Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Ties That Bind

As Mother’s Day approaches, I find myself first thinking of Birthmother’s Day. A holiday that was started in 1990 by a group of birthmothers. It always falls the day before Mother’s Day because the birthmothers are the first mothers of our adopted children.

Last year I wrote a post about Birthmother’s Day and how I feel about the birthmothers of our two younger children. We have a very close relationship with Seamus’ birthmom, who chose to place her baby with us. Marlie was placed for adoption because she was orphaned and we never met her first mother.

This month’s edition of Adoptive Families magazine has an article called, “Open Adoption Over the Years”. In the article it states that experts say less than 10 percent of families in open adoptions become friends, or even get together in person frequently.

This makes me both very happy and very sad. Very happy for our family, who are one of the “less than 10 percent”. And very sad for all the other families who adopted domestically and don’t have the kind of relationship we do. For a couple who was scared of the idea of “open adoption” when we first started the adoption process, we have been incredibly blessed by the close bond we have with our son’s birthmother. We don’t just like her or just tolerate her for the sake of our son’s best interest. We truly love her. We are grateful to have her in our lives and we are grateful that she is the one who gave birth to our son. I have never wished that I gave birth to our younger son. And I never will. For I cherish the role that Alexa has in our family, as well as the bond she shares with our son.

I’m sorry for the loss that Marlie and her sisters experienced when their first mother died. I can never take that away. I am, however, grateful to get the chance to be a “second mother” to Marlie. I hope that as Marlie grows, we can find tangible ways to honor her birthmother.

So as Birthmother’s Day approaches, I want to make a point to acknowledge the two women, Alexa and Mihret, who gave life to our two younger children. For without them, my Mother’s Day, and our lives, wouldn’t be the same. For them, and for their gifts, I’m forever grateful.

1 comment:

  1. I was adopted when I was two from Korea and have no information about my birth parents and none is available. I think it was due to my parents' open and honest approach to adoption that I have never questioned my place in our family. Sure I had questions, but I always knew who my real mom and dad are. I applaud your approach with your two children and I think Birthmother's day is a wonderful tradition for you to incorporate into your celebrations. It's amazing to me how some adoptive parents are threatened in a way, by birth parents and unwilling to have open adoptions when they're available. I can't imagine how having more love in a child's life can every be harmful. Plus being adopted is always going to be a part of who your child is; not accepting a birth parent into your lives is almost like saying something isn't right with that, in my opinion.