Monday, April 20, 2009

What makes a mom, a "real" mother?

As an adoptive mother, I've had several people ask me "THE REAL MOM QUESTION". I've had strangers and friends alike ask me about my son's "real mom" and what happened to her that my substitute mom self wound up raising "her son". It's a loaded question that I answer with honesty, and never skip an opportunity to educate if the circumstances allow.

"I AM his real mom."

I'm not temporary. I'm not a ghost. I'm the one who cleans up puke, bandages knees and elbows, sits for 5 hours in the ER, helps with homework, drives him to therapy appointments, holds him while he gets shots, cheers him on when he's playing soccer and learning to swim. I'm the one who yells at him to stop running with sticks or he'll put his eye out, and the one who gets sweetly-drawn big-headed stick figure artwork with "mommy" scrawled across the top.

I'm also the one who holds him while he sadly laments about the life he lost before I became his mother. I'm the one who has to try to explain how his first mom could ever let him go. I'm the one who takes on the anguish and pain of a 6 year old who knew nothing but abuse and neglect before he fell into my arms. I am the one he runs to when he is hurting. I am the one he lashes out at when he is in pain. He trusts that I'll still love him anyway. Forever.

Because I AM his real mom.

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day....

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

~The Velveteen Rabbit


Lisa said...

I LOVE the Velveteen Rabbit. It tells so much about all of us. Beautiful post, eloquently written and sooooo true....

Ryansmom said...

Thank you Lisa. The Velveteen Rabbit is one of my very favorite books too.