I can understand being initially unsure about the term "first mom" as an adoptive mom, because I had that experience myself. New language sometimes forces us to see things from a slightly altered perspective; that is one of its benefits. I think it is good to engage in discussion about what makes us uncomfortable and why, and to honestly critique whether that discomfort stems from personal anxiety or legitimate disputes with a term. Those things are worth talking about so that we can all move forward.
There is one argument against "first mom" that I'm seeing more frequently that I find a little puzzling, though. It usually goes something like this:
Maybe "first mom" makes sense if a child is raised by her birth family for awhile before the adoption. But I was present at my daughter's birth; we took her home from the hospital. There has never been a time in her life that I've not been her mother. So "first mom" is fine for some families, but it doesn't apply in our case.I am acquaintances with a woman who lost a son a few years ago. Something unexpected happened late in her pregnancy, and she birthed him knowing he would not live very long. For the duration of his brief life outside the womb she and her husband held him and loved on him, tried to make sure he was safe and cared for. She never set foot outside of the hospital with him, never bathed him or buckled him into a car seat or sang him to sleep. But she considers herself a mother, one who no longer has her child with her. I don't know anyone who would contradict her.
K didn't leave the hospital with Puppy, either.* But she took care of him while she was pregnant and after he was born she made sure that he would be safe and loved. If my friend was a mother to her son, then surely K was a mother to Puppy. The fact that she eventually placed Puppy for adoption doesn't negate all she had done up to that point. Neither does the fact that her mothering of him overlapped with my own make hers any less real.
I think the key, for me, is that a person's story begins before they are born. So even for those of us who adopted our children as newborns, we have not been there for the entirety of their existence. If we can acknowledge that, then we should also be able to acknowledge the ones who were there and the mothering they provided.
* I hope no one thinks I'm comparing adoption to death. I meaning to say that the length of time one parents doesn't determine the legitimacy of the parenting.