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What Is an Adoptive Mother?

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Adoptive mothers are the menders of skinned knees and of hearts.

Adoptive mothers are the menders of skinned knees and of hearts.

Mario Lalich / Getty Images

Being an adoptive mother is not for every woman. She must possess not only the natural mother instinct, but an understanding and appreciation of the situation that brought a child into her arms making her a mother. The adoptive family came to be by choices made, choices made by the first parents and by the adoptive parents. This bond the adoptive mother has with her child grows over time, like the child did within his first mother's womb. Day by day, touch by touch, with each tear, kiss, and memory made they became a family. Adoptive mothers have that special knack to let love grow.

Adoptive mothers know that she's a mender of wounds, not just of the physical skinned knees with a band-aid and a kiss, but of the heart. She gives love, acceptance, and permission to ask and talk about the day he was born and of his first parents.

Adoptive mothers are embracers, not only of the child with many hugs and kisses, but of the child's heritage and history. She embraces the facts of her child's past with strength for herself and the child.

She's not only a memory maker planning family vacations, activities, and birthday parties, but also a memory keeper. Details of a birth, photos of the hospital, and of the parents who brought her into the world are kept alongside the newspaper clipping that announced it all. All these things are kept in a special book that tells the whole story.

She's a tier of shoelaces and of hearts. She weaves lives together into a tapestry of a new family, with many different brightly, colored threads showcasing their individualities and family origins. Together they create one unit attached to each other.

Adoptive mothers are experts at finding lost objects, but understand and validate the profound, deep loss left by adoption. She allows the tears to fall and grief to be felt, allowing the mourning of the mom not there. She is secure in knowing that she's not a replacement, but a finisher of a race for someone who, for whatever reason, could not run any longer.

This role is not for the weak of spirit, or the easily wounded. Loving a child not born to her but calling him her own, but this is what she does, it is her calling. She is a mother.

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