Monday, November 2, 2015

On being an "adoptive" mom

I don't really understand the term "adoptive mom". Exactly what part of motherhood does the "adoptive" part negate? The late night feedings? Exploding diapers? Two year old tantrums? Because if I recall correctly, babies are a package deal- whether you physically give birth to them or not. Most people that say "adoptive mom" or "adopted child" are innocent in their intentions, but in the adoption circles, these words cut pretty deeply.

I have been blessed with the unique perspective of having both a biological baby and a non-biological baby and I will be the first to say it wasn't the pregnancy and the constant tiredness and the back pain that made me a mom. It wasn't the long labor that finally ended in a c-section that made me a mom. And don't even get me started on the breastfeeding versus bottle feeding debate, because neither of those made me a mom.

It was the first time Finn looked at me with a smile, because he knew I was his. It was the first time he reached for my finger and fell asleep on my chest. It's when Ryder looks up at me with his big blue eyes and the widest, gummiest smiles and when he squeals and buries his head on my shoulder. It's Finn's little voice that calls out to me from his bed when he says "mom mom!" and he yells "hi!!" when I finally walk in his room. It's when he grabs my hand and pulls me to play with him. Or when he lifts both hands towards me and says "mom mom, up". Or when he wants to crawl in my lap and lay his head on my shoulder at bedtime and rock while we sing and pray. These are the moments that make me a mom. For all adoptive moms out there- you have your moments too. It doesn't matter how a child joins your family, what matters is that he's your family. Every birthday, every Christmas, every Mother's Day card, the first day of school-- those are all yours, mama. When he learns to walk, your hands will keep him from falling. Your kisses make his boo boos better and your hugs make him forget his bad dreams. You'll get mad at him for wearing his muddy shoes in the house and ask him to turn his music down. You'll get grass stains out of his uniform and make sure the fridge is stocked. You'll help him with his homework and teach him to drive a car. You'll iron his graduation gown and take his prom pictures. You'll unpack his clothes in his college dorm and dance with him at his wedding. These moments and a million more are what makes us moms.

Finn found a copy of our profile book that we used in our adoption process and looked at every picture on every page. When we created it, we had no idea that God had already hand selected the sweetest, happiest, spunkiest, most joyful little boy we've ever been blessed to know. We are so thankful to be his mom and dad.

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