How I Feel About Mother’s Day As An Adoptee

There are a wide range of emotions on this holiday.

Tom Andriola May 14, 2017
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Mother’s Day is approaching. I’m not too big on it. In fact, I’m not too big on any traditional celebratory dedicated days of the year. As an adoptee, Mother’s Day brings forth a wide range of emotions for me. I’m glad to have been born. I’m bitter about having been relinquished, although I feel like I have come to terms with that, for the most part. I feel fortunate to have a mom who has cared for me from the age of three months, when I was adopted. I’m happy that my kids have a mom that loves them with all her heart and would do anything for them.

We used to celebrate Mother’s Day fairly regularly when I was growing up and my grandparents were alive. I only found out later that my mom isn’t too partial to it either. I haven’t spoken to her too much about it, but I am under the impression that it brings forth a wide range of emotions for her too. She wasn’t able to have biological children. The two older boys my parents adopted when I had already been in the family for two years ended up having a multitude of issues and were very difficult. It’s bittersweet for her, it seems, as it is for me.

My wife just lost her mom last year. This Mother’s Day will be very difficult for her. She had a close relationship with her, and so did her two sisters. For them, this year will be a sad Mother’s Day. We will acknowledge the sadness and the happiness that surrounds us on Mother’s Day for all these reasons, but most importantly, we will just celebrate being around our loved ones. My son will have a soccer game that afternoon, and we will celebrate being able to watch him play a sport he loves. Before or after that, we will probably share a meal together, and then we will return to our busy lives.

My birthday is in early May also, so I get a two-for this time of year. As you can imagine, birthdays are also bittersweet for many adoptees for many of the same reasons, and I am no exception. Personally, I could take or leave these and other “special” days of the year. I’d rather choose to celebrate special people and events in my life as they arise on any given day of the year. Let’s celebrate good health. Let’s honor good report cards for the kids, and milestones like graduations, promotions, weddings, and successful projects. As for the Hallmark holidays, I’d prefer not to force a celebration because of a designated day that was chosen for it.

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Tom Andriola

Tom Andriola advocates for adoptee rights and shares his personal experiences about being adopted and his successful, independent search for both biological parents. To see more of his writing, visit Tom's Facebook page.

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