As Mother's Day approaches we wondered what ways families honor birth parents on that special day or on other days. It is very encouraging to know the ways other birth parents are celebrated and acknowledged. We wanted to share the results. If you have a story to share please let us know!
We asked some of our Adoptions Together adoptive families:
How do you/will you honor your child’s
birth mother on Mother’s Day?
One adoptive family wrote:
"We first talk about the birthmother ALL the time. Our kids are 5 and 3 and they can tell anyone about their birthmother and where she lives and her name. The birthmother chooses not to be a part of their lives right now so we do not have a picture but if we had a picture of their birthmother – we would laminate it and post on their wall beside their beds and have them say good night and talk to her everyday.
"We write the yearly letter and try to include a winter holiday card that we sent out to others so that she is kept up to date. We hope to meet her someday and want the kids to have at least one picture of her.
"I am not sure this is really anything special but I hope it helps. We also honor our two different foster mom's on Mother's Day as well."
One of our other adoptive families wrote:
"As the parents of three children, two joined our family through domestic adoption and one through international adoption, we thought we would share our thoughts on how we honor the women who gave birth to our kids.
Quite honestly, we do not do anything special on Birthparent's Day. We believe there are better ways we can honor our children's birthparents. They are:
1. We do the best we can to raise our children up in a household that is taught to love others as we want to be loved.
2. Anytime we hear someone use terminology that is offensive, we gently correct them (not so gently for repeat offenders). Correcting misconceptions is one small step towards changing the way our society views birthmoms. Specifially, we correct statements like:
a. Why did his/her Mom give him/her away? They did not give him away. She first chose life and secondly thoughtfully and carefully picked out (in the domestic adoptions) the family who she felt would best parent her child. Her specific reasons are personal and between my child and his/her birthmom.
b. How much did your son/daughter cost? We did not pay for our children. We did, however, freely give some money to the adoption agency to ensure that our child's birthmother received services, if she wanted them.
c. I could NEVER give up my child. It is impossible to know what you would do in the situation our child's birthmom was in. Judging people without all the facts (actually, judging them at all) is completely inappropriate.
d. Do your kids know they are adopted? Of course they do! They have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! In fact, there are two Moms that love them unconditionally. (sometimes I feel sarcastic and I answer by saying, "No, my Chinese daughter does not know that she was adopted. Do you think she will notice?")
3. All year long we talk to our children about their individual adoptions and encourage them to ask questions. If possible, we allow them to have contact with their birthmom. Unless there is a situation that is simply not healthy, guiding our child as he sends a letter or email only reaffirms that I am his Mom and that we love his birthmom. I do not 'fear' his relationship with her, I celebrate it! She is not going to replace me as his Mom and I will never replace her as his birthmom. These are two very distinct roles and, again, can reaffirm to our child that his birthmom loves him.
4. Recently, we realized that we honor her by providing her with a way to contact us directly (as opposed to routing things through the agency). Finally, since she trusted us enought to place her child with us, surely we can trust her with our email.
While we will most certainly think about the women who are such a huge part of who are children are on Birthparent's Day, we try to remember that there are 364 additional days in the year!"
Kudos to these families for keeping the thoughts of their child's birth mother active within their families and desiring even more!! Here's a link to some messages from a birthmom blogger to adoptive mothers.
In what ways has your child or children's adoptive parents recognized you on Mother's Day?
Does anyone do anything special for themself on Mother's Day?
Your words are valuable and impactful. We share your stories with brand new birth parents and they are encouraged by your honesty. You would be surprised how the smallest anectode or gesture can mean the world to someone.