A Real Mom

I haven’t written anything here for so long, but something irked me recently and I have something to say, and when a mom has something to say, she says it! So roll your eyes if you must, here it is.

I was perusing my Facebook news feed the other day, checking up on friends, reading various articles, when I stumbled upon this post posted by a well respected, well known online news publication.

A photo of three dogs with the caption: We’re adopted? OMG!!! You mean you’re not our real mom?

And underneath the post: Precisely why I’m not letting my pups know. What they don’t know, can’t hurt ’em.

Immediately I stopped. Now obviously it’s about dogs, great, I get it, and I know, it’s suppose to be funny, I should lighten up, but… those words, “You mean you’re not our real mom?” stuck with me all day: at the supermarket, the post office, the coffee shop; everywhere I went I saw infants strapped to their moms, young children skipping along next to their moms, teenagers slumped down in the front seats of cars next to their moms, adopted or not? I don’t know. I am sure some of them were and some of them weren’t but all of those moms sure looked real to me. I tried to talk myself out of my silly thoughts, perhaps I was overreacting, so I went home and reread the post, which by now had thousands of likes, hoping to see it through different eyes, and then I scrolled down and read the comments, here are a few:

“I never say, “adopted” in front of my fur babies because I know they understand English”

“I never say the “A” word.”

“Mine would never believe you if you told them I wasn’t their real mom.”

But you said that we’re your BABIES!!”


And then came another photo of a dog, that said, “I’m adopted??? OMG! You mean you’re not my real mom?”

Maybe I shouldn’t have read those comments by all those ignorant people, but I did and my blood began to boil. “I never say adopted”, “The A word.” “You mean you’re not my real mom?” Wow, I thought, how would my daughter or someone else’s child feel reading this? I had always promised myself I wouldn’t become one of those crazy, over the top, annoying, politically correct parents.  I believe that the world should strive to laugh more at itself; I don’t want to be one of those people that everyone has to be extra cautious around, and maybe four children back I would have been the one saying, “Oh calm down! It’s just a joke!” But life changes you, love changes you and I am not the person I use to be.

What does it mean to be “real?” Real means to be actual, genuine, valid, true, physical and tangible; something not imagined. I am my daughter’s real mom. I worry when she is sick, I laugh when she is silly, I hold my breath when I see her struggle, I get annoyed when she acts up, I cry when she is hurting and sometimes, as I watch her sleep, her hair a dark tangled mess, her eyelashes fluttering against her cheek, I have to take a deep breath, humbled by how fortunate I am to have this child in my life. These things are not imagined. These feelings occur with all of my children. I love each of them to my core, to the center of my soul, to the middle of my bones, whether they grew beneath them or not. I am a real mom to all of them and I am tired of people insinuating otherwise when it comes to adoption. Adoption is not the “A” word something to be hidden or ashamed of, adoption is something to be celebrated and we will celebrate because we are a REAL family. Real: actual, genuine, valid, true, physical and tangible; something not imagined.

And by the way, the dog joke…it’s not funny.


8 responses »

  1. Anne, Perfectly stated! I too try to not
    be one of those overly sensitive adoptive moms, but through adoption you learn to see things through your children’s eyes and it made me wonder what would my daughter think if she read this? The joke isn’t funny and the ignorant comments seriously irked me too! Adoption isn’t a 4 letter word and is a beautiful blessing – human or fur baby. Thanks for a great post!

  2. I totally agree. Adopted or not your babies are loved and cherished just as much as if you gave birth to them or not, there’s no difference your babies are your babies, to suggest otherwise is plain rude and insulting.

  3. I’m glad that article was there. Im glad you read it, marinated it, reread it and then regurgitated all of your thoughts in this well written homage to adoption and your daughter.
    The ownership and overuse of the word “mom” by dog owners, snake owners and anyone with a passion for a project peel away the true definition and deep meaning. It’s an overuse seen with “love”. I LOVE chocolate, I LOVE that movie, I LOVE my boyfriend. If it’s used enough in the smallest of senses it loses its magical, holy, mystical and exalted true meaning. I would bet my neighbor (who we call ‘shirtless’) who LOVES his lawn wouldn’t think twice about taking a Bush-Hog to the back 40 if it lingered too long after the cold. I guarantee the college girl across the street wouldn’t scoff at Chunky Monkey if that was all the grocery store carried. I also guarantee that a mom, a real mom of a human being, however that child came into her life, would dig her own eye ball out of it socket with a plastic fork for her child if needed (thank God its never come up as a solution in my house).
    I’m the proud “parent” of a Boxer??
    No, you’re faking it and sucking up my limelight. Until your Boxer keeps you up all night calling every person on their cell phone bill to find put where your Boxer is because your Boxer is 2 hours late coming home…stay in your own lane.

  4. Wow…I just discovered you’re blog and I LOVE it!! First, I loved today’s about befriending the oldest Mom! I’m the youngest of seven, raised by the oldest mom. Oh, she was soo wise! I too, am on the same path…
    Secondly, I just read about the real mom. As the mother of four children who all came to us through the blessing of adoption, I can’t thank you enough! My daughter gave me a poem once referring to me as her “fake” mom! Lol… Good thing I’m thick skinned!!
    God bless you and you’re family…I look forward to reading more ; )

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