When we first brought Meg home I was all about semantics. If someone asked questions about "her mother" I was quick to come back with answers about "her birth mother." I practically snarled it at times, making sure they got the point that I was THE mom as far as Meg is concerned.
Now, I am ashamed I did that.
I may as well have lifted my leg and peed on Meg, because that's all I was trying to do, claim ownership of her. Let the world know that I am her mother, and no one can take that away from me. At the time I was bewildered, and unsure of how this was going to all work out. I was still angry over the fact my own body had failed me, and felt any control I had over the situation was tenuous at best. I wasn't sure if I would be a good mother, and, above all else, I was scared. I was scared for me. I was scared for Meg. I was scared for Meg's Mom. I didn't want all of us to be making a huge mistake. I was parenting from a place of fear, and that is never a good place to start making decisions.
Meg has two Moms. There is nothing wrong with that. Neither one of us wins when a qualifier is placed before the title of the other. By trying to place a qualifier on either I think the real loser ends up being Meg, because it implies she is something other than what she is: a kid who is lucky enough to have many, many people who love her, and want to see her grow and succeed. I don't want her to ever question that there is a hierarchy of people who love her.
Also, the standard qualifiers are kind of stupid if you ask me. "Birth Mom" implies that all Meg's Mom did was pop her out. It doesn't take into account all the time she spent with her in the womb, all of the genetics and history she passed along to her, or the care, love, and concern she has showered on Meg since she came into this world. And "Adoptive Mom?" This one I guess I closer to the truth, I did adopt Meg, but I like to think that was just the beginning of it all. Since then I have been "Mom who buys band aids," "Mom who chases imaginary frogs," "Mom who yelled when she probably shouldn't have," and many, many other kinds of Mom. I think it's easier just to keep it short and sweet.
Now, I am not saying that this is easy. I know there are going to be times I will want to have a "Meg's Mom" tattoo that I can show her if/when she decides to have tantrums centered around the argument "you're not my real Mom." However, I think I will just have to remind myself in those moments that she is coming from a place of hurt, or disappointment, or just being a brat, and that good decisions never come from those places either.
Then I will take a long deep breath, and be thankful for that child.
Oh, and for her Mom.
*Inspired by Kelly at "Monkey Soup." Really, go check out her blog.