Though you love and cherish your child, you may not always be able to hold them during an adoption. However, if you have an open adoption, there are times when you’ll have the opportunity to spend time with your child once more. In fact, there’s a Birth Mother’s Day that takes place in May on the Saturday before Mother’s Day.
History of Birth Mother’s Day
Unlike Mother’s Day, Birth Mother’s Day is not a holiday that is marked on calendars. You probably won’t be able to find a card for it, and most people have never even heard of such an occasion. Due to this, the day is very special and unique to the adoption community, though it can also be fraught with sadness. Created and founded by women who had created adoption plans for their children, the first gathering for Birth Mother’s Day was the Saturday before Mother’s Day in 1990.
For many Birth Mothers, this is a day of deep emotion—a day in which they can cry, share their feelings, and spend time with the sons and daughters they created adoption plans for. For the children, this can be a confusing day, especially if the relationship with their Birth Mother is not the strongest. With this in mind, it’s up to you to guide your child (as well as yourself) through this holiday.
Celebrating Birth Mother’s Day: What You Can Do
One of the best things you can do on Birth Mother’s Day is educate your child and help encourage them to engage and have fun. For children, there can be a lot of anxiety over the concept of spending time with their Birth Mother. Unfortunately, some adoptees don’t want a relationship with their Birth Mothers and there can be a lot of hurt feelings and stress surrounding the day.
You can help them by educating them on why it’s important to maintain a relationship as well as the issues that can surround adoption, offering fun activities you can all do together, and being a source of comfort for both your Birth Mother and your child. Take this day to be an ally to your child and to show compassion and understanding you’re your Birth Mother.
There are a few ways you can even help your child as they make their way through Birth Mother’s Day. Try these activities:
- Create a Homemade Card: If your child is having a hard time with their feelings, making a card for Birth Mother’s Day can help them process their feelings as well as encourage them to be more open with their Birth Mother. You can get really creative, and if you like, the card can even be from all of you. This can also increase love and friendship between your family and your birth mother, encouraging community.
- Bake Them Cookies: This is great for you and your child as well as their Birth Mother. It gives you an opportunity to bake with your child and have fun, and shows their Birth Mother love through one of the most accessible mediums: food.
- Get/Make Them a Present: You can encourage your child to make a homemade gift (or buy a sweet gift) that’s kind and friendly. A painting or drawing from a child is always appreciated, but other things like flowers, an item of clothing, or even sweets can go a long way.
Many families celebrate Birth Mother’s Day by going out to eat, having a community gathering at the park, having a get together in the home, or going to a public event. Whatever you decide to do, remember to keep things educational and light. If, however, things get deep and emotional, you don’t have to stop their feelings, and don’t ever force them to confront their Birth Mother. Just be wary of your child’s emotional safety and do what you can to help things running smoothly.
When it comes to Birth Mother’s Day, you have to understand that there are a lot of factors involved in the holiday. It was created as a day for Birth Mothers to remember and be remembered for giving the ultimate GIFT of life, and that should be held as the core of the holiday. Despite the tension, the controversy, the emotions, and the possibility of pain, this day doesn’t have to be a hard one. In fact, if you handle things delicately, the day can be pleasant, informative, and even cathartic for you, your child, and your child’s Birth Mother.