Just Mom

I never liked labels, especially ones that people could emphasize to make me feel inferior.

As my husband and I were preparing to become foster parents, we prepared ourselves, our home and minds. We wanted to become parents so badly. We agreed that any child who entered our home could call us what they wanted.

Its interesting, our family, who longs to have a grandchild, great grandchild, niece, nephew, or cousin, refers to these children as ours. They refer to us as Mom and Dad, after all, isn’t that what we are?

Being licensed birth to age two, the words Mommy and Daddy just seemed like the norm, until I spoke of our plans to the outside world.

Its society, people who barely know us, who like to point out that we are just “foster parents”. Often, I feel like I am slapped in the face when I hear those words. Why am I so quick to be labeled?  Every day I have little reminders that this child may not be ours forever. I don’t need your reminder. Some may call it pretending, but I see it differently.

Each child that enters our home has a case, most likely a lengthy one. They have the potential to be ours forever. Most days I don’t feel like just the “foster” mom. I am this child’s mother in every aspect. The child that sleeps in my home on a daily basis, the child who eats at our kitchen table, is so worthy of having a mother. That mother is me.  This child sees me as just mom. To him, I am not foster, adoptive, step. I am just mom.

So, when you see us on the street, playing, interacting, bonding, make sure you acknowledge and respect not only me, but my current son or daughter. Make them feel normal, refer to me as mom or my husband as Dad. Please, don’t correct them and emphasize the word “foster”. I wouldn’t place the pesky label in front of your name. to me, you are “just mom”



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