I have made an effort to whine less and help more on this blog. Whether I've been successful is anyone's guess, because a lot of my little rants are actually whines in disguise aren't they (cold risotto, anyone)? But I hope that my whiny rants skew towards education rather than irritation. And on that note, here's another :-)
One of the first things I noticed when I encountered adoption meanies on the interwebs was that many of the birth mom meanies consider the phrase "birth mom" to be the vilest of insults. One compared using it to using the N-word. And I thought, wow, really? Because I've never heard "birth mom" used as a put-down, an slam, an insult, a verbal weapon, or a dressing-down. Maybe that's just me and my sheltered little life of hot risotto (sorry, I really liked my cold risotto analogy and I'm probably going to use it to death here). Maybe there are circles of people and places in the world where if you want to deal someone a terrible blow, you call her a birth mother.
But I've never felt that way. You may have noticed that I refer to myself and others like me as birth moms. I certainly don't take offense to it and you can be sure that I don't mean it to offend anyone else. I think that a birth mother is a great thing to be!
The meanies feel that calling a woman a birth mother is insulting, akin to referring to her as an incubator or a breeder. Again I think, really? The only names that would suggest to me that a woman was an incubator or a breeder are ... well, incubator, and breeder.
The meanies would much rather be referred to as natural mothers, first mothers, or original mothers. All three of those make me a little uncomfortable. Because if I'm Roo's natural, first, original mother, what does that make Roo's mama? Unnatural? Second? Unoriginal - an impostor? Pshaw. I don't buy that for a second. Roo's mother is her real, natural, actual mother. I didn't place with a robot or a cardboard cutout.
Why is it that all of these so-called less offensive names for birth moms are inherently offensive to the parents of an adopted child? Can't we be friends, people? Can't we all have nice names? Does one person really have to demand to be called something that makes them look like the better person? I realize I'm speaking from the non-smoking section of the restaurant here, but I don't know a single adoptive mom or dad who feels like they're superior to their child's birth mom. The adoptive parents I know love and respect their children's birth moms. Doesn't that deserve love and respect in turn, rather than being called or thought of as second-best, unnatural or fake?
I'm in a different situation than a lot of birth moms, too, because I single parented for nine weeks. I think that in my situation, I certainly could make the case for being Roo's original mother, or first mother.
But I don't, and I never will. If it was that important to me to be seen as Roo's mother - to BE her mother, I wouldn't have placed her. As I've said before, Roo's parents are her parents, no qualifiers or modifiers or any other kind of adjective necessary.
Again, the meanies would object. That's not fair! Why is it that I, a quote-unquote first mother, am the one who gets an adjective and the adoptive parents get to be just plain Mom and Dad? Easy. I'm the one who placed a child for adoption. They're the ones who parent that child. It makes much more sense to me for me to be the one with an explanation attached.
But there's another difference there. The meanies never refer to placing a child for adoption. They say they "lost a child to adoption." What a horrible attitude! I certainly didn't lose Roo. I know exactly where she is. She and I both gained so much from placement! Loss is the last word I'd pin on her adoption.
I'm doing my short-story-long thing again, and I apologize. The point I want to make today, I suppose, is simply this: I am a birth mother, and I'm perfectly happy being called just that.