I am now Mom. It took a while to get here (ten months, to be exact), but the only person in my home left calling me by my first name is my husband (and most of the time we're too rushed to bother using names anyways)! It started over the Christmas holiday. Taylor, since being adopted, has consistently called me some form of Mom... in fact, I think she goes through stages where she tries out a new form of my name, just to see which one gets her the best results. "Mom, can I have some candy?" vs. "Mama, can I have some candy???" vs. "Mommy, can I pleeeeaaaase have some candy???" (the words dripping with saccharine.) I say no to all of them, which is probably why the poor kid still can't decide which name she likes best!
Although Taylor had finally come around, Cameron was a tough nut to crack. I didn't push it with him
I knew that he struggled a lot with calling me Mom, since he was in a constant state of worry that he was just going to get ripped away from our family and sent back to live with his biological mother... or worse... to his father. His unsettled insides radiated from him constantly, causing so much anxiety that it could make you cry just looking at the worry in his eyes. And then, a couple of weeks ago we found out that his mother had signed over her rights voluntarily in order to stand a better chance of getting the baby back (that's a post for another night!!). We were elated, of course, but when we told Cameron that his mother had finally signed the papers and that he was going to get to be a Costa soon, his lack of enthusiasm was definitely apparent! I guess it didn't really shock me that he didn't jump for joy (afterall, it meant saying goodbye to life as he previously had known it.... what would any six-year-old do in that situation?), but I certainly didn't expect him to remain silent about the whole thing. Not a peep from the kid! After all these months of asking when he could be adopted, when was it going to be his turn, how many more days was it till his next court hearing.... after all that, the boy didn't bring up the topic again. He simply said "Ok" and then asked when it was time to play outside!
I wasn't sure what to do with the silence. So, I pulled a procrastination stunt (something I rarely do, but I've decided more and more that it has it's benefits... especially when the snooze button is concerned) and put it off until I could figure out how to talk with him about his lack of response to the big news (which was.... um.... never). But during my wait, Cameron started to do something unexpected yet again. Throughout Christmastime, he began testing the waters more with calling me Mom. And not just when referencing me to other people, which he's done since the first week we've had the kids. He actually started calling me Mom... to my face! And then another thing happened. My anxiety-ridden kiddo came out of his shell, ever so slightly, but it happened... he talked with all the new family members he met at Christmas parties, he made new friends with kids and cousins (this, in and of itself, is an outright miracle!), and he became super affectionate towards my husband and I.
Scared to jinx it, I simply acknowledged and returned his affections, and I praised his friendliness towards others, without asking him what was causing the sudden changes. We returned home and the Mom-ing increased as Cam prepared for his final visit with his mother. It's funny how something I've waited for for so long can come and go as nonchalantly as brushing one's teeth.... I wanted to be called Mom, and then it happened. I wanted there to be a final visit, and there was. Don't misunderstand, I certainly don't minimize these events or trivialize them in any way.... it simply feels as if this was the only possible outcome. These kids were meant to be mine. Ours. They were meant to be in our family, they just happened to have been born to these other people.... people that gave them a life that is already getting fuzzy in their minds at times. I may have procrastinated out of uncertainty, but Cameron, even though he didn't verbalize his inner struggle, found his way through anxiety and into a family. He showed me what he needed.... not to talk it out for the millionth time. Not to get worked up over a final goodbye. Not even to count down days till hearings. He needed to be able to finally call me Mom.... which works out perfectly, since that's all I really needed, too.