Every year as May rolls around I hear and read the same old things from those in the adoption community. For those unaware, May holds both Mother’s Day and Birthmother’s Day, separated only by one day. There are those in the adoption community that feel passionate about upholding two different days, and those who do not. Some feel Birthmother’s Day is simply an insult and an unjust separation from the actual official Mother’s Day. Some slight adoptive mothers claiming that they do not want to share the honor that comes with the title Mother.
What many do not know, however, is that Birthmother’s Day was founded by birthmothers from Seattle, Washington in 1990. They formed a day for themselves to give support, share their stories and honor one another. What has grown since then is a diverse range of opinions about the who, why and what of that day, which ultimately has very little to do with why these women decided to do this in the first place.
But Mother’s Day (beside being a commercially driven buy more stuff that your mom will never use day) is truly, I think, about honoring. Tell me you agree. Its looking back and honoring the mother(s) that played a role in your story. Because they affect your story.
This is particularly true if your family was formed by adoption, as ours was. Our adoption included our daughter’s birthmother, her foster mom, and last in line, me. Personally, on Mother’s Day I take time to remember and acknowledge the many mothers of my oldest daughter. My daughter and I take time to talk about her birthmother, her foster mom, and me – as Mothers. Adoption can often mix gratefulness with grief, and I think this is particularly true of Mother’s Day. This is why on Mother’s Day, I choose to honor the one who carried my daughter in her womb for nine long months. I choose to honor the one who cared for my daughter faithfully for nearly three months while she waited in foster care. And, lastly, I choose to show my daughter that I honor them because they played a significant and crucial role in her life. Sometimes we have long talks on Mother’s Day about these women, sometimes we don’t. But we still speak aloud their names and remember. Because remembering is honoring, and that is at the heart of Mother’s Day.
So as we approach Mother’s Day I wish all Mothers a day full of support, soft-spoken words, remembering, hand-holding (perhaps even with little sticky fingers), reminiscing and the re-telling of stories, special hand drawn cards, laughter and tears, and most especially – honor.