Adoptimist Adoption Blog
October 11, 2016

Calling Someone Else Mom

When I was pregnant and making an adoption plan, I didn’t give much thought to how I would feel hearing my son call someone else Mom. This is not often discussed with adoption professionals prior to placing a child for adoption. Some birthmoms (myself included) are blindsided with emotions when it first happens.

Although I didn’t give it a ton of thought, I knew in the back of my mind that as a birthmom participating in an open adoption, one day I would hear my son call his (adoptive) Mother “Mom”. The first time I heard it, I was emotionally unprepared. At first, I don’t think my brain totally comprehended what he had said and who he said it to. Then after a minute I realized he said “Mommy” and it wasn’t directed towards me, and my heart broke just a little bit.

I remember reflecting on it after the fact. It’s an internal struggle of my heart versus my brain. My heart wants to be the one he calls Mom, the one he runs to when he is hurt, and the one who consoles him. But my brain knows I gave that up when I chose adoption. My brain wants him to be bonded with his Mom, to love her unconditionally, and call her Mom.  That’s what I wanted when I was pregnant fifteen years ago and knew I wasn’t prepared to be a Mom again. That hasn’t wavered with time.

The first time I heard my son call someone else Mom was painful and tugged at my heart strings. But as time went on, I grew used to it and it became less painful.

I always try to find the bright side of these types of situations. The positive part of having an open adoption is that I can still be a part of his life in some capacity. It’s not the same as being his everyday Mom, but I am always a phone call or text away. I am there to hear about his successes, to comfort him when he fails, and to love him unconditionally just as any Mom does.

About The Author

Coley Strickland

Nicole “Coley” Strickland has become a strong voice for expectant mothers and birthmothers. At the age of 25, she became a birthmother, lovingly placing her three-day-old baby boy into an open adoption and the arms of his adoptive parents. She and fellow birthmother Leilani Wood went on to found BirthMom Buds, a website and nonprofit organization that provides support to birthmothers.

Coley has further given a voice to the bittersweet turmoil of birthmothers, becoming an active member of the adoption community, writing, speaking and sharing her story with others. In addition to her numerous blogs, she has also been featured on a number of radio programs, magazine and newspaper articles, as well as in the books: How to Create a Successful Adoption Portfolio by Madeleine Melcher and A Personal Touch on Adoption by Peter Berlin. In addition to her many other roles, Coley has been blessed to parent her special needs son Noah, who along with the son she placed, is the love of her life.

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About This Adoption Blog

The Adoptimist blog features advice, tips, and inspiration for adoptive parents who are actively pursuing adoption connections online.

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