• Korinna Duke

Do they call you mom?


We get asked this question often, so I figured I'd elaborate on the topic!


When we first became parents, I wasn't sure what we would do in regards to being called "mom" or "dad." There are differing views on this topic and when it comes down to it, everyone must make the decision they think is best. As we were first placed with a 1.5 year old and a newborn, I tried a few things out before and considered it for a while before I settled on going with mom and it just came our naturally. The daycare teachers, church nursery workers, friends, complete strangers and all in between called us mom and dad to the girls.


However, I did struggle when we were around the girls' bio mom. I was afraid the toddler would call me mom in front of her mom. I was nervous that if that ever happened, our already unstable relationship would crumble. I never intended to replace bio mom. My desire every day was that the girls would understand that multiple people were in their life to love and care for them! In my mind, for kids in foster care, the title of "mom" isn't for one person. The bio mom is and will always be their mama. However, for children so little, they needed to see and understand that a mom (and a dad) provides for them.


With our newborn twin placement, we didn't have much time (10 days to be exact) to figure out titles, but with newborns, I felt the title of mom and dad would come naturally as we went about life at the doctor, church, etc.


It got a little different when we were placed with an almost 5 year old and a 2.5 year old. Since the boy was older, he already knew who his mama was and I didn't want to confuse him by also calling myself mom. So in our home (the social distancing and quarantining had already begun) we went by Kevin and Korinna. He liked to ask me where my dad was (when referring to Kevin), which always made me giggle. However, within a couple days, the 2.5 year old was calling me mom, regardless of the fact that we hadn't been around anyone who was calling me mom. Naturally, her little brain just started calling us by those names. Once the 5 year old was moved, we switched into the mindset of mom and dad with her. And guess what? When she sees her biological mom, she still calls her mom too.


I pray we won't ever make biological parents hurt if they hear their kids calling us mom and dad. But I wish and hope for the kids in our home to understand that our home is safe, and that Kevin & I will always be loving parents for them to find comfort and healing.