Genetics don’t define parenthood
Motherhood is all consuming. It requires a person to put their whole heart in someone else’s hands every single day. When it comes to how to raise a child, we are all women who bend without breaking, who feel like we are never giving enough but couldn’t possibly give more, who consistently put someone else before ourselves. So when our parenting is questioned, by a stranger, because of how our child came into the world — you better believe that person is going to hear about it.
Reddit user vietnamazinggg was told she wasn’t a “real parent” because she did not give birth to her child. So, she decided to give her a lesson in exactly what parenting means.
“I did not give birth to my child. I did not get to feel him growing within me, or hold him against my skin when he was born (…) I didn’t labor for hours for this child, I labored for YEARS. I waited for years to be told that we had been chosen, that we were finally going to be allowed to be parents,” she writes.
She explains the pain and angst of the adoption process. “I didn’t feel labor pains. I felt the incredible pain of emptiness in my heart and home as my wife and I yearned to begin our family through adoption.
I didn’t get to wake up in the middle of the night and nurse my sweet child. I did, though, spend many nights lying awake and praying to whomever might be listening to let us be next. Asking myself why we hadn’t been chosen yet. And like you said, ‘you can’t possibly understand that feeling.’ I feel certain you have absolutely no idea.”
Because someone’s family does not look like yours does not make it less “real.” Assuming one person is more of a mother because they carried a child is not only offensive, it is wildly inaccurate. Genetics rarely matter where parenting is concerned. Being someone’s parent is about loving them. It’s about kissing bruised knees and bedtime stories and helping with homework. It’s about teaching them manners and making sure they know you are there for them no matter what. None of that is conditional on shared DNA.
She writes, “Not every experience is your experience. Not every mother is a mother because she gave birth. Not every child is yours or a “part of you” because you grew it inside of you. My child will always be a part of me, because we’re fighting for this life together.”
And if it wasn’t clear enough by now, stranger on the internet, she leaves no room for confusion by ending her response with, “Fuck you. I’m a mom.”
Hell yeah, she is.