Friends frequently ask me “What’s she going to call you?” in reference to my my 10-month-old foster daughter. I usually shrug and hold out hope that they will give advice, or at least an opinion, but no such luck. She is my fourth foster child and I still don’t have the answer.
My foster daughter currently has three words in her vocabulary: “Asia” pronounced “Aja” which is her babysitter’s name, “Bye-bye” and “Hi.” I haven’t taught her anything to call me and I’m wondering if that’s a problem. Should I tell her to call me “Rebecca?” Or maybe “aunty?” Complicating matters, I have an adopted 6-month-old who will be calling me mommy soon. Won’t they both want to call me “mommy?” Do I correct my foster daughter to call me something else?
Although I’ve had had my foster daughter since she was born, the goal is “return to parent,” as it is for most foster children for several years. I can only speculate if she will actually return to her mother or not right now, they visit together twice a week. Based on what I know about attachment research, if she called me “mommy,” she wouldn’t have a problem transferring the title to her mom once she goes home. If she becomes available for me to adopt, the fact that she would have already been calling me mommy has several advantages.
Time’s ticking, I’ve got to figure it out soon.
More posts from Rebecca: