This is a guest post by Aly Taylor. You can learn more about her at the bottom of the post.
5 Ways I Forget I’m an “Adoptive” Mom…and Why I Want to Ban That Phrase
People are always amazed when they hear our miracle story.
You see, I am a Stage 3 breast cancer survivor who didn’t have much hope of having children and at one time didn’t even have much hope about having a future at all.
Today, I have three beautiful children, through both biology and adoption. I still momentarily get confused when people ask me about our kids’ adoptions, because often times I really do forget we are parents through adoption.
I just see us as parents.
Do I forget the bittersweet pain of their birth families, or that I didn’t actually carry or birth them? Somedays – yes, honestly, I really do. But it has nothing to do with me forgetting where they came from. It has everything to do with them feeling like every part of me.
Here are the ways I forget that we have kids through adoption:
Way #1 I Forget:
Adoption is truly the most amazing journey. It is a miracle to get pregnant every single time someone does. But for another woman to get pregnant and then choose another family to raise her baby is an honor and a privilege that my husband and I never take lightly. Sometimes we may take the responsibility too seriously (if that’s even possible), because we feel an extra weight to do this parenting thing right.
Adoption has bonded me so deeply to my babies that I honestly do forget I didn’t birth and carry them. The miracle of their lives is so beautiful and the bond so strong because I birthed and carried them in a different way. I held them in my heart for as long as I knew about them. And regardless of what DNA says, I do see myself and their daddy in them.
God creates the most beautiful families.
Way #2 I Forget:
I have a clearer picture of how God sees us. I was telling my husband this the other day. God sees us like He sees Jesus. How crazy is that? Scripture tells us that God adopted us and we are co-heirs with his son. We are his sons and daughters, just like Jesus. No, we are not perfect like Jesus, but God loves us just the same. Everything that is Jesus’ is ours. And that is how I see my girls.
They are mine. Everything I have is theirs. They are Taylors. When someone asks about them being adopted or their story, if I seem caught off guard, it is just because I forget.
Way # 3 I Forget:
The fact that I have had a child through biology and two through adoption just makes the forgetfulness that much more. I tell my girls that two of them grew in my heart and one in my tummy, and they joke back and forth who grew where. Sometimes we laugh when we get it wrong, and I tell them, “Mommy sometimes forgets!” I tell them, “You are all mine and you all grew in me in some way.” Of course, I have different bonds with each because of where and how they grew, but no bond is stronger than the other – it’s just different in its own miracle way.
I had to labor for each of my girls. Every worry, lack of control, scary moment, nauseous feeling, and labor pain was and is completely worth it.
Way #4 I Forget:
Our girls’ birth family is phenomenal. They have always been respectful of our roles, and ever since the girls were ours, they have always known I was their mom and Josh was their dad. The love is tangible and the gratefulness they feel for us being our girls’ parents is a feeling I can’t quite describe.
Because of their love and support, it makes the forgetfulness that much more. They have always seen us as our girls’ mom and dad and that has been an incredible blessing to us and our girls.
Way #5 I Forget:
I am not an “adoptive” mom. I a mom.
If you are a mom blessed by adoption, you know all the comments you get, and you have had to develop a tough skin. The things people say out of ignorance can be hurtful, because you are so in love with your kids you don’t see it how others do.
They are just yours. And you are theirs.
I am not “adoptive” mom. I am mom. I’ll never forget the words their birth mom said to me after we signed the paperwork: “Congratulations, Mommy.” Yes, I always remember how and where I became a mom. Adoption just happens to be the vessel in which I became a mom.
But, I do often forget I didn’t carry and birth these precious souls…the love is so intense. The bond so strong. We were handpicked for each other, and I am eternally grateful. If I could line up every kid in the entire world, I would pick Genevieve, Vera, and Lydia Taylor every single time.
Well, there you have it. I do forget I adopted two of my kids. So I’m sorry if I look confused when you ask a question of which one is “mine.” I will answer as I always have and always will:
They all are.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Aly Taylor is the author of Aly’s Fight: Rattled By Life, But Firm in Faith. She holds a Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy, owns Taylor Adoption Services, and is an adjunct professor for Liberty University. She and her husband Josh have been married for 12 years and live with their three daughters in West Monroe, LA.