Friday, July 20, 2007


I am a member of a stay-at-home mom's group. We get together weekly with our kids and once a month just us moms. I never really thought about the differences between adoptive parents (those who only have adopted children) versus parents whose children are bio. Last night it really hit me. We had book club--I don't know why we really call it that, we really just drink, eat and chat. We do sometimes talk about the book but it is an excuse for socializing. Anyway. I have so much in common with them all--except for the fact that I didn't give birth to my son. I cannot in anyway relate to the issues that come with pregnancy or birth and I have to admit I am jealous. I don't feel any less of a mother because I didn't give birth to my son--as if you do the paper work and the waiting--I have a hard time imagining pregnancy and labor being more difficult than that :) But I do feel less womanly--that isn't a good representation, but I do feel like I am missing something that I am suppose to have experienced. That I want to experience. It comes in waves. Just when I feel that I am at peace with my infertility, I get hit with the longing to be pregnant. But then I look at Minnow and I have to thank the fertility gods because he is an amazingly perfect child and a perfect fit for our family and I wouldn't trade him for anything. Oh what internal conflict.

I found myself defending Angelina Jolie last night as an adoptive parent. They were criticizing her comment about Shiloh being a "blob" and that she was having a difficult time as a parent feeling connected to her. I had to step in as an adoptive parent and remind them that Shiloh is Angelina's first biological child and that her previous experiences with motherhood came when the children were 4 months or so old and how different it is when your child is responsive and smiling and moving around to just laying around doing nothing besides eating, sleeping, etc. As women who have only had that biological experience they cannot in anyway comprehend what being an adoptive parent is like. Yes we are all mothers, but our experiences are so different.

I sometimes feel like the outsider. As the adoptive parent. This is internal on my part. No one has ever treated me as though I was less than a mother, but I can feel the difference in our experiences, more than they can as they are surrounded by those who have had the same experience, whereas I am not.


Malia'sMama said...

Yes, I too feel I that my experience is "different" from those of bio parents, and so a little bit on the outside with bio-moms. I love when I meet other adoptive mamas and can share those experiences. :)

Kristen said...

I too feel this very frequently with other moms. The one thing that I have to remind myself, is that while their shared experiences of pregnancy and childbirth are awesome, so are ours of adoption. It's just that there are not always a lot of adoptive moms around to be able to share all the blessings of our experiences. Just keep looking at your son and remember that even though you did not birth him, you are the most important WOMAN in his life!

Stacie said...

Thanks for sharing on this - I've often wondered how I will feel in contrast with moms who have bio kids. Well, this is just one more reason for all of us Ethiopia adoptive moms to get together! :)

MP2 said...

As a mom who has delivered children through c-section, natural childbirth, and adoption, I feel for you. Each of these experiences was incredible, scary, painful, and miraculous. For me, the similarities outweighed the differences, but I can really see how you would yearn to experience another angle at becoming a mother. Hugs to you.

*~JESSIE~* said...

This was a great post for that adoption blog carnival. Thanks so much for taking part!

Jenny said...

I loved your post. As a mother to 2 biological children, who is in the process of adopting internationally, I find the experiences of both to be very different and at the same time very similiar. Many of the fears and joys that I had throughout my pregnancy are the same fears, concerns and joy that I am experiencing throughout our adoption process.