, very exciting day. I feel that if I call myself a mother now, the day that I actually BECOME a mother of my own will not be as special for me because I would have been calling myself that for a while. I think that once a child is adopted, the adoptive parents become the full and complete parents of that child. There is not two mothers after the baby is adopted, there is one. I think that a birthmother and a mother are two different things.
A birthmother was the mother of the child when they were born, but the second they sign the relinquishment papers, they are no longer a mother. They have signed all of their rights away as a mother. Signing those papers was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.
I have wanted to be a mother for my entire life. It is my dream to be a mother. But when the time is right. I do not want to make my childs life harder than it has to be just because it’s my dream. I think that when the time is right, I will be able to be a mother and my child will be able to have a good life at that point.
So I guess my answer is I don’t think MY open adoption has made Andrea (the adoptive mother) feel like she can’t be a mother. I am pretty sure she would tell me if she felt like she couldn’t be a mother cause I was there. I WANT her to tell me and we have talked about that more than once.
My birthson’s adoptive Mom (and I really only refer to her as that for clarification purposes when I’m discussing adoption issues) is his Mom in every sense of the word. She is who stays up with him all night when he is sick. She is who he runs to when he falls down. She is who plays Santa Clause and spoils him at Christmas, birthdays, etc… She disciplines him when needed and she’s financially responsible for him. She is who he calls Mommy.
Yes, I’m his Mom too but it’s a totally different mother/son relationship than what his adoptive Mom has with him. I see myself as another person in his life to spoil him with love and admiration. I am a biological connection and I’m there to answer the tough questions pertaining to his adoption that his Mom might not be able to answer. We do have a special relationship but it’s completely different from the type of relationship I have with the son I am parenting.
I know that I say this a lot, but since it is my story, it is what it is and I am sure that it will help others out there somewhere relate. Having been a mother already helped me to be able to respect the person that I chose to place my second daughter with.
It was hard for me cause I knew that I was capable of being a mother; however I was missing the “father” piece in a way. I struggled mostly with the idea of somebody replacing me and being called mom. Knowing that this was the best thing for everyone involved and that it was the right thing to do helped me a little bit. I had no idea what to anticipate and so I had to remind myself to take it one day at a time and wait till I met the family that I would be placing with.
As it would turn out, when I met the person that my second daughter would call Mom, I felt peace and ok with it. A few months after placement, I went through my phase of resenting her and feeling envious and jealous. I felt like she had taken my place and so badly wanted to be in her place of mothering “my” child. She too went through a phase of feeling envious that I was able to give birth to her child and that I was her birth mother. We went through a phase where we took a short break of not seeing each other as much and didn’t talk as much. We each had emotions to process. It was a time for me to heal and a time for her to bond. That is important, the bonding time.
As “my” baby has grown, she feels less and less like “my” baby and more and more like her mom’s baby. We have made it very clear from day one who I am, we have always called me Carly and always referred to Mom as “Mom.” As most kids do, they call other people mom or dad. She has done that a few times and we gently remind her that I am Carly and laugh. The emotions you feel are real, they are valid, they are what they are. If you are closed off and uncomfortable around the child’s birth parents, then they will pick up on that and react the same way.
On the flip side if the birth parents start to cross boundaries that are set and what are considered appropriate, then communicate and if they still continue to be crossed then tighten the ropes on the openness. Although it is a unique relationship, it is like any other one; if it becomes unhealthy, you do what’s best for your child(ren) or family. It will be hard and you will probably feel guilt and shame, however if you have communicated the boundaries and they aren’t respected then you have to make changes.
I personally don’t consider myself my second daughters Mother. It feels odd when we see her and she is doing something I know her mom wouldn’t be ok with and I tell her to stop, I feel way out of line; on the other hand I do that with my sisters kids and it doesn’t phase me. It really is the answer for everything: open communication. It doesn’t make it any easier, but the choice was made to place, you become the mother and the rights of the birth mother are relinquished. It is neccessary for both parties to be sensitive to each others emotions. So many of them are similar for different reasons.
Also, at the begining I remember the family I placed with saying, “I feel like I am babysitting and she isn’t going to be here when I wake up” or “it is all a dream, yet it feels so normal”, after awhile it went away and now it’s like it has always been this way. I have given birth to two children, raised one and placed one. I loved both of them dearly and with my first daughter, it still took time to bond and learn about her and “feel” like her mother. The best answer is wait till you meet the birth parent(s) and go from there and follow the Spirit.
to read the mini-bios on the aabm panel, click here.
if you have more questions after reading this post on topics that relate specifically to the answers these birth moms just gave us, then feel free to ask them in the comments and i am sure they will answer them in comment form.
if you have additional questions that are not answered here or questions that don’t relate to this post, please email me or comment on this post and i will put it in the aabm que.