Mother’s Day is Sunday. It is a day we all know well. Some celebrate with Mom. Some remember fondly and lovingly a Mom no longer with us. Many also enjoy status as Mom on a day just for her! It is a day meant for children to honor their mothers, recognized in different ways throughout the world. Mother’s Day is often a happy, fun-filled day. Hallmark, florists and jewelers make a killing. And if Mom is lucky, she gets a day to visit with children she may not see often enough, gets a full day of pampering whine-free (not wine-free of course!), or has a busy, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world, family day.
I am not a novice mother. Yet I surely wouldn’t say I have reached “accomplished” status quite yet. This Mother’s Day will be my 12th with the “MOM” title.
With this Mother’s Day, and with the heart-filling, loving anticipation of our China Little, I have learned about another, relatively new, not-without controversy “day”. The Saturday before Mother’s Day, this year Saturday, May 7th, is recognized at Birth Mother’s Day.
I have been waiting for the right time to write a post about birth mothers. And although I recognize that I am not exactly a novice mom, I am, without doubt, a novice adoptive parent. In fact, the truth is, I am not an adoptive parent, just a prospective adoptive parent (and someday soon….if I can manage all of these PAPERS, FILES, EMAILS, DOCUMENTS, STATE SEALS, IMMIGRATION LAWS, SHIPPING ISSUES, blah, blah, blah…..I hope to take out that word “prospective”!). So my thoughts about birth mothers comes from my heart, not from my status.
Mike and I considered adoption for many, many years. And the thought of a birth mother would come and go in my mind. It made me anxious. I am not quite sure how I felt, but it almost seemed like a tug-of-war. One child, one birth mother, one forever mother. The math didn’t quite add up. I didn’t think about it much. But if I did, I wouldn’t say it was a perfect, rosy picture that I saw.
But when the possibility of adoption was steering towards being the perfect path for us, suddenly a birth mother was imminent. I had to educate myself, my heart, on what this meant. And for quite a long time now, I have soul-searched, I have learned, and I have allowed myself to face the reality of what this would mean for me.
There is a child, an innocent baby, likely already born and who we have fondly found ourselves calling our “CHINA LITTLE”. This child will one day be in my arms. This child is already in my heart in a way that I can’t describe no matter how many words I attempt to type. And this child is here because of a birth mother.
A birth mother selflessly committed to 9 months of nurturing. A birth mother gave life to our “CHINA LITTLE”. A birth mother gave up being this child’ mother, watching this child grow, seeing this child’s firsts. We do not know, and will likely never know, the reasons she had to make this decision. Most can only hope and wish we never have to make a decision nearly this intense. But she did.
I could judge. I could be angry or hold a grudge or negativity in my heart for her. But I have chosen not to. The list of possible reasons for her decision is an infinite number. Was this a social and cultural issue in which she would have been shunned for being a single mother? Was this an issue of poverty in which she could not afford the basic needs of a child? I could speculate, I could list “reasons” and “possibilities”. But the truth is, she felt unable to enter the world of motherhood with this child. And she will know, remember and love this child, that she birthed, forever. This, I am certain.
Adopting internationally means that any chance of birth parent involvement is very rare. We do not have any legal custody issues to be concerned with. Once we have legally adopted, this child will be our child forever. Once this child is an adult, I cannot say if he or she will have any interest in searching out who his birth parents are. And if, after 18 or more years in our nurturing, loving, not- nearly-perfect, but perfect-for-our-family home, this child does choose to pursue this, we will support him or her. For we will know that we are loved and trusted and that we are this child’s parents. Forever. And if we have don’t our job correctly, he or she will know this, too.
So on this Birth Mother’s Day, the first I have ever acknowledged, I do not wish to consider if it is an appropriate “holiday” or wish to join a side of pro or con. But I am grateful for a day to reflect on something, someONE, that is soon-to-be part of what makes our family, “OUR FAMILY”.
For without this Birth Mother, we would never hold our CHINA LITTLE. Grateful and respectful I am.
Happy Mother’s Day 2016!