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I am new to the process of adoption. I want to thank the staff from Abrazo for making and managing this forum. While I have been searching for the answers to my questions, the forum has given me great understanding of the open adoption process and its benefits and pitfalls. I can tell you with no hesitation that even though I am new here, and have only talked to a handful of people, I have felt so much love when reading these posts. I feel valued and respected even though my baby is yet unborn and has not been placed with his/her family. I have read so many horror stories about the process of open adoptions and how first families are subsequently removed from the life of the AP's and child they lovingly placed. I was scared that this would happen to me and my child. And in all reality, I suppose it still could. But I can see that with all the support and love the people who run, place, and adopt through Abrazo have to give, the odds of that here are unlikely at best. I have no hesitation that I have chosen the right agency to proceed with my adoption plan. I could not ask for more support and respect than that of the people I have read about here. Believe me, I have done my homework. I am in my early thirties and have two beautiful, wonderful children already. While I may think I am not as naive or impressionable as lets say, a 15 year old with an unplanned pregnancy, I know that I could ultimately be denied access to my child if I chose the wrong agency who does not take the time to carefully screen and educate their applicants. I have no doubt everyone here is working in the best interest of the child. The decision to place this child I now carry was gut wrenching and very, very painful. I am so happy to see that at least in this place, my grief over that decision will not go unnoticed, unheard, or uncared for.

I did have a thought, and hopefully I am not going to offend anyone. I have a problem with being labeled a "birthmother". In my opinion the term "firstmother" (that I have seen used on this forum) is far more appropriate. Even though I have chosen to place my child with loving, adoptive parents who will be mom and dad, does my "motherhood" end when I give birth? I loved my baby from the first time I saw the two lines on that test, the first time I heard the heartbeat, or felt the flutter of movement in my belly. Does that love disappear when I hand my child to his/her AP's. NO. So being referred to a "birth" anything feels like my role and love is being reduced to a carrier, and stops once I have given birth. I do believe that NO ONE here thinks that way, but can it be understood why the word might be a problem for some? For me, I would much rather be called by my given name than a birthmother. I know it may seem silly to some but I bet it is in the back of others minds as they go through the adoption process. On the other side, I also have a problem with the term given to first mothers as "real mother". I think that both mothers in the adoption process are "real mothers" The AP's are just as "real" as the one who bore the child. The two mothers are just different. I hope I have made sense. :)

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Hi Amy,

Welcome to Abrazo and the forum! I really enjoyed reading your post. You made perfect sense with your points about what terms are respectful and not labelling, as you said. There is a forum thread somewhere that talks about that very thing - maybe somebody can share the link.

As a parent-in-waiting who recently met the family we are matched with, this was one of my first questions to them - what to be called? When we are talking to them or with our families then we say the person's name - no need for labels, we know what we are to each other, the mamas, the grandmamas. We were able to laugh about being each others "baby mama" because it's a role we hope to share.

I think "birthmother" and "expectant mom" are used on the forum to protect privacy. Perhaps firstmother or using an initial is more considerate.

Thanks for sharing,

another Amy :)

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Hi, Amy! I'm so glad you made your first post on the forum.

Like you said, there's a huge amount of gratitude we all have to Abrazo for creating and maintaining the forum. We all learn so much from each other here and like (the other) Amy mentioned, there is a thread somewhere on the forum where many people have talked about preferred "terms" - birth mother, first mother, real mother, etc. I agree with you: a mother's love does not end at birth - for both the biological family and the adoptive family, the love skyrockets at birth and BOTH roles are incredibly important. We also had a discussion with Oliver's "Mama B" about what she wanted to be called. Although Oliver is only a month old (today), I talk to him about her all the time. I don't say "your birthmother loves you," but I do say "your Mama B loves you so much." We are BOTH mothers. That's a hard role to share (for both first mother and adoptive mother), but how wonderful for a child to be sooo tremendously loved by TWO mothers!

To add an extra element to the importance of first mothers/families: Mama B gives me a reason every day to be a better mother. When Oliver is crying and upset, the first thing that pops into my mind when I'm frustrated is that Mama B would give anything to be there soothing him right then. She gives me a reason to be a better mother: to make her proud and never take for granted the daily role I hold.

You've found the right agency who really stands behind open adoption and educating the adoptive parents about what's really involved in an open adoption. There's respect between first parents and adoptive parents that doesn't end at birth, but it's a continual relationship that is in place because everyone loves this baby. Keep writing on the forum and we can't wait to follow your journey and support you along the way!

Love,

Melissa

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Welcome, Amy! and thank you for sharing your insight! We have all struggled with "what to call whom" and when and why... you can find more of that discussion HERE.

The term "first mother", while preferable to some women who place, is also hurtful to some adoptive parents, who feel it prioritizes one woman over the other, silently labeling the mom who adopts as "second best." But in the end, the truth is that every Abrazotot is blessed to have four parents who love them, who want the best for them and whom we hope will forever become each other's best of friends and fiercest defenders-- whatever they choose to call each other and however they wish to be known.

As we tell all our clients, adoption may be what you choose to do, but it doesn't define who you are. And who the greater Abrazo family is just gets better with each new addition, and you are a case in point! We're delighted that you found the courage to post, and hope you'll continue to do so. We're a big, crazy, loving family and there's plenty of room at our table for you, too! so make yourself at home.

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Welcome to the forum, Amy and thank you for sharing your insight!

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Thank you for sharing your perspective, Amy! I agree that the forum is a great place for both adoptive and biological parents to learn about open adoption and the thoughts/feelings of others who have experienced it.

I hope that you find just the family you are looking for, if you opt to place your child. Please continue to share your thoughts on the forum.

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Welcome Amy and thanks for sharing your story and thoughts. As an adoptive parent who placed with our first child, Landon, in July I can tell you that everyone has different opinions on what they'd want to be called. And I think the most important thing in chosing an adoptive couple is to make sure you can be comfortable in having those conversations. I know that all the couples we met at our orientation are understanding and always looking for what's best for the child and it's close network of parents. I can't even imagine how hard it was to make the decisions you've made to this point and commend you for your strength. We each have our own stories but are all commonly bonded by babies/children that bring joy to us (even if they aren't living with us).

I know when we were in Texas before we could bring our son home to Minnesota we spent everyday with his birthmom K...and it was natural for us to say to him "do you want momma to feed you?" or "I think momma K wants to hold you". And we still refer to K as his momma. Being his other mother, having the same label as K does not bother me at all. And we've already talked to him about having 4 grandmas and I think it's kinda fun that he has so many people around him to love him....including his family across the country from us down there in Texas.

Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy and I hope you will continue to share your journey and thoughts with your new forum friends!

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Welcome to Abrazo Amy! May you find comfort and rest here! Welcome aboard to a journey of a lifetime :D

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Welcome Amy!! Thank you for sharing your story with us all! We hope that you will continue to post on the forum. We are all here for support and to lean on. We all learn from each other here.

I do understand what you mean about being called birthmom instead of firstmom or by your name. It is a subject that is viewed differently by so many. So it is great to hear what you think about it and gives us all something to think about.

Tracey

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Welcome to the forum, Amy...and to our Abrazo family.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts...your point about the importance of both the"First Mother" and the "Adoptive Mother" remind me of this poem (Author Unknown)that I found when I first began on our journey to open adoption. In part it reads,

...Two different lives, shaped to make one...

One became your guiding star, the other became your sun.

...Heredity or environment, which are you the product of?

Neither, my darling, neither.

Just two different kinds of love.

Like some of my First Grade students say, "ALIKE...but just different!" :P

Keep us posted...we are all in this together!

Edited by Allie & Ross

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I also encourage my boys to call their biological moms " Momma Latonya and Momma Sandra". And I think they both like it too. I takes courage to begin an open adoption relationship, it takes love to make it work.....sounds like you have what you need Amy- welcome to the forum!

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Thank you all for making me feel so welcome. I understand all the points made as well in reference to "lables". In the end I suppose it really doesn't matter what we are called. Its so very clear that its all about love. :)

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Great topic you brought up Amy!! Welcome to Abrazo, I hope you feel the love and support of all those on the forum. For us the "labels" have changed as our daughter is getting older. We call Payton's birthmother, "Momma Brooke". We also call her, "Momma Brooke, your belly mommy". Only because, at 3 1/2 she understands that. She told everyone at school yesterday that she misses her Momma Brooke. The teachers were very confused and she explained to them that she was her "belly mommy" and that she loves and misses her. When I arrived at school, the teachers asked me if she was adopted. I proudly told her about our open adoption and the relationship we share with Payton's Momma Brooke. Long story short, for us the "label" keeps getting redefined and is changing in terms our daughter understands.

If you choose an open adoption plan for your child, I hope you find a loving family that embraces you as their own! Together, ya'll will share a lifetime of love for a sweet little child!

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Great topic you brought up Amy!! Welcome to Abrazo, I hope you feel the love and support of all those on the forum. For us the "labels" have changed as our daughter is getting older. We call Payton's birthmother, "Momma Brooke". We also call her, "Momma Brooke, your belly mommy". Only because, at 3 1/2 she understands that. She told everyone at school yesterday that she misses her Momma Brooke. The teachers were very confused and she explained to them that she was her "belly mommy" and that she loves and misses her. When I arrived at school, the teachers asked me if she was adopted. I proudly told her about our open adoption and the relationship we share with Payton's Momma Brooke. Long story short, for us the "label" keeps getting redefined and is changing in terms our daughter understands.

If you choose an open adoption plan for your child, I hope you find a loving family that embraces you as their own! Together, ya'll will share a lifetime of love for a sweet little child!

This is a great story about your daughter. Thank you for sharing!

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Hi Amy,

Welcome to the Abrazo Forum. It is, as you have found, a source of information and support for everyone who decides to come in. I am glad that you have decided to come in and share. I have found that adoptive and first parents can learn an awful lot from each other which benefits the most important members of the triad, our children. Abrazo is more than just an adoption agency. It is a huge family full of the most wonderful people. I hope to hear more of your thoughts as time goes on. Your thoughts are of particular interest to me as my son's first mother has chosen not to have contact yet. May God bless you and your family as you make this journey.

Jean

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Hey, sorry I am a little late! My name is Ellen and I placed with Abrazo in 2008. I can see where you come from with the word "birthmother", but I personally prefer it! Weird, I know. It is just easier for me to separate myself with an almost legal monicker (is that how you spell that word?). I just feel more comfortable with it. As with you, I much prefer to be called my name! When asked what they refer to me as, my son's adoptive family replied, "We just call her Ellen", which is reassuring. It makes me feel as though they view me as a person, and not a vessel of birth or just a uterus. They love and accept me as a person, which is why our placement has worked so well! I am.glad you are so candid and open with your feelings. Sometimes, as firstmothers, it is hard to admit our fears and true feelings to ourselves. I never wanted people to think I was weak or that adoption is a bad thing, but the truth is that adoption IS hard, and comes with severe, painful and heart-wrenching emotions that no one can truly prepare you for. Cash will be three this year and I still cry about it sometimes (not regretfully. I am very glad I placed him, and chose the couple I did). How are you dping in your adoption? I would love to hear from you again. I am always here to listen! Come back and post!

Ellen

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Old topic... but I'm so eager to find out what ever happened with this story. I sure hope SMR is living a great life some 8+ years later and made a plan that worked out well for her baby, whatever it may have been.

This was a really interesting (short!) thread to read from a teen expectant mother's perspective.

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