“You’re Not My Real Mother”

I’ve been away for a while–mentally if not physically–but now I’m back. Tina Traster, author the new memoir Rescuing Julia Twice, which I read and admired and should write about, eventually, has penned an essay on the NY Times Motherlode blog, “You’re Not My Real Mother.”

I hope you read Tina’s essay, and the many comments it elicited, including this one, written by me:

Dear Tina,

I appreciate your honesty in sharing your story and reaction. As an adoptive mom to two tweens born in Guatemala, with a large circle of friends who are adoptive moms, I can assure you that your daughter’s statement is normal, on-track developmentally, and–based on my conversations with my adoptive mom friends–inevitable.

We searched for and found both our kids’ birth mothers. Seeing my children with their other moms helps me remember they have a history that started before me, and another family who shares their blood. Maybe it’s that realization that helps me take the “You’re not my real mother!” comment, if not in stride, then with deep empathy. All our kids have suffered loss.

I think your daughter’s comment is beautiful. It shows she trusts you enough to know you’re not going anywhere. That you are her mother forever.

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