I had been working at my current company nearly two years when we were first awarded custody of our kids. As a result, many of my coworkers know that the kids were adopted and heard about the adoption process as we were going through it.

The other day, one of my coworkers asked how our family is doing and I told her something that I’ve been forming in my mind for a while now. I shared that I feel like I now have ownership. Not that I “own” my kids, because I certainly don’t believe that. Instead, I feel that I own the title of “mother.” I’ve come to feel that I have claim to the name “mother” and all the authority and responsibilities that go with it.

Before this, I certainly understood that I was my children’s mother by law and I acted accordingly, but I really didn’t feel that I had earned the right. But lately, I realized, I’ve fully accepted my position not just as “mother,” but as their mother.