Teleflora, the sponsor of America's Favorite Mom has issued an apology for their insensitive labeling of adoptive moms as non-mom moms. I think their apology is sincere and their action is probably the best they can do at this point in the contest. They changed the category title from non-mom moms to adoptive moms.
Maybe in the future we can come to a point where we don't have to qualify moms. Families are formed in so many different ways, it seems rather primitive to continually refer to how a family came to be. Will Teleflora and others evolve to where they don't have to label adoptive moms as such? They're just moms like the others.
Adoptive moms are a little ouchy on this topic. When we choose to adopt, every aspect of our life is examined. We have to have multiple visits from a social worker who must approve our home before we're allowed to adopt a child. We have to comply with the laws of the State in which we live. For an international adoption, we have to qualify according the other country's (seemingly) arbitrary rules on age, weight, health and marriage. We have to travel and complete paperwork in multiple provinces. Just to be a mom.
We get home and there's more paperwork to secure citizenship and health insurance. And then we face subtle references to being a different kind of mom. One doctor's receiptionist asked me, "Is that your child? Can you prove it?" The snarky side of me wanted to say, "no, I just pick up random children and take them to the urologist." But my heart was sad. They didn't see me as his mom. They thought I was less than a mom.
Not that we want to be more than a mom. It sometimes makes me uncomfortable when someone says you're such a saint to adopt a child with a special need. He's so lucky to have you. I always answer, "we're just lucky to have him." I didn't set out to save the world or even a child. Am I glad that he won't grow up in an orphanage feeling like a second class citizen? Of course. I'm grateful everyday that he is growing up in a home where he's loved and cared for. But I'm not super mom.
So I hope Teleflora and NBC will understand why us adoptive moms took offense to being put in the category of non-mom moms.
I'm just a mom. A real mom.