J and I recently made the conscious decision to stop calling K's firstmom his "birthmom". J didn't like the term in general, due to the negative connotation that it tends to have here in the U.S.; I also felt like it doesn't accurately reflect her role in his life. I'll call K's firstmom T. T did not just give her child life, an amazing gift in and of itself, but birthmom felt like a term that would relegate her role to that level. She is a woman who raised her son for almost a year, most of that as a single parent after K's firstdad passed away. She is a woman who was very obviously grieving very hard when we met her--grief transcends language. She is a woman who made an incredibly hard decision for her little boy, one she will have to live with for the rest of her life, in a culture that absolutely loves children. "Birthmom" didn't seem like it could even come close to demonstrating her role in his life.
Recently, I was reading a blog (not one of my usual ones) written by an adoptive mom about her child. She was going on about how much she felt she had missed, how sad she was that her child was not with her for several months before bringing the child home. It was obviously written with love and desire to have spent more time with her child. And it made me wonder if most adoptive parents feel that way.
Erin is one of the contributing editors for International Adoption. She writes daily at PCOS Baby where she chronicles life with her children and parenting after adoption from Ethiopia.