Today, the day before Mother's Day, is Birth Mother's Day. I'm not sure how I feel about that. My feelings about it are a bit jumbled, but I'll try to explain anyway. If you're offended by something I have to say, please know that it's not intentional. I'm trying to express my feelings here, not hurt other people's.
First, I've never been a huge fan of Mother's Day as it is. It seems like it is manufactured to guilt people into spending a LOT of money to compensate for treating their mothers poorly the other 364 days of the year. I try to do nice things for my mom all year 'round. I have a wonderful mother. But I like to celebrate that on her birthday. She does, too. Likewise, shouldn't a couple who have adopted treat their baby's birth mom well every day they get the chance? They shouldn't wait for one day a year to have to remember her.
Mother's Day also seems to be the sort of greeting-card holiday that makes women feel inadequate. Not every woman has children. There are plenty of women who would love dearly to be mothers, but for one reason or another it hasn't happened yet. Mother's Day for them is torture. It's society's way of saying, call us when you're a REAL woman and you're actually done something, then we'll give you flowers.
I didn't really celebrate Mother's Day last year, even though I was quite heavily pregnant because, as I may have mentioned, not one person on earth was the least bit excited that I was going to have a baby. Do you know how incredibly bad that sucks? What a nasty, cruelly unnecessary slight on my sweet baby! Just because my situation wasn't ideal, didn't mean it was right to take it out on the precious little girl in my womb. She should have been celebrated; anticipated as the sweet and wonderful little miracle that she was. I'd harbored secret hopes that my mother might, perhaps get me a mommy-to-be Mother's Day card. That hell would freeze over and H would think of me on Mother's Day. That someone, somewhere who loved me would say, "You are going to be a mother soon, and I am so happy for you!"
Insult, meet injury.
Birth Mother's Day, too, is another opportunity for some people to make a big stink about their birth moms, and what amazing and wonderful women they are, and how they are beautiful and wonderful and selfless. And they will go on-line and post pictures of visits and elaborate Birth Mother's Day gifts and talk about how they are all best friends, and they do all this because they LOVE their birth moms - of course they want to buy her and make her gifts. They love her.
Does that mean that if I don't get gifts and pictures and visits for Birth Mother's Day, that Roo's parents don't love me? That's bull. I KNOW they love me. I will never, ever doubt that. They don't need to buy me gifts to thank me for placing Roo with them. They needn't thank me at all - I did it for Roo, not for them. The best way they can thank me and show me love, they already do - they are the very best parents they can be. They love Roo more than anything. They take the very best care of her. They took her to the temple. They love her. What on earth could I ask more? As far as I'm concerned, I got my Mother's Day gift on December 12th.
(I hate it when people explain their level of openness with, "Well, of course it's that way. We love each other. Why wouldn't we?" It makes it sound like if you don't have that, you're loved less. Nothing could be further from the truth.)
And then ... okay, I know I'm not Roo's mama. I know that. But I grew her and birthed her and loved her - still love her - shouldn't that count for something? Shouldn't I get to celebrate Mother's Day for that? In that way, Birth Mother's Day serves as more of a reminder of what I'm not than a celebration of what I am.
People have wished me a happy Birth Mother's Day, and I am thankful to them for thinking of me. And yet I'm a little uncomfortable with Birth Mother's Day. It was sort of created so birth moms could get some recognition for their sacrifices. So they could have a day, too. Well, I'd rather have tomorrow, if it's all the same to you, and I didn't place Roo for any kind of recognition. I don't want this special day that's all about how I placed my baby for adoption. I am so much more than that decision! I am more than a birth mom.
And yet I am a birth mom. But I like to focus on the second of those words. A birth mom is still a mom. Why can't I celebrate Mother's Day? Does choosing adoption make me less of a mother? I think that choosing adoption makes me the very best mother I could have ever been.
I'm not sure how much sense I'm making here. Some, I hope. And, again, thank you to those who have wished me a happy Birth Mother's day. I appreciate being remembered. But I think, for what it's worth, I'm going to celebrate being Roo's birth mom on my schedule. Maybe tomorrow, maybe on her birthday. Maybe on some random, arbitrary day. Maybe never. Roo is the happiest of girls and she has the best of families. I think I'd rather celebrate her; celebrate them.
Happy (early) Mother's Day to Roo's mama. I love you so much, and I am so thankful that you are Roo's mommy. She is so very blessed to be your little girl!