The Granddaddy Fear of Many Adoptive Moms

The subject of birth parents is a frightening one for many moms with adopted kids. Do you mean that my child has two mothers? What if my child reunites with the birth mother and loves her more than me? Do you think I should tell him he has two mothers?
If you are in an open adoption, you may not struggle with this fear, or it may surface in other ways, such as a fear that your child’s birth mother is not going to keep her word to your child and your child will suffer rejection yet again.

Sometimes, I Get Concerned that My Child's Birth Mother Will Not Keep Her Word."
Sometimes, I Get Concerned that My Child’s Birth Mother Will Not Keep Her Word.”

Even though this fear is common, it is not talked about much. Let’s discuss it so that you can do the all-important job of honoring your child’s birth mother without fear.
Unique Dynamics
First, your child does have two sets of parents—biological and adoptive. That is part of the unique dynamics of adoption. Your child is an exact mixture of ingredients from the biological parents and you to make him into the incredible person he is today. Both influences are vital!
Your child already knows he has two sets of parents—it’s encoded within him. After all, the biological mother provided her womb as the first home and your child’s first conversation was with her. To disregard her presence in his life is to deny the reality of your child, which I am fully aware is not what you desire.
Verbal Boundaries
Should you talk about the biological parents to your child? Of course! They are an integral part of his history. However, in order avoid confusing your child, I always suggest making a verbal boundary. Say this, “You have a birth mother and a birth father and a birth family. We are your mom and dad.” I believe you are the only one that should be called “mom.”
If yours is an open adoption, or if there is intermittent contact with the birth parents, don’t make the mistake of calling them “Aunt Sarah” or “Uncle John.” This will only erode future trust between you and your child.
When should you talk to your child about his birth parents? On the day you bring him home, whether he is an infant, an older child coming from another country or from foster care. Some say, “Infants aren’t going to understand the words!” You’re right, but they’ll understand your welcoming spirit. There’s more to life than words! With the infant or toddler, say, “I’m so glad your birth mother (and the workers at the orphanage) let us adopt you. We want you to know that we’ll be your forever parents, and will always love you and never leave you.” With the child adopted from foster care, it’s a delicate balance to talk about the birth family, which has probably been abusive, and I would seek professional counsel as to the most appropriate timing and method for accomplishing this.
If your child someday wants to reunite with his birth parents, will he love you less? Even in the best-case reunion, I can guarantee you that his love, respect, and admiration for you will only deepen. After all, you’ll always be his mom, so fear not! Step into that role with confidence.

5 responses to “The Granddaddy Fear of Many Adoptive Moms”

  1. Sherrie Eldridge Avatar

    I am glad is was helpful, Mari!

  2. Sherrie Eldridge Avatar

    AWWW. Thank you Mari. It’s so fun to be in contact with all of you.

  3. Mari Gallagher Avatar

    A brilliant post again, Sherrie. And as the previous poster wrote, you do your job very well! Thank you!

  4. Sherrie Eldridge Avatar

    Teresa, thank you for writing and for sharing part of your story! I bet you are a terrific mom. I know God has called me to do this because I never get tired of it. Same with being a mom, eh?

  5. Teresa Tevere Via Avatar

    I have totally done this and I thank you for the encouragement to “keep on keeping on” with what I am trying to do everyday with my daughter! You are So appreciated for all the work that you are doing trying to help all of us…What an amazing job God gave to you! You do it very well!!! xo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *