Mother’s Day is a very complicated and emotionally loaded time for many women. There are those that long for children but for many different reasons find themselves childless. There are those that mourn the early death of their child whether prenatally or after birth. There are also those who mourn for mothers they have lost, and then there is your child’s birth mother. Mother’s Day is often times a bittersweet reminder for birth mothers of the children they are not parenting. This season reminds them of the grief and loss they have had to endure since placing for adoption and often times birth mothers are overlooked on Mother’s Day.
As an adoptive parent, you have the responsibility to include and/or commemorate your child’s birth mother on or around Mother’s Day. Whether you want to admit it or not, your adopted child has two moms and both are worthy to be celebrated. Your child is also very likely thinking about their birth mother around this time regardless of whether you choose to celebrate her or not. How you handle moments like Mother’s Day will impact your child’s comfort level and felt safety in being able to process their complicated emotions around their adoption story. No matter what your child’s adoption story looked like, a birth mother’s decision to place for adoption is rooted in the most selfless motivation a parent can ever make. She chose life and she chose a life with you all as her child’s parents. That alone is worthy to be celebrated!
Here are some creative ways your family can include your child’s birth mother on Birth Mother’s Day:
- Celebrate her on Birth Mother’s Day (May 7th)!
- Ask her! Check with her and see if there are any ways she would enjoy being celebrated.
- Schedule a visit with her around Mother’s Day.
- You and your adopted child can go pick out a gift to send to her.
- Have flowers delivered to her.
- Have your adopted child write a card/color a photo for her.
If contact with your adopted child’s birth mother is not a reality, there are still so many ways that you can creatively celebrate her. This also allows your child a natural and healthy time to process and talk through their adoption story—an opportunity that is not as often granted to them as naturally as children who have open relationships with their birth parents. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- If you have created an adoption story Lifebook, pull it out and talk through it with your child.
- If you received any personal information about your child’s birth mother, go do something on that day that she enjoyed doing!
- Purchase a plant or flower bush to plant at your home together with your child to honor her.
Regardless of what your relationship with your adopted child’s birth mother looks like, it is important your child knows she is worthy to be celebrated and their adoption story is rooted in love and selflessness. These simple gestures and acts will mean more to your child and their birth mother than you will ever know.
By: Katy Clasquin