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May 12, 2008

NBC, I am a Mom, not a Non-Mom

Mom "The non-mom mom, Grandparent, stepmom, or mom to adopted children, each one raising and loving a child. A priceless gift for everybody."

To even think that this was on the Internet is disgusting. I personally did not see it or hear it (mainly because I was spending time with my son on Friday)  but I have seen the backlash against NBC via the adoption channels. It has since been changed because the sponsor of America's Favorite Mom, Teleflora examined their choice of words and saw how "how this may have been offensive to moms who have adopted children".

The "Non-Mom" category still focuses on "grandparent, neighbor, step mom, or mom to adopted or foster children, each one raising and loving a child" but, in my opinion, NBC is really missing the boat here because they are forgetting one integral piece; the birth mother.                                  

I am an adoptive mom, Ahem, MOM, of one very special little boy from Russia and my husband and I are in the process of adopting our second son from Guatemala. I have never in my course of motherhood NOT considered myself a mother because I did not physically give birth to my son.

However, I know plenty of people who either sincerely believe that I am not a "real" mother because I did not endure hours of childbirth or 9 months of pregnancy and I know people who have misspoken because of their lack of education or inexperience with adoption (and that I can understand).

I love watching my son grow into our family. He was so foreign to us at first and had his own idiosyncrasies at the age of two. As time has passed he has grown to be so much like us...in humor, in frustration, in mannerisms, and in character and tastes. My little one has become a serious chocoholic, just like his mama.

It saddens me to think that there are people out there who believe that adoptive mothers are not "real" mothers. Its almost like saying our children are not real and our struggles to become parents and be parents everyday are not worthy enough of being recognized. Am I really that low on the list?

I sit by his bedside when he is sick, just like other mothers. I rush to his side when he is hurt, I brush his teeth, I changed his diapers, I endured sleepless nights, I calm him after nightmares, I share his joys and laughter, and I want him to grow into a honorable young man...just like other mothers.

It also saddens me to know that NBC missed the boat on recognizing birth mothers. In today's society birth mother's are, very often, a part of their children's lives. I have witnessed many birth mother's who are a very positive foundation in their children's lives. The point is that on Mother's Day all mothers, no matter how they come to be mothers or what type of mother they are, should be honored.

I am glad that Teleflora and NBC made changes before the show aired but they should have thought about their words before the web page went public. There is no such thing as a "Non-Mom". Every woman who parents a child deserves the status of being recognized as a Mother.

Marcie Pickelsimer writes about adoption and special needs at A Child Chosen, My Two Boys, and Discussing Autism. She is proud to be a mom.

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