My Family

If you are new to this blog and want to read the entire story chronologically - please start in January with "Our Story, Part 1"

Monday, January 25, 2010

Our Story, Part 15 - "Mom"

When I first considered adoption, I thought I wanted a private adoption, but the more I thought about it, I didn’t even care whether it was open or not, I just wanted to be a mom. Since the first day the boys came to live with us we have tried to be as open and honest as we could about what was going on. They always had questions about Ruth and adoption in general, so I tried to answer them the best I could. Usually I would just give a simple question a simple answer, but sometimes the question would require a longer explanation.
Bryan and Camille (me) in downtown Salt Lake City - 2000

People would always give me advice (usually bad) about what I should do, such as “you shouldn’t let the kids see Ruth, it will just confuse them” or “you need to move on with your life and the kids need to move on” ~ I have to admit that I sometimes bought into this bad advice, usually because of my own insecurities and really not knowing what to do.

Bryan and Camille (me) at the Neola Rodeo - 2004

At the time I didn’t know anyone who was in an “open” adoption, or anyone who had adopted for that matter. I had no idea how I should feel or how to act about my children having a “birth” mom or if I was the “real” mom (I am not very good about the “politically correct” terms or labels people have for adoption).

There was no way to prepare for this situation and I had no guidelines or handbook to tell me what would be best for my children or our family. I just felt that if we were honest with our children they would be able to handle the situation better. Bryan and Camille (me) in 2006

For the first two weeks after Bryan came back to live with us he would only call me “Camille” – he refused to call me “mom” ~ Of course when the boys were tiny, they really didn’t care which “mom” was holding them, they were just happy with whoever was feeding them and loving them. Since Bryan was older, he understood the situation better and he had a lot of questions. I remember one conversation very distinctly. We were driving in the car and he was sitting behind me in his car seat, he was only 3 ½ at the time and had just recently came back to live with us.
Ruth, Bryan and Valorie in 2008
(Bryan's "birth mom" and "biological grandmother")
Bryan used to say to Cole and Preston; “Camille is NOT your REAL mom” (I would be lying if I said this didn’t hurt my feelings). So one day I tried to explain it to him the best I could. I told him that Ruth was his “birth mom.” He wanted to know what “birth mom” meant. I said she was his “birth mom” because she gave “birth” to him. I told him I was his “mom” because I was the person who took care of him and would be raising him. I told him Ruth would always be his birth mother and that she loved him just like I did.

Then he wanted to know about “birth” so I tried to explain in simple terms about a woman and a man creating a child (this was not easy!) I kept driving and he was quiet for a while, then he asked “then where is my birth father?” (all three of my boys have the same birth mother and birth father). Up to that point we really had only discussed his birth mother, so it was a valid question, and in his mind he only had one father, Mykel. I told him what I knew about his birth father and he asked me “tell me everything Ruth told you” (those were his exact words; he was an amazingly perceptive child). We had quite a conversation during that drive, but after I had sufficiently answered all of his questions, he seemed to be content with the answers.

After that car ride and question and answer dialogue, he started calling me “mom.”


  1. my daily bawl session, once again:)

  2. I love reading your story and seeing all your pictures! You are amazing!

  3. Camille knowing Bryan makes this so much more than just a blog to me! I remember when he told me he was adopted, just an open honest conversation. He takes after his mother! You've done well with your choices!

  4. Ok, this one REALLY got me! First, imagining you trying to answer these questions about creation. Second, the realization Bryan made about a birth father. Third, the pics of you and Bryan together (he looks like YOUR birth child). And lastly, how he came to call you mom and mean it! Ahhh...

  5. Bryan has always been a smart kid from day one -he never ceases to amaze me with his intuitiveness.

    And Rachel, people always tell me "Oh you can definitely tell you are Bryan's mom, you look so much alike!" I just smile!