In May, there is often a lot of focus on the adoption community mainly due to Mother’s Day, and of course, Birthmother’s Day. Myself personally, I don’t celebrate Birthmother’s Day. Mother’s Day is just one of those really tough days for me as a mother who has relinquished. Beyond that, I struggle with the very idea that once a year, we should pay tribute to the women who had mothering roles in our life. I don’t like that there is this expectation, one that I admittedly have and do participate in to a degree, that we shower our mothers with extravagance and devoted love on just one day. We should be doing our best to honor our mothers throughout the year. Nothing fancy, but in simple ways that show we love, appreciate, and adore her.
When you step into the world of birthmotherhood, there is a silence that surrounds it. Perhaps some women will speak out about their role as a birthmother, but often, many don’t. Instead we go on with our lives, still being the mothers we are, but not truly honoring the role we play. How can we change that? How can we honor ourselves and the roles birthmothers play in our lives?
There is no right or wrong answer, but I do believe that there is a genuine need to make sure that we care for ourselves in regard to our adoption experiences. Take the time to write your story, and share it with those you feel comfortable with. Hang a picture of your child in your home if you wish, and say I love you to him or her when you see them. If you aren’t in contact, and I know personally how devastatingly hard this can be, make sure that you are gentle with yourself. In both scenarios, take the time to create your own rituals and traditions to celebrate your child and yourself. These can be amazing experiences that you can share with your child, and their family one day, if you so wish.
There is nothing wrong with asking to be seen more than just one day a year. There is nothing wrong with paying tribute to the experience you had with adoption in the past, present, and where you may be in the future. Being able to honor your own role can also play an important part of other people respecting who you are and what you give to the dynamic. Even if they don’t, you are still creating a positive atmosphere for yourself where you can safely celebrate and even mourn the adoption journey.