Posted by: jenn11970 | October 9, 2007

What is normal??

Normally I am a pretty happy, “well-adjusted” woman. I have been reading a lot of different blogs and checking out numerous websites dealing with and about adoption. Specifically things relating to Birth/First/Natural/Original Parents. As I have been reading one thing is really starting to worry and bother me at the same time. Why am I so different. Why do I not feel like so many of these people? What in my experience is different? What is the same? I end up leaving a site or blog with more questions than I do answers. Most times I end up feeling very alone and way way way out in left field. Am I just cold, empty, and unwilling to feel? I certainly don’t think so. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a dead fish, and 10 being the sun, I would have to say I would register at about an 8 or 8.5 if you asked anyone who knows me. Is my life so empty I can’t bare to face it? Noooo…. I would have to say I have a very full and happy life, so I guess that is 2 choices down. Am I unwilling to feel? Here, I have to give pause. For a very long time, I did hide my feelings. Not just from myself, but from everyone else too. I became very good at “deflecting.” However, after many years of therapy, and many years of talking, EVERYONE knows how I feel it, and usually as I am feeling it.

So why do I feel so differently??? I have no desire to debate what label someone else wants to affix to my situation. I don’t really care what you call me as long as it isn’t universally derogatory or dripping in sarcasm. I spent the better part of 6 years not really knowing what to call myself, and then the next 14 years calling myself a Birthmother. Sorry if I can’t jump on the bandwagon and wave the new team flag. I have never, and will never allow someone else to make me feel shame for being okay with the qualifier of Birthmother. There are so many more important things to try and fix in the adoption industry that the semantics behind that term actually mean very little to me. People should be able to rise above what other people try to define them as. Why then, can’t I allow myself to be referred to as something I am comfortable with??? I most certainly have no problem using the terms First/Natural/Biological/Original on sites if that is what the other posters wanted. So why do I need to feel shame in being okay with the term Birthmother?

I think this is why I really feel like I belong nowhere. I am so afraid to go against the grain and be seen as different, that the only place I can say how I feel is to my husband. I have so much respect for so many of the wonderful people I have met in the adoption world, on and off line, but still like I fit nowhere.

* I hate coercive tactics that are used by agencies to manipulate women into relinquishing.

* I fully support women being given more time to make an informed choice of whether adoption is really for them

* I FULLY SUPPORT open records and want adopted people to be afforded the right to their original birth certificates.

With those things in mind…. I also fully support any woman that relinquished a child to refer to herself by whatever name she wishes, but DO NOT force me to comply. It doesn’t mean I will not support your right to be referred in that manner, but I wish to be comfortable too. This includes making me feel dirty using the term to define myself sometimes, just because it makes you feel like a breeder, that is not the way it makes me feel.

I also reserve the right to change my mind. I am a woman after all, and a fickle one at that….. or maybe I am just weak, like spaghetti. In the spirit of reserving my right to change my mind….I might delete this whole post. I am really not in my right mind and in trying to edit this old draft, I fear I have made it almost unintelligible. LOL!!!!

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Responses

  1. If you want to use the term birthmother that is ok with me. I don’t want to give the word power and if it’s what you are comfortable with then that’s great.

  2. Thanks for your post. It really has me thinking. I need to ask our daughter’s birthmom what she would like to be called. She may not like for us to refer to her as our daughter’s birthmom and I don’t even know it! As for me, I will do whatever it is that she is the most comfortable with. If she wants I will even call her “Queen”- that is how high she ranks in my book. I appreciate what you had to say- thanks for writing it.

  3. I don’t think you’re so alone in that, after reading MANY posts that say the same thing over the past many months…

    But for anyone to make you feel less than for the way you feel is not nice.

  4. I think over thinking is a big problem for many..maybe even you. It is important to remember that you don’t have to belong to anywhere or in any one group…not to belittle what you are saying cuz you know I would not…it is like me…being fat most of my adult life I have come to grips with the fact that I am who I am …I can call myself fat (not over weight), or even a bitch for that matter but I am comfortable being who I am…if you are comfortable with who you are and what you have become then don’t try to fit in just BE. BE YOU.

    We call Spencer’s bmom, bmom because she wants it that way…when offered some of the other terms she was like..um…ah…NO. she is comfortable as a bmom comfortable as a bmom because to her that is who she is.

    I hope that made some sort of sense…and besides do you want to be coerced into being called a first mom because that is T.H.E. term for now…I think not.

    I do have a hard time remembering what all my friends want to be called some bmom some first mom some relinquishing mom or mom who relinquished so forgive me if I ever tag you in another way…it is not intentional…

  5. I don’t really think the semantics are as important as some people do. The term birthmother grates on me, when I hear it, but I fully recognize that for many people they just know it as the accepted term, and many lovely people use it and are FULLY respectful of me as a person AND a mom while saying it. That’s what’s really important.

    So for me, it depends on the situation and the speaker, whether I address the terminology or not… I like natural mom because it describes my connection to Moonbeam most fully…. but it’s not worth making a huge deal over, for me.

    So if none of this is a big deal–or even a little deal–for you, I think that is totally fine and not “out there” at all.

  6. Thank you everyone. You have no idea how much better I felt seeing that it was “okay” to feel the way I do.
    Nic~ You have no idea how much better ,you especially, have made me feel. It was nice to hear you understand the FULLY respectful AND Mom part. That is what I was trying to get at and didn’t know if I did. ; ).
    Thanks again. I think I may have been feeling a little sorry for myself…LOL!!

  7. “……just because it makes you feel like a breeder, that is not the way it makes me feel.”

    Nope, you are not alone. I feel as you do.


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