Apparently using the word “replaced” in reference to adopting my new children has caused some concern.  First, I’m going to clarify what the dictionary has to say about this word,
 
Replace : to assume the former role, positon or function of; substitute for (a person or thing)or to restore; return; make good.
 
According to these definitions it is a very appropriate word to use in reference to what happened when I adopted my three children.  I assumed the former role, position and function of mother, I became a substitute for a deceased person who was no longer capable of playing the motherly role, I played a part in restoring a broken family, and I helped to make something bitter and sad good again by accepting the role of mom to three motherless children.
 When I use that word I am not referring to an idea that I replaced who their birth mother was as a person.  She was who she was, a unique individual made by our Creator to serve as their mother for an allotted amount of time; just as I am also a unique individual made by our Creator to now serve as their mother for an allotted amount of time.  What I am referring to is the fact that I did replace her in the role as an active, functioning mother. Yes, they have a birth mother in Heaven and they will always carry that in their hearts and in their memories, but the fact is, she doesn’t live here anymore so she can’t do any of the motherly things that I do on a daily basis.  I think maybe it’s a different perspective that I hold that makes this hard to grasp for some people.  I don’t live very earthly.  I try to see the bigger picture of it all, and I try to make sense of it all in the grander, spiritual realm that all of this really encompasses. Within this perspective, I don’t believe that either one of us ever really owned these children.  We have this false idea as mothers that by birthing them they are ours when in reality they are all owned ultimately by their Father in Heaven who gave them to each of us during a specific period of time to raise them. I openly acknowledge the fact that I did not raise them their whole lives and that I did not literally birth any of them.  They had a different woman as a biological mother but she is no longer here to serve any purpose as a mother outside of whatever memories they may have of a woman who did love them dearly for the time she had with them but just as she was allowed to be their mom without any pretenses, allow that same grace to be given to every adopted mom who is also mom in every sense of the word.   
Just keep livin!! 

6 thoughts on “Replaced?

  1. “You can love them as your own and I praise you for that! I am so happy for all 7 of the children as they all do need a Mother and Father. BUT you can’t replace the person that gave birth to them”Sorry I caused such a discussion….. the above part I believe some missed. And I dont need Therapy! I am very sane in this insane world :)! And as we come up on the 4 year Anniversary my sister got her new home in Heaven we will acknowledge her…the person she was. Her children do not want to forget her they ask questions about her all the time and I thank GOD that Ryans chidren got a mother that wants to be a mother to them. Unfortunately my Neice and Nephew did not get someone that wants to be a mother. And I think also the fact Ryan child were so small is a big difference. Mine were 7-11-15 much older to actually know who their mother was and remember her.No one can Replace my sister and yes she is gone but we celebrate her memory and the fact she lived and loved her children more than anything in this world. That was my point. Someone could have stepped in and taken up the journey with her family and became apart of that family and loved her children as their own. We (her family) would have also loved that person…..but my kids got someone that does not want children period! So I pray which is all I can do and I am there for my sisters children. I am there!!!

  2. Well, I haven’t read the previous posts, but I must say that as a mother to 2 children whose birth mother died, I have fully and completely taken on the role of “mother” in their minds and in their lives. Their birth mother is dead. She died when they were 5 and 7 years old. She was incapacitated, bed-ridden, and unable to speak for months before she died…We were at a memorial service the other day for my step-daughters Great-grandfather (I use the term “Step” loosely as they truly are MY kids now…). My older step-daughter wanted to speak, but she got up there, and froze… she looked at me, and started to tear up and she kind of whispered that she couldn’t do this… She didn’t want her Dad or her grandmother. She wanted me – her Mom. I am the one who is raising her. She views ME as her Mom. To the anonymous commenter: you are correct that nobody can replace your sister. But, you are completely wrong if you think that nobody can replace your niece and nephews mother. I realize you would like to believe that… you are wrong. I am fortunate as my husbands former in-laws fully recognize that I have replaced their daughter in their grand-daughters lives. They are completely accepting and supportive of our family and my role in it. They accept this for me, but the also accept this for my step-daughters… They have given my step-daughters permission to accept me as their mother. I suggest you do the same for your niece and nephew.

  3. Great job Jess! Just a reply to the anonymous poster… I haven’t read the previous posts, but I must say that I am married to a widower who had 2 small daughters. I HAVE completely replaced their mother in their minds and in their lives. Of course they think about her, but I AM their mother. I act as teir mother every single day. When they are sad, I am there. When they are happy, I am there. When they are sick and need to come home from school, I am there.I agree that nobody can replace your sister in your life. However, someone can definitely replace your niece and nephews mother. That may be hard to hear and accept, but I assure you that it IS true.I am fortunate… my husbands former in laws are very supportive of my position in the family and my role in my step daughter’s lives. They realize that I don’t replace their daughter or sister. But they do realize that I am my step daughters (their grand-daughter’s) Mom. I have and will continue to replace their daughter (sister). That is what is best for the kids. My husbands former in-laws realize this and have given my step-daughters permission to accept me as their Mom. You would do well to do the same for you niece and nephew.

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