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« Longing. Wanting. Craving. | Main | Baby James »

April 02, 2007

Comments

Possum

Great post Paula.
Hugs, Poss. xxx

Mom2One

Absolutely!! All so very true. I wonder the same. I wrote in a similar post from my viewpoint, of course, and this was actually taken from another blog -- though I can't remember which blog (wish I could) -- "if a mother can love more than one child, why can't a child love more than one mother?"

Sara

Beautiful post, Paula. Yes, this is one of the things I struggle with most--people being dismissive or outright disrespectful of our son's first family. I do think it is hard for people who haven't adopted a child to appreciate the bond we have with our children's first families, how we can love someone we've never met, and your post communicates this so well. Next time I'm at a loss for words trying to explain this, I think I'll send people here! I love mom2one's quote about a child loving 2 mothers--so true.

As an aside, I've gotten similarly upsetting comments about my son's foster mom when I've described how heartwrenching it was to watch her hand our son to me. ("She knew what she was getting into," "it's her job," or similar comments.) This was the woman who carried my son on her back, fed him, sang to him, woke up with him every couple of hours during the night, and helped him thrive for 8 months. I am in awe of her and forever indebted.

The reality is sacrifices by many people enabled me to be a mom. I want to make sure that all of the mothers in my son's life are honored.

Thanks for putting this into words so perfectly!

abebech

"If you cannot see my mother in me, then you are not truly seeing me."

Absolutely. I did not have the good fortune to meet Miss I's mother, but I love her because I love Miss I, and I see her in my beautiful daughter everyday. I think this is the thing that I was searching for a way to say when Mia asked what one thing we'd want to be known about adoption: Love Miss I, love her mother. See her mother, know Miss I.

This is a very beautiful post, and the perfect analogy. You are very gifted.

Bobbi Jo

Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts as an adult adoptee and adoptive mother. Your point of view is so helpful and needed.

Kohana

My son sleeps with a picture taken in the hospital with his first mother holding him and us standing next to the bed. We pray for his first parents by name every night. Even though we have minimal contact (not my preference), we are holding onto every bit of contact that we do have, like priceless treasure. It is so upsetting when people ask "aren't you afraid his mom will try to come take him back?" Don't they realize that I would use my best china, make the house spotless, and lay a red carpet for her? She is the most important person I could ever invite into our lives, given the opportunity.

Theresa

This is a beautiful post, with beautiful comments following. The best china comment above brought tears to my eyes. Isn't it funny how tiny phrases have such strong emotional reactions?

HeatherS

This is beautifully worded and absolutely true. Thank you.

abebech

I hope you don't mind that I linked to you again . . .

Christine

I love your analogy of having another woman parent your children if you died. Especially, "What an insult to me for anyone to suggest I'm not their REAL mother". It shows how ludiscrous it is for us to think our children popped into existence just for us, and how unbelievably ridiculous it is for us to focus only on our pain.
Great post.

Jen

But I say to them now, "If you cannot see my mother in me, then you are not truly seeing me."

That is an amazingly powerful sentence... I don't even have the words to appropriately describe how much I love that statement, but thank you for writing it!

Rebecca

Paula, I took a few days off from reading blogs due to illness and I'm still feeling quiet. I wanted to let you know that I am still reading. After this post, I'm crying too. So well written. It's posts like these that make me want to hang up my keyboard and just link to you. So very, very well said. Prayers, hugs and love, Rebecca

Paula O.

Thank you everyone for your comments. As an adoptee, it means so much to see others validate fellow adoptees in their entirety by affirming, acknowledging and honoring their beginnings, their first parents and the part of their lives that existed before they joined their adoptive families.

I hope & pray one day that society will view my Korean family, especially my parents, as deserving of the same worth and importance as my adoptive family. I wish the same for all first parents.

Kohana - your words also moved me to tears. Thank you.

Thank you again to everyone for sharing part of your stories here with me and the rest of us. I really appreciate it.

PS - Rebecca - I'm so sorry to hear that you were sick. :( Many prayers, hugs and love back to you, my friend. Please take good care of yourself, your voice and your spirit. I'm thinking of you. :)

zoe

Very descriptive and beautiful, Paula. Your analogy is a good one. I think it is a great question for a-moms who cling to their "real mom" title and for all those in the general public who totally don't get it: "If you died and your husband re-married, how would you want your children to remember you?"

Again...beautifully articulated. ((hugs))

elizabeth

Your posts touch me deeply Paula.

What a gift you have for writing.

Margie

Thank you, Paula, for delivering this important message so eloquently. It is so disheartening to me to know that there are adoptive parents in forums and on blogs who truly believe that they have a "right" to their children that supersedes their children's right to know their first families. It defies logic, it's inhumane.

Thank you again.

mommavia

We pray for our son's parents in Korea every evening when we pray. Our son is only 2, but we tell him that he has a Korean mommay and daddy too. I want him to search for them one day if he desires; I want him to know how important his first parents are. They are a part of him, and because of them I am a mother.

I have never been 100% comfortable with the term "birthmom". It implies she was there to birth my son then go on about her day. In my heart I feel she held him, cuddled him, talked to him. She is the mother that brought him into the world. How can I crop that into a term?

Thanks for your view...it's so nice to read such honesty written with so much heart.

rose

How very sad for your friend....my heart goes out to her family. My cousins died very young of Ovarian cancer (each with 2 children under 3). One suggestion i have for everyone is to make videos of yourself (actually we've made one of my hubby and i) signing songs and reading stories to the kids. My daughter used to LOVE watching them . As they get older you can change the format a little. It feels kind of silly when you're doing it but having worked in the Cancer Center for 15 years i've seen so many young moms/dads with Cancer.

Okay.... i was digressing a little.

This was a BEAUTIFUL post. It really hit home again. It is very disheartening to hear all the negatives about birthmoms (and i've heard plenty....lived with the shame of being one of those.....women). I truly feel comfortable with this label for myself (although I choose to use first-mom or Umma with C.) A. calls me her birthmom. When i met some of A's afamily last week one of them said to me...."oh you're so...ahh....normal"...like i was supposed to be a crack ho or druggie or freak?????? Maybe just a young scared teen who had no other choice (or believed i had no other choice). Or a girl who thought she was doing the best thing or only real "choice" for the daughter she truly loved. Normal or human....hmmm...imagine a first mom being that.

"If you cannot see my mother in me, then you are not truly seeing me". THAT IS SO TRUE. I cannot look into my son's eyes/face and not see his first family. Just as i cannot look into my daughter's eyes and not see myself reflected there. How beautiful and special she must be. How i wish i could reach out and reassure her that he is okay and loved (my ever present nightmare until reunion).

There were so many responses here that i wanted to quote...."I want to make sure all his mothers are honored, she is the most important person i could ever invite into our lives". So very far from the aparents i work with (all 6 unfortunately) who believe their child is THEIRS and THEIRS alone. Sad....and frustrating.

Be the change that you want to see in the world (my favorite quote of the day :-)

Great post Paula....Thank You!!!

rebekah

Once again your insight has brought me to a realization. I won't go into details because it's only partially related but the concept of full recognition of however many moms a person has is truly insightful. Thanks again.

By the way, a few weeks ago I posted a response regarding losing my mom over time to mental illness. You responded by saying 'sorry for the loss of your mom.' No one has ever said that to me, and it meant quite a bit. Thanks.

Paula O.

Thank you everyone for your kind words.

Margie & Zoe: I know I'm sounding like a broken record here, but thank you once again for your support and understanding. It means a great deal to me. Thank you, ladies.

Elizabeth: You are very kind. Your words, your voice has had a great impact on my life. Thank you for reading. :)

Mommavia: I feel the same way you do about the term. I of course would honor my Korean mother's wishes and call her birth mom if that is what I knew she'd prefer, but now I like to think of her simply as "mom". I think praying for our children's first parents is such a strong example to our children of how we value their mother and father. We do that, too. Thank you for sharing that.

Rose: As always, your words touch me so deeply. I admire your strength and your courage so much to speak your truth.

Hopefully the widely-held perception of first mothers will change and their value, their worth, their significance as people, as women and as the mother of our children - will find its way into how we as a society (esp. within the adoption community) see them - really, truly see them. Thank you for your voice. ((((Rose))))

Hi Rebekah: Thank you so much for your comments - I really appreciate you taking the time to write.

mia

I do wish everyone understood this. It would make our lives so much healthier.

(((Paula)))

Nina

But I say to them now, "If you cannot see my mother in me, then you are not truly seeing me."

Paula!!! You have managed to capture - in what appears to be such a simple yet eloquent statement, the frustrations of us adoptees whose adoptive parents pretended we were their biological children. It's as if we were Pretend People. I am my mother's child. It is as simple as that. To deny it is to make us invisible...as if any child would have done...and not us as individuals. This entire post was so wonderful, so true. Thank you!

Nina

Sorry, Paula...Just reread my comment and wanted to clarify...I took your quote and found it applicable to my situation, but I know you did not mean that YOUR a-parents did any such thing.

Paula O.

Thank you, Nina! No apologies necessary at all - I completely understood what you meant and sadly, have seen so many instances where (adoptive) parents have all but forgotten and tried to erase their children's past or history. As if it were to shameful or too embarrassing for them as parents to acknowledge and face the truth. Unfortunately - we know what kind of damaging message that then sends to the adopted child. . .which I find so incredibly sad and wrong on so many different levels. Anyway - just wanted to thank you for kind words and your support, Nina.

Julie

Beautiful and well put! I came to your site from KimKim's blog. I hope you don't mind if I stick around :)

joy

Beautiful Paula just beautiful

Paula O.

Hi Julie - thank you so much for visiting and for reading - I appreciate it.

Thank you, Joy - that means a great deal.

jena

As a new adoptive mom, I find myself reading this and feeling incredibly guilty, like I forced my son's mother from her reluctant arms and his whole life he will be not quite whole because of that......
The reality is that our son was "relinquished" "given up" aor whatever is the proper term long before we ever came into the picture.....
What am I/are we supposed to do? What is the right thing as adoptive parents?
I understand that we cannot minimize the incredible importance and reality of Khai's first mom and dad, but what are we supposed to do so that we do not inflict further damage.
In a society that views adoption as second best or an abberation from the norm, I understand an a-parents desire to "normalize" adoption, to talk about our adopted children as if they are just the same as our bio kids.....
How can we do this in a way that does not diminish the first parents? I do love my newly adopted son with the same fierce love as my bio kids, and I never ever want him to forget that I am not his first mom, I never want him to feel like he has to choose between loving us....How do I make this a reality?
Jena

Sparky

I just recently found your blog from Anti Racist Parent. I sit here reading this post months after you wrote it and crying my eyes out.

I'm a new mom to my daughter adopted from China this past March. She is 17 months old and my love for her grows every day. My hope is that I raise her to understand and own whatever feelings she has about her adoption and all of her parents. We "talk" (well I talk and she babbles) about her first mother frequently. Mostly this comes up because of her new fascination with her belly button. It has become a natural way for me to tell her about her first mom and how she cared for her. I'm not sure how much she is understanding but I hope that by doing this now we will have an open dialogue in the future.

Thank you Paula for taking the time to put your thoughts out there. I'll be scouring your archives for more great posts.

Sparky

I just recently found your blog from Anti Racist Parent. I sit here reading this post months after you wrote it and crying my eyes out.

I'm a new mom to my daughter adopted from China this past March. She is 17 months old and my love for her grows every day. My hope is that I raise her to understand and own whatever feelings she has about her adoption and all of her parents. We "talk" (well I talk and she babbles) about her first mother frequently. Mostly this comes up because of her new fascination with her belly button. It has become a natural way for me to tell her about her first mom and how she cared for her. I'm not sure how much she is understanding but I hope that by doing this now we will have an open dialogue in the future.

Thank you Paula for taking the time to put your thoughts out there. I'll be scouring your archives for more great posts.

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