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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to come up with a term to refer to my daughter's bmom that is more endearing. Bmom, or even firstmom, are rather clinical.

I really like Ima, it's Hebrew for mother. However, I don't want to offend anyone that's Jewish. It's just such a lovely word and makes me feel so much warmer to say, "When you were in your Ima's tummy" rather than, "When you were in your birthmom's tummy."

If Ima is stepping on too many toes, I may go with "Marmie." I think that was the name used in Little Women. I don't like it as much, but I'm not feeling creative.

I'm a stepmom. When the kids were little, we just let them call me by my first name. Back then I felt kids should call their parents by their first names, so that worked for me. Now I see that, if a child is calling its other parents by a title, to call someone by a first name is not fully supportive of the relationship between parent (no matter what type) and child.

Anyone have any other suggestions for terms that won't step on toes but that are prettier than Marmie?
 

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We use a variety of terms, but we tend to also just use their names. My kids know who their birthparents are. We've talked about pregnancy and birth and their early months. My ds still is in contact with his first family. My dfd (who we will most likely be adopting) may have contact eventually, though right now there are too many safety issues and the state won't allow it. We've used terms in those discussions ranging from "first mom" to "birthmom," but in day-to-day conversations we call them by first name.

Does your baby's "birthmom" have a preference? Are you in contact?
 

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We have no contact with birthmom. We refer to her as "Bellybutton Mama." My daughter is 3. When she gets older, I will refer to her by her name.
 

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We go by names - not titles. C is more than a title, you know? She's a person. So to M or friends who know her name, I use her name.

Now, on here or when referring to her to other people who we aren't close to, I use the term birthmom because it is easier for people to understand.
 

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We use "Mama (first name)" for both her birth mom and foster mom. She calls us both by "Mama (first name)" so it works very well and is consistent.

My daughter told another child we met at a swimming pool yesterday that she has three moms which made me really happy. Then, as we were walking back, she said "actually, I have four" meaning her foster mom as well.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Sarahbunny View Post
We go by names - not titles. C is more than a title, you know? She's a person. So to M or friends who know her name, I use her name.

Now, on here or when referring to her to other people who we aren't close to, I use the term birthmom because it is easier for people to understand.
I agree. We do the same with Chris's birthmother. We've got an open adoption and we see his birthmother and maternal grandmother a few times a year. She's T to us because that's her name.

It's a little more complicated with my dfd. She hasn't had visits with her birthmother since she came into care at 10 1/2 months. She's now 18 months old. She doesn't have visits because it's not safe for anyone, including for her birthmother's mental health. We (well, really I) don't talk about her much since she's so little and we don't have any pictures of her. But when my son and I talk about her mother I call her Polliwog's mommy or sometimes T.

I was born, and loosely raised, Jewish. I think Ima is a beautiful term of endearment and you should use it if it feels right to you.
 

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We struggled with this, too, and we've used almost all the terms (birthmom, firstmom, etc.) depending on what felt appropriate at the time.

I think we'll probably use the Korean word for mom (Omma), and possibly combine it with her firstmom's name, so (for example) Omma Jong Eun. If that's too much of a mouthful, I think we'll just use her name.

I think using her name will be a good thing, because it's accurate and personal at the same time. I know the temptation to use a beautiful, warm title, but that might be a little wishing on your/my part...there's no guarantee that our daughters will have a beautiful/warm association or relationship with their firstmom. I worry that beautifying the title (and by association the relationship) too much could do some emotional harm.
 

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Originally Posted by BethNC View Post
I agree. We do the same with Chris's birthmother. We've got an open adoption and we see his birthmother and maternal grandmother a few times a year. She's T to us because that's her name.

It's a little more complicated with my dfd. She hasn't had visits with her birthmother since she came into care at 10 1/2 months. She's now 18 months old. She doesn't have visits because it's not safe for anyone, including for her birthmother's mental health. We (well, really I) don't talk about her much since she's so little and we don't have any pictures of her.
I just want to say that your kids' situations sound soooo much like mine. I too have a ds and dfd and I almost could have written your description of the situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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Originally Posted by Masel View Post
How is Ima pronounced?
Eema, I believe.

I've had this question posted on several sites. It's been interesting reading all the different thoughts. I'm glad we don't have to decide now since she's pre-verbal. We'll wait and see if bmom re-enters our lives.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RedOakMomma View Post
I think using her name will be a good thing, because it's accurate and personal at the same time. I know the temptation to use a beautiful, warm title, but that might be a little wishing on your/my part...there's no guarantee that our daughters will have a beautiful/warm association or relationship with their firstmom. I worry that beautifying the title (and by association the relationship) too much could do some emotional harm.
I really think this is well-put.

Our struggle is whether or not Grace's bmom will be "Aunt" at any point because that's how she "fits" in the family tree, as dh's sister.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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Originally Posted by BethNC View Post
How's it going with your new little one? I can't believe how quickly it all happened.
It's going great. I still can't believe we have a baby. A friend called me a "lactating mom" the other day. I've been one of those for 32 months already, but there was something about it. Yeah, I'm lactating for a newborn. How weird is that? It sure is fun, though. I'm in heaven.
 

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No way Moonbeam, it isn't honest and it isn't true. Our birthmother is not my dd's mother. I am. We have an open, loving and honest relationship with our birthmother and her family. And we have talked and talked about all this stuff and we all understand. She gave birth to my dd, but I am her mother, her mama and every other term for the relationship. My best friend who was adopted as an infant and found her bio family when she was 27 always says that the hardest thing for her birthmother is the understanding that she will always feel like my friend is her daughter, but my friend will never think of her as her mother. I already see this with my dd. She loves having this special person in her life, someone who loves her so much and takes such an interest in her life, but it is not a mother/daughter relationship in any way (for my daughter, that is).

I have read with wonder some of the comments on this thread, calling someone besides yourselves "mama this" or "mama that" If that works for you and your children, fine. I know my daughter doesn't want me to even call A her birthmother because she says it is weird to refer to someone besides me as mother. We don't call her grandmothers grandma so she couldn't really see the parallel when I brought that up. We have a Bubbie and two Nemas.

Anyway, I correct anyone and everyone who ever refers to anyone but me as my dd's mother (or my dh as her father) without any malice or anger or judgment. I just feel like I owe it to my dd to explain the real deal about adoption. And the real deal is that I am her mother.
 

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My son isnt completely adopted yet (though he feels 100 percent mine)...but i call his bio mother "his mother"...we have zero relationship with her (her own family doesnt even know where she is) and i dont know what term i'll use when my son is old enough to know what i'm talking about. Her being his mother (which she is) doesnt negate the fact that i am also his mother. But i can see how that might be confusing a little kid, to think he has another mother somewhere out there that he doesnt know and who isnt raising him. i'm not sure i'll use "birthmother" as that seems to be used most often in the context of a woman "making an adoption plan" and willingly placing her child with a new family. My son was taken from his mother. The term i'm most comfortable with is biological mother, though i know some find that offensive. I dont know her actual name.

Katherine
 

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I'm adopted and we always used the term biological mother. I never once considered it unwarm or not endearing, it just was. I have never met my bio mom but when i think of bio mom i have warm thoughts. It has little to do with the actual term and more to do with me.
 

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Originally Posted by 2xshy View Post
It has little to do with the actual term and more to do with me.
Totally!
 

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Originally Posted by BethNC View Post
They didn't tell you her name? It didn't come up in sw visits, in court, with his uncle, or at any meeting. It seems hard to believe but nothing should surprise me any more.

Wow, that seems sad to me.

It never did come up, they never told me. However, i'm embarrassed to admit that during the last relative visit (i guess the "goodbye" visit though i offered contact, he has emailed me once, i replied w/ pics, and never heard from him...hmmmm) I did come out and ask her name, and he told me, and i forgot it.
It was a somewhat complicated name, and in everything that was going on during that meeting, it just fell through a hole in my brain.

I know i'll be able to find out again. I had asked the great uncle for pics he had, of the baby with his mom at birth in the hospital, i told him i'd make copies....and also of the sibs....he promised to get them to me, and i havent heard from him. I hope he's just really busy and will write eventually.

Katherine
 
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