Do You Celebrate Birth Mother’s Day?

Birth-Mother-Adoptive-MotherI woke to find an article about celebrating Birth Mother’s Day on my Facebook timeline. For those of you that don’t know, there is a day set aside the week before Mother’s Day to celebrate and honor the woman that gave adopted children life  …  and it kinda sucks.

First off, let me say that it’s taken me a lot of reading and trying to see the perspective of others in the adoption triad (the child, the parents) to get to this place. As I see it, a person that gets pregnant and does not have an abortion is a mother. If a woman gets pregnant and has a miscarriage she will grieve for that child as any mother would. If I knew about a friend that experienced that and she seemed like she would like to participate, I would honor her on Mother’s Day. If a woman gets pregnant and gives birth but the child is still born or dies she will grieve as any mother would. If I knew about a friend that experienced that and she seemed like she would like to participate, I would honor her on Mother’s Day. If a woman gets pregnant and gives birth to a baby that is taken from her or she chooses not to parent for whatever reason, she will miss that baby. If I knew about a friend that experienced that and she seemed like she would like to participate, I would honor her on Mother’s Day.

In our house, I talk of our son’s parents casually and mention his mother often. We didn’t get a chance to meet her but I want him to know that thinking about, and missing, his parents is okay. It’s okay for him to feel and it’s okay for us to talk about. Mother’s Day seems like the perfect day to celebrate and honor the woman that gave him life. We don’t celebrate Birth Mother’s Day because there’s already a day for that …  it’s called Mother’s Day.

Why I Wish I Had a Photo of My Son’s Mother

My son doesn’t look like me or his dad.

I have no idea whose eyes he has or whose nose. Where he gets his cute little smile from is anyone’s guess. Right now, it doesn’t matter because he’s a baby and most babies only care about who is wiping their tush and where their next bottle is coming from. It doesn’t matter. Not right now.

In the future it may matter a lot. As he gets older these things will start to matter and I have no answers for him. I have never met his first parents and probably never will. His mother hasn’t shown up to the hearings and won’t even return calls from the baby’s social worker. The person that was given as his father says that the baby isn’t his.

I’d like to think that if we at least had photos it might give him some comfort, but we don’t. I have nothing wise to say. No good ideas to share.I just found this little song/poem and just like I’m offering it to you, I’ll offer it to the baby in hopes that it might make him feel a bit better.

Moon-Somebody-I-Want-to-See

 

 

 

 

Adopted Infant Grieves for First Mother

Infant-GrievingThe baby coughs in the morning.

Not every morning, but many mornings he coughs. Sometimes in the evening before he goes to sleep. It doesn’t sound phlegmy and the doctor isn’t concerned ….  but there is something strange about it.

I started digging around to figure out what’s going on and I’ve come up with this: the baby is grieving for his first mother. The lungs are attached to grief in Chinese medicine.

悲 Grief

The lungs are more directly involved with this emotion. A normal and healthy expression of grief can be expressed as sobbing that originates in the depths of the lungs – deep breathes and the expulsion of air with the sob. However, grief that remains unresolved and becomes chronic can create disharmony in the lungs, weakening the lung qi (vital energy). This in turn can interfere with the lung’s function of circulating qi (vital energy) around the body.

I read a few books about babies grieving and was expecting to see some signs of it. It’s silly not to expect that a baby won’t miss their own mother. He lived with her for eight months and then one day … she was gone. Where did she go? What happened to her? He probably misses her heart beat …. misses her smell …  misses her voice. I think that his coughing is his body expressing the grief that he can’t say.

A friend told me that when he coughs like that I should place my fingers near his collar bone and wipe my fingers down toward his armpits while saying something like, “You miss your mother. That must be hard”. I hope that when he feels that way as he gets older, because he will feel that way, he feels comfortable coming to us and perhaps asking for a hug or his favorite pillow. I want him to know that it’s okay to miss his mother and father. It’s okay to be upset that he doesn’t know that part of his family. It’s okay to feel sad or frustrated or angry. It’s okay to grieve.

 

 

Our Famly Orchard is Complete!

I had been thinking about how to include everyone (first family, second family, friends that feel like family, etc.) in our family tree for a while. Adopting from foster care changes how the family goes. Of course you want to include biological family, but you also want to include first family members. Eventually I came across the idea of a family orchard! Here’s my inspiration:

FamilyTreeAdoptionFriendsFamilyI asked people that are important in our lives to send me buttons. I glued each one to the materials and I plan on stretching the canvas over a frame so I can hang it.

Here’s the finished project:

IMG_20140806_114101The turtles at the bottom represent our immediate family. The star near the base represents his mother. It’s not perfect (I’m not much of an artist) but I love it just the same.

 

Relationship With First Family

Family-Tree-Adoption-Means-FamilyI just finished reading this article by a birth mother about the relationship that she has with her daughter and daughter’s family. This si the kind of relationship I’d like to have. Since we are adopting from foster care I don’t know if this will be possible, but I can hope.

The author mentions that:

They are more than I could ever ask parents to be- loving, caring, supportive, strong, stable, beautiful souls. They’ve kept contact open since the day they brought her home, and thank me every time they see me for “everything.” We exchange emails, pictures, news, and stories. I love them with every bit of strength I have.

I cringe whenever I hear an adoptive parent say that they have the child that they were supposed to have. It makes me feel like they think that a child and parent being separated is okay because it ended, in their minds, well.

We’ve chosen to adopt from foster care in the hopes that we can provide a stable family for a child that was not meant for us, but needs …. someone. I also hope that the biological family of that child will still want to participate in their life even if they can’t be the stable family that child needs. It takes a village.

What NOT to Say to a Birth Mother

HandBabyAdult

I have been reading The Happiest Sad blog for almost a year now. I appreciate her perspective on her decision to place her daughter “Roo” for adoption and the open adoption relationship that she has with the adoptive family.

I read so much bad stuff about private adoption that I chose to adopt through foster care, so it’s nice to read at least one birth mother (that’s what she calls herself) that doesn’t turn all adoptive parents into villains. Anyhoo … she has a great page on her blog about things that she doesn’t care to be told about adoption. I wanted to share them here, but be sure to visit her blog to get the whole list and read more about her experience.

What NOT to Say to a Birth Mother:

2. “I could never do that.”

I love her response:

As my friend Tamra says, if I’d loved my baby just an ounce less, I would have kept her. I placed her because I love her.
I also liked Tamra’s advice to me on dealing with this comment. She said to tell people, “No, you probably couldn’t,” in a tone that implies that I am a much stronger person than they are.

3. “I’m sure you did what was best for you.”

Does anyone really, truly believe that I chose adoption for my sake? It wasn’t best for me. What was best for me was keeping and parenting the daughter I loved so very much. Placing her was hell for me, certainly not best for me. If it was about me, I’d still be a single mother. I did what was best for Roo. Period.

10. “Will she know that you’re her real mom?”

Sorry, I’m not her “real” mom. M is. And what’s a real mom, anyway? I didn’t place Roo with a family of cardboard cutouts. Calling me Roo’s real mom implies that M is … what, her fake mom? Uh-uh. I am Roo’s birth mother, not her real mother. Same goes for the phrase “natural mother.” What constitutes an unnatural mother?

There’s  more on the page, but I don’t want to steal her whole blog post! Lol Go on over and check it out.

The Happiest Sad blog

Considering Private Adoption? Why Not Parent?

StAgnes

When a couple gets pregnant they should have all the options available to them: parenting, abortion, and adoption. I read about St. Agnes (an organization that helps parents parent) on the Adoption News and Events Facebook page. That link took me to WritingMyWrongs.com:

For the month of January 2013, Chloe + Isabel by Suz will be supporting St. Agnes Home located in West Hartford, CT. Proceeds from all jewelry sale commission will be donated to this home.

Nice. If parents want to parent and want to learn better skills to do that …. then I’m all for it!

From the St. Agnes website:

“…Our mission is to provide residential care and supportive services for pregnant and parenting adolescent mothers and their infants.”

If you’re pregnant and not sure what to do, please check out St. Agnes. They offer residential help and transitional help.