MOTHER’S DAY AND BIRTH MOTHER’S DAY
Ahhh, May. What a lovely time of year. The flowers are blooming and the
skies are blue and sunshine is abound. It’s also the time of year
that we honor our mothers. What is a mother? Merriam Webster defines a
mother as “a female parent” but if you look at the thesaurus,
you find terms like “tend”, “mind” and “raise”
and “to take care of.” I actually prefer to follow the thesaurus
because Sunday, May 15th, 2017 is not just about ladies who give birth and raise a child, but rather
about any human being, male or female who takes care of someone, who nurtures,
loves and provides for another human being.
For the past twenty -three years at Adoption ARC, I have met some amazing
men and women both who give birth to children and those who adopt children.
Despite racial, socioeconomic and cultural differences, that one thing
that unites them all is love and selflessness for their child. There are
a lot of stereotypes about adoption, birth parents, and adoptive parents
and I am fortunate enough to be able to have a rare glimpse into the hearts
and souls of these courageous and loving families.
Never once think that when a birth parent makes the decision to place their
child for adoption does it mean that they don’t love and care for
that child. No, in fact, they love to the core- they are putting their
child’s needs and interests above their own pain of loss and grief.
I will never forget a Mother’s Day back in 2004 when Adoption ARC
had a social work supervisor named Grace. She had so much love and compassion
for her clients. On Mother’s Day, she purchased a Mother’s
Day card for one of her young birth moms who had placed her son for adoption
in January of that year. Grace told her that she was no less a mom than
anyone else even though her child was not with her and that she was every
bit as loving and deserving of the title “Mother.” I watched
this interaction and was not quite sure how the young birth mom would
respond. She went over and hugged Grace and said, “ Thank you. Thank
you for allowing me to be his mother today and to really feel like he
will always be part of me.” This powerful image is etched into my
memory even some 13 years later and has taught me a valuable lesson so
much so that every Mother’s Day, I wish all of my birth mom’s
a Happy Mother’s Day.
What about adoptive parents on Mother’s Day? What an exciting and
special day it is for them. Most, however, do find it bitter sweet as
they know that their son or daughter’s birth mom may be feeling
grief and loss on that day. What is so amazing to me is when birth and
adoptive parents send greetings and well wishes to each other on this
special day. Both sides of the triad understand that they are focused
on providing the best of themselves to their child. Many adoptive parents
have incorporated “National Birth Mother’s Day” into
their family celebrations. This special day of honoring birth parents
is held on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. National Birth Mother’s
Day was established in 1990 by a birth mother named May Jean Wolch-Marsh.
Many people take the opportunity to use “National Birth Mother’s
Day” as a time to educate others on adoption and birth parents and
why people choose to make adoption plans. It is a great opportunity to
take the stigma out of creating an adoption plan and bring it into the
national consciousness as a loving and safe pregnancy option that should
So, let’s talk about the kids. What about our adoptees? How do they
feel on Mother’s Day? Research shows that the most healthy approach
to telling children about when they are adopted is right from the beginning.
Begin using the word “adoption” and read children’s
stories about adoption even before your child can talk. In that way, adoption
is seen as a normal and healthy way to join a family. This methodology
also gives children a place to express their feelings toward their birth
family. Are they concerned about them? Do they think that they are sad
or happy? Can they write to them or can they send them a card or drawing
during Mother’s Day or Birth Mother’s Day to let them know
that they are thinking of them.
So, let’s hear it for the men! There are many same sex male adoptive
families and single dads out there caring and nurturing our children.
You deserve both a Happy Mother’s Day and a Happy Father’s
Day. Anyone who says that men can’t be warm, feeling and proper
“mothers” have never met my great families. Thank you for
showing me that love is love and it is the most important ingredient in
raising happy, healthy children.
So, I wish you all a Happy Mother’s Day and Happy Birth Mother’s
Day and would love to see some photos of your special day at
www.adoptionarc.com or email@example.com.