My first Mother's Day was pretty exciting! There had been a lot of pain before that: I’d lost seven pregnancies, really wanted to become a mother, and had been waiting to be chosen by a birth mother. There were times we were thinking we were going to be parents and we weren't, and I always had some feelings around Mother's Day. I had a miscarriage a week before Mother's Day, which was really hard. And then I had another one ON Mother's Day. We were getting ready to go to church, and I knew I was losing the baby!
A lot of the time on Mother's Day, I just wanted to curl up in bed and forget the whole day because it can be really painful. I'm sure that some of the other adoptive moms out there might feel like that too. You’re around people (especially at church) who are celebrating moms. In the past, they’d have all the mothers at my church stand up, and that was really painful.
On my very first Mother's Day, I had a corsage on, and pictures of my son. We were walking up to the church, and they had an older, fill-in pastor that day. It wasn't a regular pastor, and he came up to me, and he noticed the baby, and he said: "oh, you just had a baby?" And I said "Yes, we adopted!" He goes "oh, you did the easy way." And I wanted to kick him in the shins! I thought 'if you only knew what we had gone through! It took 18 months to finalize my son’s adoption.' I was really excited for that first Mother's Day! We didn't put our son in the church nursery because I really wanted him with us. That Mother's Day was very special!
My Thoughts on Mother’s Day While Waiting to Adopt
I believe that Mother's Day takes on the meaning that you give it yourself. You can give it a meaning that's painful and negative, or one that’s positive. It took me several years to do this, but I really found that the meaning I wanted to give to Mother’s Day was to be grateful. I focused on being thankful that I did have a mother myself, celebrating her, and all the moms in my life. And I had to be grateful for what I had and that I had an opportunity to adopt. I think being grateful really helped me during my adoption wait.
It’s important to realize that without a birth mother, we wouldn't be mommies and daddies. Birth moms are going through a bittersweet experience as far as Mother's Day and Birth Mother's Day, which is recognized on the day before Mother’s Day.
Recognizing Your Child’s Birth Mother
You might send a card, call her, text her, say a prayer, or plant something in recognition of her. Of course, what you do will depend on whether you’re in contact with your child’s birth mother and if you’ve had that kind of contact in the past. Some people actually release balloons with the children there. I always brought up my children’s biological families to them on Mother’s Day. I wanted to share how grateful I was for them, and to pray for them too. I definitely think it's important that we remember the first moms that have allowed us to become mommies. It doesn't diminish who you are. Some adoptive moms feel a little threatened by their child’s birth mother. Again, it's the meaning that you give to it and realizing that you're the mom.
My son's birth mother kind of broke away and didn't have much contact. So I asked my son "do you want to get in contact with your birth mother?" I felt really bad because my daughter had contact with her biological family, and I felt that it was hard for him. He said that he would like to get in contact and he could sense I was feeling a bit nervous. He put his arm around me, and he looked down he said "mom, you're my mom. You’ll always be my mom. I love you, and it's okay."
Having a Difficult Time on Mother’s Day?
You’ve got to have faith and be open. For the prospective adoptive dads: be sensitive to your spouse's needs and where she's coming. A lot of the time, husbands want to fix things, and that's where we hear a lot of frustration. He’ll want to make it all better and isn't sure what to do because he can see that his wife is in pain.
Stay very faithful and journal about your experiences. Take comfort through prayer and know that someday, you’ll be a mom too!