Search Results for 'entitlement' ↓


a few months ago, i wrote a post about entitlement and with a lot of wondering about when i would feel like i was 100% baby dude’s mom and… i’m not sure when it happened, or how exactly, but i think i’m there.

recently, a friend of mine was telling me about an adoption song on keb mo’s “big wide grin” album called “i am your mother too” and she warned me that it would probably make me cry.  so i waited until i had some quiet time and i listened to the song.  and i didn’t get weepy, i got irritated.

here’s the chorus:

And though you came from the womb of another,
We will care for you.
Life is your sister and Love is your brother
And I am you mother too.
I am your father too.
We are your family too.

i am your mother TOO?  TOO?!  why qualify it?  i AM your mother!

hmmm…..maybe i’ve gone a little too far with this entitlement thing?  but at least apparently some of the ditherings from that last reflective post have been resolved.

permission to speak freely?

i feel like a lot of the posts that I’ve written since bringing baby dude home have been a little less reflective–haven’t dug as deeply into the trenches of emotion–than some of my early posts.  I know that some of the most meaningful posts that I read on other adoptive blogs are the ones where parents talk about the raw, true emotions they’re feeling and so, although I’m a little nervous and feel like what I have to say isn’t very eloquent at this point, I’d like to explore here one of the rabbit-holes my mind has been floating down lately.  If I say something really embarrassing or offensive, will someone please send me a gentle heads-up?

after reading one of her quotes in Adoptive Families magazine, I had to find Alison Boynton Noyce’s blog, “They’re all my own” and add it to my (trying to be whittled DOWN, not up) Google Reader. Over the past two days, I’ve read her entire blog.  In short, she is an adult adoptee with two daughters by birth (both old enough to not be living at home anymore) and two elementary-age sons adopted from Ethiopia.  She writes a great blog with some fantastic reflections on transracial families, being an adoptee and being a mother to both adopted and biological children.

In one of her posts, she was reflecting on an unexpected side effect of finally meeting her birthparents as an adult.  She was surprised that the event seemed to change how other people viewed the family she was raised in.  Here’s a quote:

“I remember telling a story that involved my mom.  One of my dearest friends stopped me mid-sentence and asked me which mom I meant.  I couldn’t believe it.  I realized that in spite of my clear explanation, that was how people saw it.  That my mother suddenly shared equal billing in her role in my life was really painful for me.”

Wow.  That quote has opened up a whole interesting nest of emotions in me.  I’m still exploring all of those emotions, but I’ll see if I can articulate my immediate responses.

1.  Is this same feeling shared by children of open adoption who have known both their birthmother and adoptive mother their whole life?

2.  I am Baby Dude’s full-time*, everyday mother and the one that he will grow up knowing as “mom” and when he tells his friends a story about “my mom” he’ll be talking about me.  why is that such a revelation?

3.  I will be eternally grateful to Baby Dude’s birthmother, but maybe I don’t always have to feel like I’m his “second [choice] mother.”  (Did you know that one of the other euphemisms for a birthmother is “first mother”?  While it is technically true, I often feel like it implies that I am then a second mother and for some reason my mind always inserts that bracketed word (or sometimes the word “best” instead) into the phrase as well, so I don’t find myself often using that particular term.)

4.  At one point in the many readings we did to prepare ourselves for adoption, I came across an author who talked about adoptive parents needing to feel “entitled to be the child’s parents.”  Now the word “entitlement” often carries a lot of ugly baggage with it, but let’s just look at the phrase for what it is.  It’s simply pointing out that adoptive parents need to feel like it’s okay for them to be, 100%, that child’s parents and not constantly be second-guessing themselves or being so tentative that they become ineffective parents.  I’d like to read more research about that concept, but I haven’t had a chance to yet.  Actually, I just did an online search and I found this link that is exactly what I’m talking about, so if what I’ve said sounds confusing, bumbling or offensive in any way, go read this so you can see what I MEANT to say.

5.  Although I don’t believe that children in open adoption are ever “confused” about the different roles that their birthparents and adoptive parents play in their lives, I’ve read that it’s pretty common for them to wish at some point that they had grown in their (adoptive) mom’s “tummy.”  I understand that this is usually just a desire to be like most of their friends but is it also a way for them to claim their adoptive mother as their own?  To say, “You are the one that I know as my mom.”?  I think that in one of her posts, Alison Boynton Noyce said that it was frustrating to her that people always felt the need to qualify/clarify her mom as “her adoptive mom” instead of just “her mom.”  Do all adoptees feel like this?  Do most?  Will Baby Dude?

6.  I’m not sure if this story is directly related to this issue, but it’s sort of tangled up in it and I can’t find anywhere that I’ve already discussed it, so here it is now:   In the early days of getting used to the idea of adoption, I once confessed to a dear friend that I was worried that I’d always feel like I was just babysitting some kid and she, a mother of two beautiful daughters, looked at me and wisely replied, “well, that’s all any of us do really.  I’ve never felt a sense of ownership about my children.  They are simply human beings that I get to care for and do my best to guide them safely to adulthood.”  (okay, that’s a pretty broad paraphrase and I”m pretty sure there was originally something in there about loving them too, but you get the gist.)  I found this conversation oddly comforting.

7.  Shouldn’t I have ironed out all of these emotions before diving into the world of adoption?  Or is this like the grief of infertility where you’re always discovering new layers and permutations hiding in places you had no idea you were holding on to?  And although it gets much easier to deal with over time, there will always be some little thing that can trigger those emotions/questions/griefs and you’re right back in the thick of it?

*can i still say that if he’s in daycare 4 days a week?