Friday, November 11, 2011

Mom, Mother, Birthmom, Real Mom...

Another post inspired by the Birthmom Buds Blog (I love those guys!). I was reading a post called Calling Someone Else Mom written by Coley (shout out!). She talked about how it took her off guard the first time her son said "Mommy" in front of her. This got me thinking alot about the words we use and how they effect others.

It immediately brought to mind one of my most precious memories:

I have had visits with Dawson, D, G and C about once a year since just after Dawson's third birthday. This was not something we planned, but we all found a cameraderie and realized we enjoyed eachother's company. Everything seemed to fit together each time. It was amazing, and I never felt what Coley describes when she heard her son call someone else "Mom". I always felt connected to D, like long lost sisters who share a special bond through this beautiful baby boy. She was precious to me as soon as we started getting to know one another. How could I feel resentment for such a sweet-spirited woman? The only thing I found hard was that I knew he didnt really understand who I was. We had another amazing visit in 2008 (Dawson was about 6 at the time) and once again I left elated and amazed at how wonderful they all were. That was a really hard year for them, and I am still so grateful they took the time to come and spend time with me and my family. Months went by, and in January of 2009 Dawson turned 7. I try to call around his birthday each year because it makes my time so much better. That year I talked to D for a while, I heard all about their day and how everything was going for them. She let me know that they talked about me, and she thought he might be understanding now. I was so happy, and then she asked if I would like to speak to him. I heard her in the background, telling him I was on the phone, asking if he remembered when we had our visit and if he remembered who I was.

*Gasp* "My mother?!"

My legs went weak and immediately there were tears in my eyes. I tried to choke them back as we talked about presents and his sister and all kinds of other things. He was so happy and excited, and my mind was reliving that moment over and over. After he gave the phone back to D and we said our goodbyes I revelled in that feeling for days. He knew me! He knew how we were related and he could understand what it meant!

I dont know if it hit me until this last year what that must have felt like for D. For her child to call someone else "Mother". I'm sure as my heart leapt hers plummeted. More than likely he just didnt know to use the term "Birthmom" or one that would put qualifiers in place to make it understood that I am not his "Mother". I have no doubt that Dawson knows who his Mom is, I certainly know who she is. I am not that woman, I did not feed him and love him and nurture him these past 8+ years. I hope she did not see that moment as an infringment on her role, because for me the excitement was more that he knew me, and less about the title (although I have to admit to feeling joy for that as well).

I will still cherish that moment as one of the best in my life, but I can look back on it now and see how hurt D must have felt.I know it can be confusing that I call Dawson "my son" in alot of cases. I've made it very clear that he will always count as one of my children to me. What matters is not how I see him, but how he sees me. I will never be his Mom, and I am ok with that. I FEEL like his Mom, because he holds a place in my heart, but he doesnt need to FEEL like my son. He doesnt need to call Cookie his "sister" even if she calls him a brother. He has a sister who loves him and is there with him being raised by their parents.

I never want to take away from D's role in his life, because she is his Mom, she COUNTS. Maybe I am overthinking this a bit, I just need to make it clear that I dont expect them to view me as I view them. That would be unfair. I can hope that they will trust that I care for them all deeply, and even though I will always count Dawson as my son I will also always refer to them as "his parents". I dont think of them as "adoptive" parents, I think of them as what they really are, his actual parents. Real, true, amazing parents.

I want D to know that I will forever be grateful for her friendship and caring. I will always think of her as a part of my family (along with G and C). I will never think of Dawson as separate from them, because they are a package deal, and I know that. I feel so strongly that we were meant to be in eachother's lives, and I can only hope that they feel a fraction of the amount of love for me that I feel for them. I'm sure it's hard sometimes, on that side of the triad. I will never feel like our visits and conversations are a requirement, and I will always be thankful to them all for including me in their lives when they dont have to. I love each of them more than I can say, and I want the world to know that I know how lucky I am to be part of this family.


My name is Andy. said...

What a great post! Kids really do have a much better grasp of "words" and who is who then the adults usually do. My son often confuses adults when he declares that he has 3 moms! (he has me and my partner and his first mom). He knows who is who! It's so great that you get to be part of Dawson's family. I know that he will appreciate that when he is older.

Nikki said...

Beautiful post! :-)