Recently, I had the opportunity to sit on a panel for an Adoption Knowledge Affiliates conference. AKA is a little different than many adoption support groups because it supports all three parts of the adoption triad: birth parent, adoptive parent, and adopted person. The audience for our panel was about half adoption professionals, and the rest of the group pretty evenly split among the triad parts. It was a truly interesting experience.
One member of our panel was a birth mother. I truly enjoyed meeting her as she reminded me to remind my kids that their birth mothers have not forgotten about them. Just because they are not hearing from their birth mother, they should not read into that. I think I do not emphasize enough that their birth mother has never ever forgotten them.
I was inspired to reach out to all our birth families again; I’ve written and sent a new batch of pictures and reminded them that they do matter to us and the children. If they need time for themselves, that’s fine, but they should not believe they can’t resume contact because they stopped at one point. Only our oldest is currently in contact with her birth family, and it is a limited and occasional Facebook exchange. Since we haven’t heard from the others, we really don’t know what’s going on with them right now. I wanted to state explicitly that I would welcome hearing from them.
In our panel, someone asked what our youngest call their birth mother. I stated that they call her “Mama.”
“Well, what do they call you?”
“Mama, Mommy, Mom.”
“Don’t they get confused?”
I laughed. “No, they’re not confused. She’s Santa Claus and I’m the police!”
Seriously, kids do not get confused. They know who is who. She’s the tummy mommy, the fun mommy, and I’m the one who kisses their boo-boos, puts them to bed and feeds them. They know the difference. And they are perfectly able to love us both. They need us both, too, and that’s the important part, right?
If all the parents involved truly want the best for their children, that comes through. And that’s really all they need to know.
How do you manage absences from your birth families?