As an adoptee – Mother’s Day was always tricky for me – Could I wish my Birth Mom a happy day? Just as I wished my Mom a happy day?
Was it ok for me to think of her and wonder about her on this day? I was always worried that my Mom would feel hurt that I would want to think of my First Mom.
Am I being disloyal thinking of the woman who gave me life? I had no information about who she was – just that she was young and did wrong in the eyes of society – got herself pregnant when she wasn’t married (I always thought – doesn’t it take 2 to get pregnant?)
I was told she could not take care of me and apparently, my dad did not want to stay around for my birth (I guessed that part because I was adopted and not in another family).
I was not even sure how I felt about her – did I want to recognize her on this day? Do you wish someone a good day when you don’t even know them? I remember feeling grateful that she did give birth to me – she could have chosen another route (or could she).
Now that I have learned more about Mother’s homes and how society shunned unwed mothers – the trauma that they went through – the heartbreak of having no other options – the poor care they received because they were deemed a problem -the mistreatment at the hands of “spiritual leaders,” leaders of society, the system, people who should have been kind and caring to others, people who maybe made the choices they made from biases. My heart breaks for all the mothers that have endured this trauma and abuse, including my own first Mom.
And I wonder how much has that changed?
I see that society has less of a problem with unwed mothers – but what about the blaming of them when they are in a situation that requires compassion, understanding, and support? What about the laws that have not changed? Or the supposed support systems who carry those biases forward- not looking at what they are bringing to the table?
My Mom, that also carries some of those biases with her even still – that she had to be “the better family” for me – that she could not reach out for support for fear the system may take me away.
My Mom did the best she could with no support and following the advice of “leaders” that did not have an understanding of the complexity of adoption- of the need to give me the information I needed to find out who I was as well as teaching me what a family is and including me in that family.
It has taken me years to understand that I can have both of my Moms, and the journey around that is still not over.
I have done this work on my own, no support from any “leaders” but my desire to find my first Mom and also realize that my Mom is still my Mom- loyalty does not take a part in this – I can love as many people as I choose -it is not an either/or!
Now with some age and understanding and work on my part – I now can say Happy Mothers’ Day to both of my Mom’s.
Not because we have a fairy tale relationship that we have all of our golden lives intertwined, but we could if we could all get past some of that shame and blame that came at the beginning of my life if society had not been so traumatizing to my Moms! It has been over 50 years, and that trauma is still part of my Mom’s lives.
I can celebrate that I am grateful that my First Mom gave me life and my Adoptive Mom gave me a good enough upbringing that I am alive and have learned many wonderful life lessons that I can use to continue to grow into a good human being. I have learned empathy from the trauma of their lives.
I have learned that I needed to find out who both my Mom’s were and with that, the knowledge and understanding – that they are both humans who lived what they could – and gave me what they could
I think also the systems need to look at what they are doing to Mom’s & Families – and how we may need to change those systems using compassion, knowledge, understanding, and empathy.
I know I can send love and appreciation to them Both!
Happy Mother’s Day to both of my Moms!
Love your Daughter