He Has One Mom—Me.

Sometimes, I’m jealous of people with biological children.  Not because I wish that I had biological children instead of my (adopted) children.  But, because I sometimes wish that I could wave a magic wand and make my kids biological. 

Occasionally, I get tired of having to explain my family to the well-meaning masses.   When I said that we were fine with any race, I didn’t realize that would mean that we would live our lives on display to a certain extent.  Having said that, we are still fine with any race and regret nothing.  But, the fact that I can’t swim with my kids at the YMCA without someone inquiring about whether they are brothers and sister is, well, weird.

But, truth be told, I don’t really care.  That’s not what I’m upset about.  I’m upset that I share my title with someone else.  A woman who cared so little about my children that she took drugs, received no prenatal care, and didn’t go through the necessary steps to get them back.  Yeah, I have anger towards her.

It’s probably very different for those who have positive relationships or feelings towards their children’s birth mother and that can be a wonderful thing.  Sharing pictures or stories.  Telling your child how selfless their birth mother was; I respect that, I really do.  But, this birth mother didn’t make a loving choice, she made a selfish one, repeatedly.  And, I can’t respect that. 

Last night, Kaleb relayed a story about how William had announced to the neighbors that he had drugs before.  I’m not sure if it was a kid or an adult and I don’t think I really want to know.  Kaleb was pointing out that he would rather William not broadcast their history and he has a point.  It’s tricky, balancing William’s right to tell his story if he wants to and his siblings’ rights to not have all of their business known.  But, as important as that is, it’s not the point of the story, this is.

Kaleb said “William said that he had drugs before, that our mom had taken drugs.”

All I heard was, “our mom.” 

Me, in a weak, soap opera scene-worthy voice, “Did he say that?  Did he call her mom?”

Kaleb confirmed and Brian (I am so glad that Brian was home!) immediately called William out from his room to talk to him about it.  He knew what he was going to say, we both knew this moment would come,  but not so soon and not in this way.  

Brian, gently, told him that his mom had taken him to a birthday party today, had fed him lunch, etc, etc.  He gave him some appropriate words to use for her, like “birth mother,” and “biological mother.”  But, he told him that I was mom.   William said that he had slipped up and that he was sorry.  Although, an apology wasn’t really necessary, it was nice that he said it, anyway.  Brian hugged him and sent him back to bed.

This is what he told me, anyway, because I was in the bedroom crying like a baby.

Now, maybe I should deal with it better.  But, if we all know anything about me, we know that I’m the emotional sort.  My emotions caused me (along with Brian) to head down this adoption road in the first place.  And, it’s my emotions that caused me to dramatically repeat over and over that “It’s not fair!” when Brian came in to hug me.  So, what are you gonna do?

It gets tiring when people ask about “mom” and “dad” and I have to face the knowledge that they don’t mean us.  Or when they ask if my kids are brothers and sister.  It’s a slap in the face.  It’s a reminder that someone else gave birth to them and if things had gone a little differently, we may never have been their parents.  We had to earn that right after someone else had lost it.  But, we did earn it.  We did.  And, that makes it my job to take care of them, love them, and protect them.  

And, someday, that might include protecting them from her.  If I can.  I know that someday they might want to meet her.  And, even though, that is totally understandable; I know that I will be back in the bedroom, crying like a baby.  And, I admit that I hope that they don’t want to meet her.  But, that’s probably not realistic. 

I don’t have that hope just for my own selfish reasons.  (And, there are many.)  But, because of this.

About a year ago, the oldest brother had a fight with his (adoptive) family and he moved out.  Now, he lives with his oldest biological sister and hangs out with his biological mother.  If his facebook pictures are any indication (yeah, I snooped.), he, too, is now involved with drugs and I’m pretty sure that he dropped out of school.

The word tragic doesn’t begin to define that situation.  I wish that I could help him, but I can’t.

So, what do I do?  I keep loving my children, the best that I can.  And, take comfort in the fact, that William used the word “mom” because he didn’t know what else to say, not because he was minimizing my role.  I will remember that “mom” was called about a million times today and it was always meant for me.  I will hope and pray that our bond will be so deep that it can weather any dramatic, angsty fight that we will have in the future and none of them will ever leave.

And, I will remember this.

A couple of days after William and Antwan came to live with us, we were out on the back deck playing with the water table and bubbles.  William brought up the topic of us becoming his mom and dad.  I confirmed and said that he could call me “mom” when he was ready.

Now, I might not remember exactly how the topic came up, but I sure do remember his response.  He said, I will never forget it, “I’m ready now.”

And, that first time that he tentatively called me “mom,” it was beautiful.  Really beautiful.
I knew that I was where I should be.  I was a mom.  I was his mom.

I can’t get the good without the bad.  Magic wands don’t exist…as far as we know. 😉  So, I’ll just keep living the life that I was meant to live and hold on to what’s really important – Them.

Cinco De Mayo

Sharing the Batman love!

Dressing Like Daddy


Bonding with a Lorikeet

His glasses are way cooler than mine.

Yay for icees!



(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});


(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

30 thoughts on “He Has One Mom—Me.

  1. It's tough being the last mom among many. Our son still calls his (deceased) first mother \”my mom.\” He refers to most of his past foster mothers (of which he has 7) by their first names, although he called most of them mom when he lived with them. We had a long (4 month) pre-placement visitation period with him. It was interesting to see how he went from calling former-foster-mom \”my mom\” and \”mom\” to calling her by her first name and insisting she wasn't his mom as he began to attach to us. But he went 4 months calling us by our first names, and isn't really ready to call us mom and dad either. He might be one day, but I don't think he'll ever be ready not to call his first mom \”Mom\” as well. In some ways, my situation is easier, she's no longer living, I'll never have to compete. But it also makes it hard to address the ways in which she was not a good mother, and our son really struggles with how to be loyal to 2 moms when one is gone.


  2. I understand. I am so many years down the road, that it is no longer an issue. I remember crying too, when my eldest said he wished he could have stayed with his 'mom'. He doesn't remember that now, as a 20 year old. Both he and his 17 year old brother – not biological- are independently insistent with language. When their peers ask ' Do you know your real Mom?', both of them matter of factly say 'Yes. I live with her'. Peers – 'No, I mean your natural Mom' My sons say things like ' Yeah. She's natural, but still a bit crazy. Sometimes she dyes her hair'. If this goes own for a really long time one of them may say ' Oh, do you mean my 'birthgiver'? Yes, she's awesome. I call her (first name). She's not my Mom.'. They both love their birthgivers, but they never think of her as their mother.


  3. Emily never worry because mom is so much more then a word, it is a place in someones life and for the little Parkers, your the person who fills that role. My birth mother raised me and I wish she was half the mom you are. Never forget you are really the gold standard in moms.


  4. Oh Emily, how I love reading your blog. I sometimes think I am the only one that thinks about birth mothers in a negative light. I have a 16 year old son raised since 18 days old. I watch him struggle on a daily basis because of the lack of prenatal care and even 14 days of postnatal care that almost killed him. I like you earned the title MOM. They (who ever questions us) can call her mother, Birth mother or her name but please do not call her \”his real mom\” or \”his other mom\” or even \”his first mom\”. She did nothing to earn that title. I also have a 2 year old and a 1 year old and I feel the same way. I will fight for my children because they deserve it. Like the father saying goes it takes a real man to be a dad any man can be a father. The same goes for the MOM. Giving birth is just one part of being a mother. The title can be takin by actions. I earned my title and I want it all to myself. Hugs to the fellow MOM who earned her title. Jennifer


  5. Like others have said, \”Mom\” is so much more than a word, but for those of us who have yearned for years to hear it said, it carries so much emotion and importance. We struggle with what to call our 10-year-old's bio family. She prefers to refer to them by name and gets angry when others refer to them as \”mom\” or \”dad.\” But then there are times when she struggles with how to explain her life without referring to them as \”birth/real/bio\” mom and dad so that other people will understand.You are their mom. You are the one who will dry their tears, take care of them when they are sick, rejoice with them in their victories. They will grow to depend on you more and more with each passing day. Eventually, there will be no question as to who has always been there for them. And that is what matters! Continue to love them with every fiber of your being.


Leave a Reply to Anonymous Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s