For many women, becoming a mom is one of life’s greatest blessings. The path to parenthood may be full of bumps and bruises, but the end result is always worth it. But, as special and memorable as Mother’s Day can be for our adoptive parents, it’s a bit more emotionally complicated for the birth mother who made the selfless decision to help grow your family.
For many reasons, Mother’s Day can be a painful, emotional time for a birth mother. Some birth mothers are fully involved in their child’s life, savoring every moment they can with them. Yet, there are others who are only able to love their children and the adoptive family from a distance. But, no matter what your adoption relationship looks like, there’s always something you can do to celebrate a birth mother.
Below are six ways that you can honor a birth mother and make her Mother’s Day one to remember.
1. Ask her how she would like to celebrate!
For many women who placed their child for adoption, getting through Mother’s Day is a struggle. When in doubt, this best thing to do is just ask her how she would like to be honored today. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture; even something small will mean so much. Remember to respect her wishes and put her feelings first.
2. Create your own Mother’s Day tradition.
It’s never too late to put a new spin on your celebration! No matter who you are, there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate Mother’s Day. As long as it’s something that’s special to you, that’s all that matters. You can talk with your child and their birth mother to create a tradition that’s special to all three of you so that everyone feels included. This is the perfect time to carve out a couple hours for a video call, go on a walk through the park or even start your own bake sale in honor of her. Don’t be afraid to get creative!
3. Tell your child their adoption story.
What better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with the story of your child’s adoption? Even if you’ve already shared it with them before, it never hurts to make this another one of your Mother’s Day traditions. Remind them of how it felt to hold them for the first time, how it felt to meet their birth mother, and any other special memories you can think of.
4. Plant a tree or flowers in her honor.
This is a great way to remember a birth mother for years to come. You and your child can do this activity together, so you can get their input about what kind of tree or flowers you should grow. Looking at how much your creation has grown year after year will serve as a gentle reminder of the amazing decision your child’s birth mother made so long ago.
5. Create a photobook for her to keep.
There’s no such thing as too many pictures! For this Mother’s Day, you can send a birth mother some of your recent favorites or take a special picture as a family just for today. A photobook is one gift that she’ll treasure for years to come.
6. Send her your child’s art.
Nothing’s better than a handmade keepsake. Sometimes schools will have students make their parents something for Mother’s Day. You can use this time to ask your child to make something for their birth mother as well, if they’re comfortable with the idea.
Remember: There is no right or wrong way to show a birth mother in your life just how much you care. If there’s something that you’d like to do that’s not on this list, go for it!
It’s also important to remember your child’s feelings about their adoption today. Whatever an adoptee’s feelings are toward their birth mother, they are normal and nothing to be ashamed of. Some adoptees might not be ready to celebrate Mother’s Day just yet, but those feelings could always change from one year to the next. They’re allowed to make a decision that matches their comfort level.
Mother’s Day can be a difficult and emotional time for any birth mother. But you can make a big difference in her day with a few small actions. If you need other ideas on what you can do to support her, don’t be afraid to ask!
Your adoption professional will also have plenty of ideas and suggestions for how you can make this Mother’s Day a memorable one, so reach out if you need more help.