The Open Adoption Roundtable is a series of occasional writing prompts about open adoption. It’s designed to showcase of the diversity of thought and experience in the open adoption community. You don’t need to be listed at Open Adoption Bloggers to participate or even be in a traditional open adoption. If you’re thinking about openness in adoption, you have a place at the table. The prompts are meant to be starting points–please feel free to adapt or expand on them.
Write a response at your blog–linking back here so your readers can browse other participating blogs–and share your post in the comments here. Using a previously published post is fine; I’d appreciate it if you’d add a link back to the roundtable. If you don’t blog, you can always leave your thoughts directly in the comments.
Mother’s Day is coming soon in many countries, and the intersection of adoption and that holiday can stir up a lot of different emotions.
Write to someone else in the adoption constellation (someone specific or a general group). What do you want to say to them on Mother’s Day?
Excerpts from the responses:
Danielle (first mom) @ Another Version of Mother in a letter to her son: “As Mother’s Day rounds the corner, I will think of the first moments where I entered into Motherhood. I will remember the first time I held you, the first time I kissed you, and I will remember how you made me the mother I am today, in those few short days. Always, my motherhood began with you.”
Cindy (first mom) @ Another Crazy Christian writes to the word in general, her mom, her son’s adoptive mom, and…: “Hallmark: You are cruel and amazing at the same time. You know exactly what people want to see and hear, but you don’t have cards about birth moms, or even adopted children to their birth moms or to their adoptive moms. Is it really not worth it for you to try something new?”
Mommysquared (adoptive mom) @ Our Journey to Parenthood and the Years That Follow writes to her daughters and their birth mothers: “ I also want you to understand I am here for you for the hard parts and the easy parts as we journey together in our family living in your open adoptions.”
Heather (adoptive mom) @ Production, Not Reproduction speaks to anyone feeling like an “outsider” on Mother’s Day: “If you’re still waiting and hoping and yearning; if you’re not the one raising your child; if you have lost a child or a pregnancy; if the day reminds you of a broken relationship or someone you’re missing, I wish for you peace in the present and hope for the future.”
I Was Anne (adoptive mom) @ Tears of/and Joy speaks to the founder of Mother’s Day: “I remember my first Mother’s Day with Lily. I didn’t know anything about Fiona, Lily’s first mother, except for her first name. And that first Mother’s Day, she was all I could think about – the hole in her heart, the yearning she must be feeling to hold her baby in her arms. My gain was her loss, and I hated the fact that I had no way to reach out to her. Of course, things changed shortly after that, and for the last two Mother’s Days, we have reached out to each other and wished each other a Happy Mother’s Day. But the truth is, I think we’d both be much happier if the pressure to celebrate our motherhood wasn’t there.”
Racilous (first mom) @ Adoption in the City in a letter to her son: “So if you start to grow up and think you have less than other kids on a day like this Sunday, that you are missing out on something, you should know that I will always be here. I may be standing off to the side, but you are the center of my heart. You can still feel your life is different from the other kids, and you still can feel that loss, but I hope you can still remember that I do love you as much as any Mother loves any child.”
Monika (first mom) @ Monika’s Musings writes to her daughter, her daughter’s adoptive mom, and “to the people who think we as birth mothers should only celebrate Birth Mothers Day if we’re not raising other children”: “Birth Mothers Day & Mothers Day are not mutually exclusive.”
KatjaMichelle (first mom) @ Therapy is Expensive speaks to any mother not parenting her child: “This day is your day too. Don’t allow anyone to convince you you don’t have the right to spend it however you want.”
Wendy (adoptive mom) @ Our Story thinks about her experience and her daughter’s first mom’s experience: “It was so hard to watch the hundreds of Mother’s Day commercials that started two weeks prior to the holiday. It was even harder to see families out and about or at church or to go to a store and be wished a Happy Mother’s Day by a clerk. It just made me want to crawl into bed and not come out for a few days.”
Andrea (prospective adoptive parent) @ Waiting for Our Baby writes to the hypothetical first mother of her future child: “This year, while Mother’s Day is still a tough day for me to face, I am looking at things differently than I have in the past. Because of you, I can look at Mother’s Day with a hopefulness that I haven’t always felt before.”
Shonnie (first mom) @ Forever Isn’t Enough speaks to her son: “On this day, I want to tell you how much you mean to me. I want to hold you tight and let you know how much you are loved.” *warning: auto-music plays*
Jenna (first mom) @ The Chronicles of Munchkin Land writes to her three favorite adoptive moms: “I am super thankful for each of these amazing mothers. They have all taught me something about mothering, about birthmotherhood. They have all laughed with me, cried with me and been angry with me. And, well, uh, probably been angry with me. They have all forgiven me. They are friends.”
Amber (adoptive mom) @ Bumber’s Bumblings writes to some of the mothers who have impacted her life: “I know that you didn’t do any of this for me and that it was all for B, so I feel silly thanking you for making me a mother. I owe my motherhood to you.”
Prabha (adoptive mom) @ Baby Steps to a Baby Dream in a letter to her daughters’ first mom: “So, as I stand by the kitchen island a goofy grin plastered over my face at the artwork the kids have bought home from school proclaiming me as sweet as sugar in tea or how much they love mommy, I reach for the camera so I can share it with you virtually.”
Lynn (adoptive mom) @ Open Hearts, Open Minds writes to her son’s birth mom: “I’m glad we see you on a regular basis and that you are part of Elliot’s life. That’s the way it should be. I recognize that you went through an extremely traumatic time….and perhaps still face difficulties. For what it’s worth, I absolutely believe that you and Elliot’s birth father made the right decision. Thank you.”
Katie (adoptive mom) @ Removing Roadblocks writes to birth mothers: “”You are mothers too. I admire your love for the children you do not parent.”
Robyn (adoptive mom) @ The Chittister Family speaks to prospective adoptive mothers: “Third, do not make your decisions out of fear or desperation. This is far easier said than done, I know. I know what it’s like to want a child so badly your arms ache. I know what it’s like to stand in an empty room in the middle of the night and imagine that there will never be a child in it. But you have to use your head and do what is right, not what is fastest or easiest.”
Meg (adoptive mom) @ God Will Fill This Nest: “Maybe we should have Woman’s Day? For the women who are parenting, for those that chose adoption, for those who have lost their moms or their babies, for the women who hope to be parents that aren’t yet, for the woman who feels like your surrogate mom because she is always there for you, for the childless friend who is still perky and excited at every baby shower (or appears to be, which takes a lot of work!)…a celebration of our maternal instinct as women, our desire to ‘mother’ those around us whether or not they came from our womb.”
Lavender Luz (adoptive mom) @ Write Mind Open Heart speaks to those making Mother’s Day speeches: ”You may not know this, but there are likely other outliers receiving your message. That 30-something lady who pulled the tissues out of her purse and filled up three of them with tears and snot? That man who had to excuse himself awkwardly? That woman who tried to hide the fact that she was sobbing on her yoga mat? These are people who desperately WANT to be a mother or father.”
Amanda (adult adoptee) @ The Declassified Adoptee in a letter to her foster mother: “I was the little baby born to the very young woman who was placed into foster care for a reason I may never really know. I know you will probably never see this. Somehow, I wish you could. Thank you for taking care of me. Thank you for slipping a hand-written note with a few details of my origins into my adoption file; I’m not sure you were even allowed to do that. Somehow, I think you knew I would want to know that information. I don’t remember you. Do you remember me?”
Jay (adoptive mom) @ Two Women Blogging in a letter to her daughter: “And you are leading us into the world of open adoption. You have taught us that you have two mothers. You have insisted that Laura and her family be part of our family celebrations. You have been really clear about the fact that you have two mothers; your Mother’s Day letters to us this year speak to your love for both of us.”
Thorn (adoptive mom) @ Mother Issues thinks about her daughter’s first mother: “So what I want to say is something I did get to say to Mara’s mom, that I do see our connection as being based on loss and sadness as well as on this amazing little girl. I got to tell her that we pray for her, that we think of her and talk about her, that we call her Mara’s mom. I got to tell her how sorry I am for the trauma that I think set off the rest of the intervening decade of hard times, how I think of that too. I love her daughter, I love her family, I have a certain love for her from even before the time we met. And yes, I prayed for her as best I could. She and Mara deserve that.”
Seriously3 (adoptive mom) @ Seriously?!? in a letter to her daughter’s birth mother: “But for now, I know that you just need time. Forgive me for forgetting what this loss must feel like. In time we will figure out this ‘dance’. And right now it may look kind of messy at times, but I know with more practice and time, we will eventually have this waltz figured out.”
Terri @ Workin’ With What I’ve Got writes to all women, regardless of label: “Society is going to pull out its ruler and see if you measure up. It’s going to hand the ruler to you, so you can see if your mother measures up … and it’s going to use Hallmark to help you do it. But here’s what we know about society: It’s messed up.”
Kathryn (first mom) @ Dear Sweetheart writes to her future husband: “You will be a man unlike most men. Your ability to understand what is beyond the given will be one of your most admirable qualities. Your love of a child that was not yours, and is not ours, and your protection of this child’s memory is the quality that I will admire most in you. Your recognition of the mother in me that other’s don’t see will build me up in ways you won’t understand and I won’t be able to fully express to you and I will love you because of your ability to make me feel strong when I don’t feel like I am.”
Momo (adoptive mom) @ Momosapien writes to teachers who have students who are part of the adoption constellation: “LB has 3 moms who are celebrated for Mother’s Day, and it meant the world to me to have all three of us included in this Mother’s Day gift. I have many ways of being seen and recognized within my family, but to have my daughter feel seen and understood in this way by her teacher feels incredible to me and I appreciate her teacher so much.”
About the author:
A mother by open adoption, Heather Schade is the founder and editor of Open Adoption Bloggers. She writes at Production, Not Reproduction.