The path to motherhood is wide and varied. On Mother's Day, we recognize that mothers come in all shapes and sizes. Yet we often neglect to honor and remember birth mothers who make an adoption plan for their babies after they are born. Some people may hold stereotypes about birth mothers, imagining worst-case scenarios in which a mother is too young to care for herself, and for her baby.
Birth mothers make an adoption plan for their babies for a variety of reasons, and the politics surrounding adoption are intricate and complex. And while we often honor adoptive parents, it takes a tremendous amount of courage to carry and birth a baby that you will never raise, and -- depending upon the circumstances -- may never know.
I asked an adoptive family to share a Mother's Day message to the birth mother of their daughter, Novi. After years of fertility concerns, and losing any hope that their sweet family of three would become a family of four, René, Stan, and their daughter, Savanna, were blessed when they adopted Novi.
Novi was adopted shortly after her birth, and the adoption was an open one. Novi's birth mother is an intimate part of their family.
In honor of Novi's birth mother, Jazmine, they share this heartfelt message:
You gave us the world when you entrusted Novi to us. We hoped and dreamed for so long, but nothing could have prepared us for her spirit, her wild ways, her boundless energy..her smile, which is bright as the sun.
We see sparks of you in her often reminding us of your gift, your pain, your journey, and your trust. Most of all, we thank you for the gift of family, and we are so happy that you are part of ours now.
This Mother's Day and every Mother's Day, we honor you.
Love you so!
René, Stan, Savanna & Novi
And in honoring and recognizing the adoption triad, I also asked adoptees to share Mother's Day messages to their birth mothers. All of the adoptees that shared messages with me have become mothers themselves, and none of them have reunited with their birth mothers. Most of them do not have any information about her.
"I am glad my journey began with you. And I am grateful that your choice has given me the life that I have now. Until we meet again." -J.A.
"Even though we may never meet, I think about you every day, especially on this day. Thank you for giving me life. Happy Mother's Day." -Anonymous
"I tried to find you. I went to Korea to search for you, and even went on T.V. My search was futile, but I will never give up. Even if we do not meet, I know we are connected." -W.F.
" I can only imagine the pain that you endured, and that you did what you felt was best for me. And that is good mothering. I will never forget you." -Anonymous
Because of stigma, shame and secrecy, many birth mothers may feel invisible, because we rarely recognize this group of women as mothers. Yet on Mother's day and every day, it's important to remember that all moms matter. It's important to create a space for adoptees and adoptive parents to share messages with the mothers who gave them life and love.
In honor and recognition of all birth mothers, you are mothers, too.
Happy Mother's Day.