I can still connect to the deep sense of loss and pain I felt waiting years to become a mother. And after years of feeling tremendous heartache, I then finally felt the joy and wonder at becoming a mother for the first time, and then the second time, and then the third time. Each year as Mother’s Day approaches I tell my children that as much as they love and live for Christmas and their birthday, that’s how I feel about Mother’s Day. I marvel each Mother’s Day at the experience of being a mom. It was something I thought I might have to live without.
But as a Blended family it is not just my Mother’s Day. There are other mothers to remember, honor, and celebrate. I share this day with my daughter’s birthmother and her foster mom. I am always curious to know how others celebrate birthmothers on Mother’s Day, and for those who stayed in foster care before being adopted, how they celebrate their foster mothers. Obviously the remembrance and/or celebration depends largely on whether you have an open or closed adoption, and also how comfortable your child is with their adoption story at their age and stage. So because of my ongoing interest I thought I would make a list of ideas, gathered over the years, of ways you can celebrate this Mother’s Day as a Blended family. (As a side note, many celebrate Birthmothers Day the day before Mother’s Day, but I don’t adhere to that opinion. We celebrate all mamas on the same day in our house.)
Here are ways to honor and celebrate the Many Mothers in your life on Mother’s Day:
- Share the day together on Mother’s Day
- Spend some time as Mother, Birthmother and child working on their Lifebook
- Have a Mother’s Day tea or brunch with places of honor set for each mother present
- Make cards for the mothers in your child’s life (if closed adoption, send it along to your agency, or keep in a special place for your child at a later date)
- Speak thoughts and feelings about your child’s birthmother to your child – maybe your hopes and dreams for her – and then let your child do the same (if closed)
- If you met your child’s birthmother but now have no contact, Mother’s Day can be a special day to share again all the things you remember about her with your child
- Have a special prayer time that focuses on thankfulness for your child’s birthmother and foster mom
- Make something for your child’s birthmother with your child – again, this could be sent along to an agency, kept for your child until a later date, or given directly to the birthmother if you have contact
- Artistic response – your child may not be able to articulate feelings well, or choose not to, but may be able to better express how they feel about you, their birthmother and/or foster mom through art
- Remembrance – this can be as simple as lighting candles and being quiet for a moment, letting your child (and yourself) think upon their birthmother or foster mom if she is not present. It can also involve speaking blessing or wishes out loud
However you choose to celebrate I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to you and all the many mothers in your Blended family!