May 8th, 2013

mother's dayMother’s Day can be a lonely day for a mother who isn’t a real part of her child’s life, after adoption. It can be a cold reminder of what you don’t have, as you see your friends on Facebook flash their picture, post their thanks and as families gather to celebrate the woman who helped make them who they are. It can make you feel, as a birthmother, entirely invisible.

I remember sitting in church on Mother’s Day, and coaxing myself not to cry as they handed out roses to all the Mother’s. I didn’t get one. The year before, with my swollen belly, and ankles, a confused 12 year old had handed me one. The next? No one even glanced at me, because no one even knew I had been pregnant the year before. My ex-husband and I went on to his family’s house, and I continued to be a ghost. There, but not really there, because how do you acknowledge the mother who isn’t really a mother because her child isn’t there?

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Every Mother’s Day, except the last couple, I have remained stoic during the day. I’ve finished complaining to my husband about the functions I don’t want to go to because it’s Mother’s Day, and I detest it. He’s not listening because I won’t articulate fully just why I dislike the day, and I don’t want to, because it’s just Mother’s Day. Even after our first child together was born, I still dreaded that day. It was a day that was full of expectation, and hope for so many people. Everything always seemed to fall flat, and by the end of the day I’d find myself in a pool of self-loathing, and anger. Why could I celebrate it now? Because I kept my baby this time? I felt like my role as my son’s mother, even though he was adopted, was always negated on Mother’s Day.

Even with two kids, and a solid plan to get out of town again for this Mother’s Day, I still feel that haunting anxiousness creeping up. My calendar taunting me as we inch closer, and I wonder just how this day will play out for me. I won’t be obsessively waiting for the adoptive family to message me, like I was last year. This year, the adoption is closed. This year, there won’t be a slight bit of hope for me to grasp as if it’s my life line which means my expectations won’t be disappointed this year. It’s just Mother’s Day, I tell myself. I’ll be surrounded by family that does love me, that does see me, and doesn’t make me feel invisible.  I’ll do my best to feel blessed.

Yet, I’m still invisible. The Mother who is a Mother. But isn’t really a Mother on Mother’s Day, because, society isn’t quite sure where to place us who have lost, and still love.

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One Response to “When Mother’s Day Just Isn’t.”

  1. bmomnancy says:

    Two years ago, my loving mother passed on the Heaven. I miss her so much! She was my birth mom. My only mom. She raised me. She loved me unconditionally. She taught me so much. She supported me through my unplanned pregnancy as a teenager. She didn’t like what I did some times. Or what I’d say. Or who I’d date. She loved me anyway. She taught me about God and faith and believing. She showed me through her actions how important these things are in life.

    I had another hole in my heart the day she died. It was my second … since giving my son up for adoption many, many years ago.

    Just 6 weeks shy of the second anniversary of mom’s death, I received a short letter in the mail. No return address. Typed. No full name. Just a message and an email address to reply to if I wanted to do so. From my son — the one I gave up for adoption.

    It took me 10 days. Super Bowl Sunday I sat at my computer and said to myself “Just do it.” Pass … on this opportunity and never know him. Or punt … with the hopes of this God-thing being a “winning touchdown” in my life. I punted … and replied. He punted … and replied.

    Five months later, I can say that one of my holes is filled again, thanks to his outreach and our ability to do what I’ve always hoped I would do if/when we ever met again. Accept him for the person he’d become, ask for his forgiveness (my guilt), and love him unconditionally — just like my mom did with me.

    While I’m sad to have missed the first 36 years of life together, we have agreed to look at now and into the future — one baby step at a time — and let go of the past.

    I will always thank God for this gift of reuniting me with him. I will always thank him for his curiosity, persistence, and interest in knowing me. I will always thank his parents for raising the baby I could not provide for and helping him grow into such a wonderful young man. I will always thank his sweetie and my husband for their acceptance of me and my son into our lives.

    In two or three days, my husband and I will share this amazing news with our teenage sons — and they will have an opportunity to meet one another, if they’d like to do so. I ask for your prayers that they are accepting of him — and me — and that this strengthens our love and respect for one another in the process. May God guide us — as He always does — down His path for our lives.

    Please share with me any advice you have on how — and how much — to tell our teenage sons.

    Thanks!

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