Mother’s Day is coming up and you best believe I’ll be milking the day for what’s it’s worth. I’ll be having brunch with my husband and kids in the morning and then having ME time in the afternoon. However, in the midst of this day, I will be thinking of two women who won’t be able to celebrate with my family; my children’s respective birthmothers.
Due to infertility, my family was created through adoption. Countless times, I’ve been told I ‘saved’ my children from what, I’m assuming, is thought to be a less fortunate life. True, my children were born to women who emotionally and financially couldn’t care for a child. However, I consider the one to be saved by my children’s birthmothers. After learning about my infertility, having multiple failed fertility treatments and multiple failed adoptions, I hit one of the lowest points in my life. I was depressed, in therapy and considering taking anti-depressants. After more than three years of trying to start a family, I never thought I’d be a mom. In April 2013, my daughter’s birthmother gave me life again by entrusting me and my husband to be her daughter’s forever family. My husband and I received this gift again in May 2015 when my son’s birthmother had the same faith and we became ‘mom and dad’ for the second time around.
These women chose my husband and me to be their child’s forever family by reading a brochure about us and meeting us just once. How they knew we would be the parents they wanted for their children with knowing us for such a short amount of time baffles me. I thank them for having this instinct.
When I met each of my children right after birth, I cried tears of joy. I also cried tears of guilt and sadness for my children’s respective birthmother. These women let go a part of them all out of the act of love.
Each of my child’s adoption is closed. In other words, my children’s birthmothers have chosen not to have contact with them. This fact saddens me but I understand they need to move forward with their lives. Thinking about their children could prohibit them from doing so. Daily, I wonder how my children’s birthmothers are doing. I wonder how they spend their days. I wonder how often they think about the children they carried. I want to tell them how wonderfully our babies are growing, their likes and dislikes and their emerging personalities.
Will we ever see our children’s birthmothers again? I don’t know. Do my children know about their respective birthmothers? Absolutely. They need to know they are loved not only by my husband and me but also by the women who carried them, gave birth to them and loved them incredibly to make the decision to place them for adoption to give them a life they could not. My husband and I speak freely about adoption to our children. Despite being only one and three years old, our children are regularly told they are adopted and are loved by their birthmothers. They are shown pictures of their birthmothers and are told their adoption stories.
My last encounter with each of my children’s birthmother was hugs, tears and a whispered ‘Thank you’. I didn’t know what else to say. Words cannot express my gratitude for giving me the gift of motherhood. The following quote, by Desha Woodall, summarizes the relation between a birthmother and adoptive mother. ‘He is mine in a way that he will never be hers. Yet he is hers in a way that will never be mine. And so together, we are motherhood’. On this Mother’s Day and every Mother’s Day, not only will my family be celebrating me but also the two incredible women who made us the unit we are today.