Wednesday, November 29, 2006

An Introduction

Hi. My name is Joy. I'm married to Amy. This is our daughter, Mookie:

As you can see, Mookie is not quite born yet. She will be arriving sometime in early March, or whenever she decides she is ready to face the world.

At the moment, she is living in Amy's uterus. She seems quite cozy in there. She doesn't have any complaints, anyway. She kicks and wiggles and squirms, but in general she's very well behaved. I imagine this is about the best behavior we'll see from her for the next 20 years or so.

Amy is, of course, her mother. So I am, even though she and I don't share any genes. I'm not sure what that makes me. Her mother-father? Her other mother? Her adoptive mother? Her non-biological mother? None of these labels work very well. I'm not male, or male-identified, and I don't feel or look in any way like anybody's father. I'm not genderqueer, or any of those concepts that I don't really understand. I'm a woman who loves another woman so incredibly much that we got married and are having a baby. "Adoption" doesn't really explain what I'm doing. "Non-biological" seems an unfair description; I'm just as biological as anyone else. I guess "other mother" will have to do.

6 comments:

Wendy said...

Well, personally, I think you could just as easily drop the "other." You're Mookie's mom. Okay, so there will also be someone else calling herself Mookie's mom, too, but that won't make you any less "mom," yourself. But "other mother" does sound nice, too, if you really do want to make some distinction.

I don't know if I have a Google account or not. I probably do. We'll see when I try to log in, eh? If it doesn't work, this is Wendy, btw. :)

JoBlue said...

err...what's "genderqueer" anyway?

Amy said...

Udder mudder here.

Being an "other mother" does have a second-class sound. You don't demand of someone with two brothers, "which one is the (primary) brother and which is the other brother?" It reminds me of people who refer to one of a female couple as the "husband." There ain't no husband here, just two wives, same as in my family, there's no brother, just two sisters. And we will be just two moms.

Of course we do have two very different relationships to our daughter, and I'm interested and a little apprehensive to see how that will feel. I suspect it will mean less and less as she gets older: first when you and she are out alone together and everyone assumes that you did give birth to her, and then when she is older and doesn't remember who nursed her.

One day we may also have a child that I don't have a genetic relationship to and didn't give birth to, and if I thought I'd love that one any less than Mookie, I'd quit contemplating adoption right now. The relationship has got to be different, but inferior? Not according to the adoptive parents I know.

On the other hand, I do think we as a culture treat mothers as the realer parent than fathers, and I think a lot of mothers (and fathers) secretly believe that too. That isn't only because of the powerful biological connection of bearing and nursing, though--it's also because men are so often less intimately involved with their children. But in any case, to some extent you're inheriting those expectations our culture has of the non-childbearing parent.

Another other mother said...

Don't ask me what "genderqueer" is; I've already said I don't understand those concepts. There's sure to be some young genderqueer whippersnapper out there in cyberspace who will be happy to bend your virtual ear about it.

David said...

They're all hippies at Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genderqueer

elfundeb said...

You are Mookie's mom. Period. Or, I suppose, her mother, mama, mommy, etc. No qualifiers are necessary.

Amy is Mookie's birthmother. She is also Mookie's mom, mother, mama, etc.

I say Mookie is lucky.