Becoming a Mom or a Dad In Our Hearts

Becoming a parent doesn't happen right away. Here, readers share the moment when they first truly felt like their child's mom or dad.

Parents like this happy gay couple talk about becoming a mom or dad after adoption

On our Facebook page (facebook.com/adoptivefamilies), we asked readers, When did you know you were truly your child’s mother or father? How did you feel?

Here’s what you said:

 

In the hospital, when my son’s birth mom handed him to me and said, ‘Here, go see your momma.’ That touched my heart and made me feel so good. It must have hurt her so much to say those words. I won’t ever forget that moment.” —CARIE

When wiping his nose wasn’t nearly as disgusting as wiping another child’s — gross, I know, but that was when I felt he was truly mine.” —CHRISTIE

It was when he fell asleep lying on my chest, the day we took him home from the orphanage. I had never felt so at peace. That was more than 11 years ago, but it feels like yesterday.” —KATE

When I was on the phone with the social worker. She said, ‘a birth mom picked you guys. The baby has already been born and she’s beautiful.’ From that moment, I knew in my heart that she was our daughter.” —TRACI

I threw my son out of the way of an oncoming car and got run over myself. I remember every moment of being hit by the car, all the while wondering if I had gotten him away in time. I ended up folded in half under the stopped car and felt myself fading, then realized that my three-year-old was standing nearby screaming, ‘Mommy, Mommy!’ I decided that my son was not going to watch his mother die before his eyes. I was able to twist my body out from under the car and was rushed to the hospital. Eight months later I am still recovering, but you don’t mess with a Mamma Bear or her cub.” —WENDY

“I felt like a mother the moment I saw his photo. It was truly love at first sight.” —JENNIFER

I didn’t let myself feel it until the papers were signed. Then I felt truly ‘real.’ ” —SEREN

In the baby house in Kazakhstan. They handed me a beautiful, bright-eyed baby and it was instant love!” —TRICIA

It’s funny, I loved my daughter from the moment I saw her, but it was a long process to feel like she was mine. For a long time I called her by her name because saying, ‘my daughter’ sounded too absurd. It did happen in a lengthy but inconspicuous way.” —KAREN

I met my daughter when she was almost three, in a room at a children’s shelter. I just knew immediately. There was no questioning it; she’s ours 100 percent.” —CASSANDRA

In Russia, the child had to approve of you before you were allowed to adopt. After our little one walked toward us, then raised her arms to be picked up, I knew she was ‘mine.’ ” —LORI

In the parking lot of a Little Caesars! We had had a previous adoption attempt, but didn’t make it out of the hospital because the potential birth mother changed her mind. So, when we got to leave the hospital, I knew he was staying.” —JENN

I felt like my child was truly mine when I no longer had to send him on traumatizing court-ordered visits.” —LE N’ GE

I felt like a mom from the day I met my child’s birth mom. She always made me feel like the baby she was carrying belonged to me. I had the greatest adoption experience thanks to her and the rest of the birth family.” —SANDRA

I was at the ‘meeting room’ of the Eastern Social Welfare Office in Seoul, South Korea when my son’s foster mother brought him in. He was five months old. She leaned toward me and he reached out and touched my beard. His foster mom wept and said, ‘He’s yours now.’ ” —JOHN

I had dreamed of my child for years before she was born. The instant I saw her in her isolette in the Special Care Nursery I thought in my head, ‘Hello. Yes, of course, it’s you. All my life I have been waiting and planning for you, but it never made complete sense until I saw you. You are my daughter and I am your mother.’ ” —KARLA

“The trip back from the hospital and then arriving home as a family made me feel like a dad.” —BRIAN

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