Wow! We are quickly closing in on May, which means Mother’s Day is right around the corner.
Have you thought about how you might honor or celebrate your child’s birthmom this Birth Mother’s Day?
Did you know that Birth Mother’s Day is the Saturday immediately before Mother’s Day? If you didn’t, don’t feel bad! It was founded in 1990, so it’s only been a celebrated day for 33 years (not counting this year).
Also – I’m a birthmom and didn’t know about it until I think 2018 and was able to attend a couple of events in my area in 2019 specifically for moms who made adoption plans for their child(ren).
“The intent of the day, as created by women who knew what it was to place a baby for adoption, was to honor and support each other as the world around them prepared to celebrate the women who were parenting their children. While bittersweet in origin, just as the nature of adoption has changed over the years, the observance of Birth Mother’s Day is also changing. Families who are parenting a child or children through adoption understand that it is important to acknowledge those who helped to form their family even if they are not present in their day to day lives. To not recognize an adopted child’s Birth Mother makes disingenuous the celebration of the Adoptive Mother. So, while the initial observances of Birth Mother’s Day focused on reflection and commiseration, the day is progressing into one that allows others who are touched by adoption the opportunity to recognize the person who plays the key role in the adoption.”
Before I start sharing ideas and gifts you could give her, I want to take a few moments to talk about my personal experience with this time of year.
The first time I faced Mother’s Day as a mom, I was about 7 months pregnant with my daughter. Very few people knew I was pregnant, so there wasn’t any celebrating. However, birthdad did get me a stuffed animal from Build-A-Bear, and I proceeded to name the stuffie what we had been calling baby girl during my pregnancy. I still have that stuffed animal today, and it’s just as special to me eight years later as it was when I first got it.
The first few years after placement, I wasn’t connected to other birthmoms and certain members my family didn’t acknowledge my daughter or that I was a mom. Thus ‘mommy season’ was not an easy time for me.
On the other hand, before my sister’s kids were old enough to understand the decision I made, she chose to have them honor me as a mom by having them give me cards for an aunt on Mother’s Day. The first time her kids handed me a card on a day that didn’t feel like mine, I was understandably emotional and almost cried.
A few years after placement I attended a wedding on Birth Mother’s Day, which meant I spent something like five hours alone on the road that day. But I vividly remember sitting on a hay bale waiting for the wedding to start and seeing that I had gotten an email from adoptive parents. They wanted to wish me a happy birth mother’s day and say that they were glad we had gotten together a few weeks earlier.
A few years ago, I attended a BraveLove birthmom dinner in my area the Thursday before Birth Mother’s Day. It was an opportunity to connect with other women who have placed their child(ren), but may have different stories or experiences. We learned, shared, and bonded.
Two years ago I was able to get on a Zoom call with my daughter and her parents on Birth Mother’s Day, so that was a really good way to be able to spend a portion of the afternoon.
Last year I specifically requested to be scheduled on lighting for our production team at church, because no matter how much I love volunteering in the nursery I worry that it might be too much for me that week. So I look out for myself in that way, but I also see what I can do with close friends or another birthmom on that Saturday.
Okay, now that I’ve told you about what Birth Mother’s Day is and how this time of year has changed for me over the years, let’s talk about how we can honor the birthmoms in this season.
- Reach out to her and let her know you’re thinking about her. That you’re praying for her. That you hope she has a good day.
- If you live close enough together, go out to eat. Or invite her over for a cookout in the backyard. Find a local event and attend together. Just spend some time with her and your child.
- Choose something with your child to plant in your garden that will bloom during this tie of year. When you see it each spring, it can be a reminder of birthmom and a simple way to honor her within your family.
If you’re one for giving gifts, don’t do anything too extravagant for birthmom. Sometimes the simpler it is, the more meaningful it is.
- Piece of art or a card made by your child
- Necklace or bracelet (there are tons of options on Etsy)
- Journal and pen, if she likes writing
- Candle in her favorite scent (this one is supports a birthmom education organization)
- A box your child has decorated for her to put keepsakes in
No matter how you choose to celebrate your child’s birth mother, if you include her (even if she’s not present) then it’s going to be special. There will be memories made, smiles, laughter, and more.
Enjoy this Mother’s Day season (or as I like to call it “Mommy Season”) and love on all of the women around you because you never know who might be a birthmom staying silent.
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