Am I a Mother?

May 1, 2013

GIFT.Family.Cookie time.bkgrdAccording to Webster’s Dictionary—both the print and on-line versions—a mother is defined as a woman who has borne a child. How does this cultural prejudice affect the way adoptive moms see themselves? As an adoptive parent have you ever questioned the legitimacy of your role? Or have you felt judged as less than a real mother because you did not give birth to your child?

A mother must not only be defined by the fact of giving birth. We must expand our understanding of motherhood. So, what are the attributes of a mother? Is it the middle of the night feedings, the thousands of diaper changes, kissing of boo-boos, and repeated reading of favorite stories? The conferences with teachers and tutors, visits to the doctors or pacing the floor with worry when a teen-ager stays out beyond his curfew. It is all that and so much more. Motherhood is a life-long role that never ends.

The attributes of a mother that typically come to mind are: nurturing, caring, accepting, comforting, compassion, and patience. A well-rounded mother demonstrates all of these ingredients. However, two often-overlooked skills are a sense of humor and the ability to champion a child. This is especially important for adopted moms who often must lobby vigorously on behalf of their child.

During the month of May, our GIFT blog will explore these attributes in detail. Log on and share your ideas and experiences of motherhood. How has being an adopted mom been different from your expectations and the experiences of your friends and family?

We’ve often heard there’s no place like home. As an adoptive mother, how have you structured this place you call home? What makes it warm and loving so that it fosters your child’s healthy growth, both physical and emotional? Consider the acronym PLACE.

                P          Playfulness

                L           Love

                A          Acceptance

                C          Compassion

                E          Empathy. 

What attributes define you as a mother in the “PLACE” you call home? Share with us so we can all expand our vision of motherhood.

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