With Mother’s Day fast approaching, I feel I must give credit where credit is due. This Mother’s Day I celebrate for the first time, being a mother of three. Two of my children I adopted. I owe their lives and the privilege of being their mother to the women who gave birth to them, their birthmothers Alexa and Mihret. Birthmother’s Day is always the day before Mother’s day since the birthmother was the first mother to our adopted children. This little known holiday was started in 1990 by a group of birthmothers in Seattle.
Alexa chose us out of a group of prospective parents to parent her son. She faced unbelievable sadness and loss in order to give her son a life she wanted for him. We had the privilege of getting to know her during her third trimester. She invited us to the birth. My husband cut the cord. By then we had fallen in love with Alexa. We knew we wanted her to always be a part of our lives and that of our son. In the almost 3 years of our son’s life, Alexa has been a very important part of our life. She is related to our son, therefore she is related to us. She is a part of our extended family. She attended his baptism, his adoption finalization, visited us every Christmas time and around Seamus’ birthdays, plus many other “just because” get-togethers. The last time we were together was for Easter. Things aren’t weird or uncomfortable when she is around. In fact it feels very normal and natural when she is with us. She is family. The kids call her “Miss Alexa”. We have pictures of her on our fridge, and framed among our family photos. I love the fact that Seamus will never remember not knowing her and will never have to wonder if she loves him. He knows she does. She loves all our kids. She even attended my baby shower for Marlie. We look forward to what the future holds for us with Alexa. We want to be there for her for all the important milestones... when she gets married, when she has more children, etc. We are eternally grateful to her for the amazing gift she has given us. We can never repay her.
Mihret did not choose us to parent her daughter. She probably never even imagined the journey her daughter would take. A mosquito bite (Malaria) took Mihret’s life when her new daughter was just 3 months old. I have no doubt that she loved her daughter very much and probably gave her all the love she could in the 3 very short months she had before she passed. One amazing coincidence... Mihret named her daughter “Faranje”, which is a name that Ethiopians use for white foreigners. It is believed in Ethiopia that when a child is born an angel whispers the name of the child to the mother, and that the name has something to do with their destiny. I find it very ironic that she named her daughter “Faranje” when her daughter would later be adopted and raised by a family of “faranjes”. I did not meet Mihret and I have no picture of her. I was told that my daughter looks just like her mother, and that Mihret was very beautiful. That I have no doubt. I know that she was a Christian and that she loved God. I look forward to meeting her someday in Heaven.
I hope to do justice by both of the birthmoms that gave us our youngest two children. This Birthmother’s Day and every one hereafter, I plan to remember the gifts and sacrifices that allow me to celebrate my three children on Mother’s Day.