Parents who adopt children often face backlash from biological parents, especially in the age of social media.
Scroll through Facebook long enough and you're bound to find a parent telling someone else that they're not doing it right. It sometimes feels like open season on anyone who parents differently or less traditionally than the person doing the trolling.
And this mom knows a thing or two about that. She and her wife adopted their son and someone decided to tell her that she wasn't a "real parent." That's when she fired back with the most brilliant response.
In a Reddit post, vietnamazinggg started by saying, "A woman on Facebook told me I wasn't a real parent, since I didn't give birth."
It's a tired trope that many adoptive parents have had to deal with. But what she went on to say sends a message about parenting that we all need to hear.
You can read her post below.
And here's a full transcript. She's amazing!
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. Perhaps by your definition, my child is not a part of me - he does not resemble me or my wife.
Let me tell you what being a parent is to me.
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.
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. Poring over adoption profiles and sending endless e-mail inquiries on children available for adoption and being told no, no, no over and over again. And like you said, "you can't possibly understand that feeling." I feel certain you have absolutely no idea.
A child lives to depend on me - you're right. My child has been let down by everyone else in his life. You think I am not losing sleep? He may not wake me up to feed him every couple hours, but he screams out in his sleep - no doubt reliving past traumas from the life he led before being adopted.
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.