Mother, Mom

In church today a family with a young child took the pew in front of us. The little girl, perhaps close to two, was an active little one, and it didn't take her long to get herself stuck on the kneeler between her seat and the pew ahead of her.

"Mama!" she cried, and mama helped. A simple cry, a simple response. Whether mama was this child's birth mother or adoptive mother wasn't part of this equation. She could have been either.

I thought a bit about this in the context of adoption, especially the language of adoption. Language can be powerful, and decades of using the titles birth parent and adoptive parent may have actually shaped the way we think of these people, the one now viewed in terms of the single event of birth, the other perceived as impermanent and unreal.

The women to whom my children were born are their lifegivers, their ties to families that share their genes. They are links to their past, hoped-for participants in their future. Always a part of them, even when separated from them by adoption.

I am my children's supporter, here as life unfolds to teach, nurture, and guide; to take the bad with the good, the challenges with the successes. I'm connected to them by the shared events of a lifetime. But I can never say I gave birth to them, and can never replace the one who did.

We're all mothers, all moms. Bound by the experiences, good and bad, that converge on our children.


Rebecca said…
Absolutely beautiful entry :)
Melissa said…
You have some powerful insights here. I look forward to reading more. I am an adoptive mom who is only just beginning on this journey - my little guy is 3. I appreciate folks like KimKim who have patiently educated me without attacking me. I'm afraid I would have been unwilling to listen otherwise. But I am listening and learning form these brave women and am comforted to find you here, too.
Melissa said…
Oops! I think I gave the link to my website above, which is hopelessly out of date at the moment. This comment should link, instead, to my blog, where the journey is happening.

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