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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our Other, Other Mother

"Gosh, Amanda, how many moms do you have?!" I can imagine people (non-adopted) thinking when I talk about all the moms in my life.  I have something like five moms, really.  I have a first mom, an adoptive mom, a mother-in-law, a foster mom, and my paternal aunt, who has become like a mother-figure to me on my paternal side, which I like, because I will never meet the man who fathered me.  Of course, when people ask about "my mom" as most people mean when they say "mom," I answer about only two: my first and my adoptive.  When it comes to adoption, we're all accustomed to the "what do your a-parents think?!" whenever an adoption topic comes up but interestingly enough, few people have ever asked me what my mother-in-law thinks.

When I was first searching, reuniting, and meeting my first mom, my mother-in-law did not really say a whole lot about it or ask me very many questions.  I never really wondered why until someone volunteered that she may have her own challenges to overcome with my reunion because I have children with her son.  Now the grandchildren are not only "shared" between two grandmothers, but three.  Will this mean less time and fewer holidays spent with her because there are more grandmothers/grandparents to visit?

The only response to this suggestion I had to was to let out a heavy sigh.

So many people's feelings to worry about, so many people to please, where is this mythical, legendary "triad" or "triangle" people reference that suggests one single adoption only impacts and involves three parties?

When your son marries an adopted woman, I suppose adoption impacts your life too.  As I increasingly grow more aware of just how many people in several families that just one adoption can impact, I can't go into "make everything wonderful for everyone" mode.  This is my life; this is how it is.  What is best for me and my kids, and yes, even better for my husband too (not saying it is best for anyone or everyone else) is for us to have all of my families in our lives.  It may be difficult for others and even hard for them to understand but I just have to trust that they will support what is best for me because that is what being family is all about.  So, no more worrying about it.

What has your mother-in-law said/thought about your adoption/reunion?


  1. I bet you get tired of people asking how your adoptive Mother feels? My husband used to ask me all the time to think about how my daughter's adoptive Mother feels and sometimes I just wanted to scream what about how I feel? Or how does my daughter feel? We matter too.

  2. Exactly!!!!!

    And I am an adoptee who is married to an adoptee. If he sought and found his biological relatives, well then... wow, their will be so many mom's and dad's. ;)

  3. Oh the complications of adoption and subsequent reunion...ironically, my mother-in-law is more supportive of my reunion than my Mom and yet both remain clueless about the complexities of adoption...if that makes any sense...

  4. Too funny, Amanda! We adoptees do share certain traits - I just posted a comment similar to your feelings over on FMF. Who's my mother? Who am I????

  5. My first had spent time in the care of others as a child, been abused and we had a very special bond, she was another mother, best one I ever had.The second never mentioned it and the third was sniffy about a bastard producing a bastard!A mixed bag which never bothered me or affected anything I did.

  6. This post was very interesting to me. I wonder what my MIL would think if/when I look into reunion... My MIL works for the Canadian equivalent of CFS. She provides admin support for social workers handling fostering and adoption situations every day. I think her view of first mothers is skewed by her work. So I really wonder what she'll think of my first mother, if I ever find her. Hmmm... thanks, as always, for the food for thought.


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