Honoring the Birthmom

I’ve sat down a few times now trying to approach this subject. Like many post-adoption related subjects I look at it from two perspectives. One being the side of the adoptive mom and the other the adoptee. I guess I’m lucky in that respect. I have a small sense of what it is like for my son. Granted I wasn’t an international adoptee, but I am an adoptee nonetheless. Moreover, I am a healthy and well adjusted one. My mom did something right along the way for me to not hate her, my family and to love the fact that I am an adoptee.

However, as my first official Mother’s Day arrives I have seen many posts pop up about honoring our children’s birth moms. This concept puzzles me. As a child, or adult, we never sat down to do something special for my birth mom. We didn’t light a candle, color her a special picture, write her a letter or any of the other suggestions people come up with. We celebrated Mom. My mom. The lady who raised me. Maybe it’s because I don’t consider my birth mom a mom. Like I have always said, she is the lady who gave birth to me. My mom is the one who raised me. I’m not bitter toward her. But I don’t have this deep seeded love I need to give her either. Therefore I find it hard as an adoptive mom to celebrate my son’s birth mother.

My son is only 2. He has no concept of adoption. He knows he’s from Russia. Just ask him, “where are you from?” “Wut-ah,” he will tell you. That is as far as it goes. I think as a parent the best I can do is to let him guide me. There is no hard and fast rule here. On the third Thursday after the fifth birthday you will sit down and tell you child all about their adoption. There isn’t any of that stuff out there. It is more of a let your child guide you. Or at least that is my plan.

This Mother’s day I plan to spend it with my son and my husband. I’ve had far too many Mother’s Days where I sat in a corner and cried. I’ve been angry at God, the world and myself. This year I am no longer angry. I am a Mother and I have the best gift anyone could ever give me. Today I say a special prayer of thanks for the woman that gave me that gift. It is our bond. But as far as my son goes, I am his mom.

16 Comment

  1. Jenni says: Reply

    It is kind of a conflicting thing, to think about honoring the birth mom on Mother’s Day. Since my daughter remembers her birth mom, at some point, she may want to do something in honor of her. My son, however, has no memories of any mama but me – I think asking him to do something special for a woman he never even knew might be confusing at this point in his life. You are absolutely right about letting your child guide you – every kid will handle things differently, and you kind of have to go with the flow based on his/her needs.

    Happy Mother’s Day Elle. The first of many. πŸ™‚

  2. Jessica says: Reply

    Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!! I have NEVER thought of celebrating Mother’s Day for birth moms only. That’s silly! We celebrated Mother’s Day for step-moms, aunts, grandmas, friend’s moms, mom-in-laws, anyone who’s a mom! Who cares if you gave birth to the child or not, if you are raising (or helping to raise) a child, you deserve celebrating this day! I remember getting together with you and telling your mom “happy Mother’s Day!” because she was a mom, a very special mom to my very special friend.

    Happy Mother’s Day!!

  3. I think letting your child’s needs guide is the very best plan. Slugger remembers his birth mom, he’s still in contact with his former adoptive mom, and he’s close with his foster mom. He’s got moms-a-plenty. I don’t know what we’ll do — if we celebrate them all on mother’s day there won’t be any time left for me — the real, forever mom. πŸ™‚ I’ll just wait and see what’s best for him.

    In any case, the boy looks at you and says Mama. When he needs help, he comes to you. When he’s scared, he comes to you. When he wants to show something off, he comes to you. That’s a mom. Happy Mother’s Day.

  4. Jenny says: Reply

    Happy Mothers Day!!!

  5. Happy Mother’s Day! Personally I think it is a day to focus on you, not the birthmom- she has her place- but not today. Just my opinion. I hope you are having a great day and reveling in your new Mother status!

  6. Ani says: Reply

    Happy mothers day! Hope you had a wonderful, happy day with your family.

  7. I hope your Mother’s Day was a fantastic one.

  8. Happy mommy’s day! I hope Oleg made you breakfast… πŸ˜‰ No? Well, someday …

  9. Tricia says: Reply

    happy mother’s day to pickle’s mom. what a lucky pickle!!!

  10. Gaye says: Reply

    You are his Mommy! His one and only Mommy! I have a birthmom too, but I celebrate with the only Mom that I have known…she is my Mommy just as I am Roman’s Mommy!!

    Happy Mother’s Day, Elle! Hope you had a GREAT day being Picke’s Mommy πŸ™‚

  11. serena says: Reply

    Elle, I love hearing your thoughts as you experience two parts of the adoption triad. My daughter has no concept of birth mom. I guess when she starts asking something about it. The doc says that usually happens after they see someone expecting and ask about it. i’m nervious.

    Hey, I’ve been off the boards lately during my move and catching up. Cool trivia about AK my new state. Guess I should study up on that huh. Have a great trip up here. I’d say look me up, but I know traveling is always too busy to fit extra stuff in. Of course if you have time on your hands, let me know!

  12. Great post, I couldn’t agree more. Hope you had a wonderful Mother’s Day.

  13. Debbie says: Reply

    Even this year for me not yet the mother but somehow still close. I found myself thinking about my child’s birthmother this weekend. And I said a special prayer for her this weekend (even though it’s not Mother’s Day in Russia). But my prayer was one of thanks to her for choosing to give up her child so that I could raise him. I imagine that I will silently honor her every Mother’s Day in prayer of thanksgiving for giving me the best gift anyone ever could. But I don’t think I would light a candle or anything like that with our child.

    Thanks for the post.

  14. mom says: Reply

    I am the adoptive mom of Lisa and have never felt deprived for not being a so called birth mother. My child became my beautiful daughter when she was placed in my arms and I gazed at her for the very first time. In that moment my life became totally transformed and I felt a love for her that was overwhelming. God forbid anyone dare say that I felt any different or loved her any less then they did for their so called biological children. Everybody’s got a different take on how to handle the questions that an adopted child might have but let common sense be your guide. Always and forever…you will be that one… that force that shapes and molds whom your child will become. Give Thanks to those Mothers who gave their children to you… but realize children aren’t possessions to anyone but God. Adoptive parents will be forever in their children’s eyes…Mommy and Daddy!!

  15. I totally agree. Great post and Happy Belated Mothers Day!

  16. kris says: Reply

    I really love this post, it gave me a whole new perspective about birthmoms and moms… and honestly I didn’t know that you were adopted. I know you’ve commented on my blog before, but I think I was unable to link back to your site (?). I’m glad to have found you though, you are a great writer. I was just reading about another family who lights a candle for their birthmom and then for all the moms that have left this world. I initially thought “what a great tradition” and now reading this, I find myself re-thinking it. Thanks for shedding new light. And I hope you had a fantastic Mom’s Day!

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