Since this has come up on the forum recently, I thought I would open a thread on the topic of "many mothers." I wanted to share our experience raising a child who identifies as having four mothers: the mother who gave birth to her, the mother who fostered her, and the two who are raising her. It's hard for me to convey how seamless this is in her consciousness and in our family life, although perhaps it seems odd to others. And she is absolutely not confused. "My mother" can refer to any of the three of us (not her foster mom so much) and if she needs to clarify which, she adds a first name. She's clear that on a practical day to day basis, my partner and her are her mothers, but she will say that her birthmother is "first in my heart because I knew her first." All of our pictures are posted on her bedroom wall. I am not any less her mother because I share my title with three other women.
I have held her in my arms while she cries and says, "I miss my mother!" (meaning her first mother) and you know what? She does, and it's ok. That doesn't make me any less her mother either.
Every day, I look at my beautiful girl and think about all of the daily happiness and joy that her first mother is not able to experience with her. I think of the generosity of her foster mother, taking her in and then, when the time came, letting her go. My daughter is not my possession; she does not belong to me. "Mother" is a big word, and my daughter has a big heart. There's room for everyone.