No matter whether we recognize them or not, our adopted kids have two mothers–the mom who birthed them and the mom who is raising them. In the past, most adoptive parents were told that after the adoption was complete, they were the only mom that mattered. Unfortunately, we’ve learned that this simply isn’t true–at least not for many adopted people and their first mothers.
We received the following thoughts from a birth mother on her feelings about Mother’s Day. I share it with her permission.
Mother’s Day. It’s a wonderful day to celebrate moms and the sacrifice they make for their children. But, there is a group of mothers who are often overlooked (by society and family) – they are birth mothers.
We are a strong group of women who have also sacrificed our hopes and dreams for our child. Not many (or sometimes no one) told us how difficult celebrations would be throughout the year, including a day to celebrate the definition of what motherhood is – sacrifice and unconditional love.
More often than not, birth mothers are left to celebrate the day without cards, homemade cards, a photo, homemade gifts, communications…. (you get the idea). We often celebrate silently because many view us as not mothers, not worthy of recognition – BUT WE ARE WORTHY…we are not called birth woman…we are called birth mothers, and we deserve to be celebrated on this wonderful day of celebrating motherhood.
Let us stand together on this Mother’s Day and show our support to each other because we are still mothers – just in a different way. I will be wearing baby blue nail polish in recognition of my worthiness as a mother. I hope others will wear baby blue or baby pink to honor their worthiness as mothers as well.
This is not about being pro/anti adoption. This is not what you choose to call yourself (birth mother, first mother, natural mother). This is not about whether you were coerced or you volunteered. This is just about us being able to celebrate and stand together to celebrate our roles as mother’s as well. Hope you will join me.
All my love, Jeanne Yenchochic
How Birth Mom’s Would Like to Be Recognized
We asked the question to first moms on the Creating a Family Support Group: how would you like to be recognized on Mother’s Day. The truth is that there are as many different ways that birth mother’s would like to be recognized as there are birth moms.
As with any group of people, it is hard to make generalizations, but if I had to generalize from what I’ve heard on the Creating a Family Support Group and from our large online community, I would say that most simply want to be recognized. Nothing huge, nothing fancy– just a call, a home-made card with handprints and misspelled words.
What most of the first moms who shared really want is some recognition of their motherhood.
One birth mom of 15 years suggested that depending on the relationship between both sets of parents, a neat idea would be to name a star, or as she put it “adopt a star”, in recognition of the first mom. “Kind of like every time you look at the sky you remember the birthmother and the birthmother remembers the journey.”
Several adoptive moms said that they called their child’s first mom on Mother’s Day to wish them a happy Mother’s Day, and the first moms wished them one back. I kind of like that symmetry—recognition that they are both mothers deserving of a happy day.
Will you recognize your child’s birth mother over the Mother’s Day weekend? If so, how?
Image credit:Kiss My Buttercream