Holidays in the United States are huge commercially-driven events. Stores transform with specifically designated decor. Ads overwhelm the TV, radio and social media feeds to proclaim upcoming sales and the best gifts to purchase. The “must haves” of the season. All the colors and flurry of activity make it very difficult to ignore.
National Birth Mother’s Day is one of the many holidays listed on the adoption yearly calendar. A day that is often overlooked in the celebration of Mother’s Day, yet it is no less important. It is a moment in day where we remember, honor and recognize all birth mothers. To let you know that you are not alone. That we are here for you no matter what.
Definition of Terms
National Birth Mother’s Day is recognized annually on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. It is a day dedicated to honoring and celebrating the powerful, loving role birth mother’s play in the lives of their children and the adoption triad. With so many unfortunate myths about birth mothers circulating around the world, it’s all too easy to forget or invalidate the courage, love and selflessness it takes for a birth mother to place her baby for adoption. But, thanks to a group of birth mothers living in Seattle, WA in 1990, the United States now has a national holiday to remember, recognize and honor all birth mothers as they rightfully deserve.
Getting through National Birth Mother’s Day
Whether you are considering adoption for your baby, are in the midst of the adoption journey or have placed your baby for adoption in the past, National Birth Mother’s Day can be a difficult holiday for you. Perhaps very few friends and family know about your choice to make a plan for adoption. Maybe you’re still grieving and don’t want a reminder while the pain is fresh. No matter where you are in your adoption journey, we are here for you.
1. Feel Your Emotions
If you find yourself struggling to get through National Birth Mother’s Day this year, remind yourself it’s ok to grieve. To cry. To do whatever you need to feel your emotions. Depending on your adoption agreement, and the level of openness you have, you might not be able to know how your baby is doing or have direct contact with the adoptive family. Or, you may not be ready. That is completely ok. There are other ways that you can grieve and reflect:
- Journal – writing can be very therapeutic and cathartic. Select a journal that is specifically for your adoption journey. Write down your thoughts and emotions. Record what you are feeling. The questions you are asking. Have it handy for the times when emotions hit more suddenly than others.
- Write a Letter – along the same lines, if you are unable to have contact with your baby or are not ready, write a letter to them. Even if he or she never sees it. Doing this will allow you to express your feelings in a safe, confidential and healthy way.
- Look at pictures – if you have created a profile on ChildConnect, another way to feel your emotions is by looking through the pictures the adoptive parents have posted. Reading the updates and letters they have shared as well. This can provide you enough information and comfort to continue with your healing process.
2. Find a Support Group
Not wanting to spend the holiday alone? That option is available for you. If you are local to the Colorado area, check out Lifetime Healing, a support group created for birth mothers by Ashley Mitchell, Executive Director and a birth mother herself. Through our partnership, you are able to attend two-hour long meetings once a month with other birth mothers. It doesn’t matter if you are considering placement, are in the midst of the adoption process or placed your baby for adoption years ago. All birth mothers are welcome.
For birth mothers outside the Colorado area, check out LifeTime Healing’s other locations around the United States and sign up for the monthly newsletter. You can find other support groups via social media and MeetUp. There are so many benefits — including lifelong bonds — you can make by visiting a birth mother support group. It’s a wonderful chance to hear stories of those who have gone before you or are in a similar spot that you are, and find the encouragement and comfort your heart craves.
3. Share Your Feelings
Remember that you never have to traverse your grieving journey alone. Along with journaling and support groups, you have the option to find a counselor or therapist to help you work through your thoughts and feelings. Everything you say is kept confidential and gives you a safe environment to openly share your heart and receive professional guidance. If you aren’t able to afford a mental health provider, Adoption Choices of Colorado offers free counseling services to birth mothers, the birth father if he’s interested and to any and all family members and other children. We want you to know that no matter what, you have a strong support system ready and happy to help you the best we can.
We Honor You
All of these things — and more — can provide you with a sense of comfort and help you through your grieving to healing. In all things, make sure that you take care of you and do what you need to do on National Birth Mother’s Day. It is completely up to you whether you choose to celebrate it or not.
Adoption Choices of Colorado remembers, recognizes and honors all birth mothers. We respect your choice to place your baby for adoption, and will do whatever we can to not only ensure that he or she is welcomed into the best home environment for them, but also that you are taken care of and have the support and encouragement you need.
Adoption Choices of Colorado
Adoption Choices, Inc. is a private, non-profit adoption agency licensed by the state and leader in the adoption community. We have been assisting birth parents, children, and adoptive parents in Colorado since 2002. Our staff has a genuine commitment to providing an empathetic, empowering, and progressive experience to all involved in the adoption process. For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.