I generally take a dim view of manufactured holidays, but Mother’s Day is different. Especially if your mother is no longer here on earth. My mother, Grace, died sixteen years ago. She was a force to be reckoned with—a talented, wickedly intelligent, self-educated woman. I was her only child and although I often felt I was a disappointment to her, I know she loved me and I loved her.
I have two sons, one of whom I relinquished for adoption when he was born. Every year I marked his birthday with sorrow, regret and shame. But I was blessed. I met him when he was eighteen and we developed a good relationship. Today he is forty-five. My younger son just turned forty-two and he, too, has a good relationship with his brother.
Now I think of other birthmothers who are experiencing the pain and sorrow that I did at Mother’s Day. That empty feeling, that horrible not-knowing where your child is, who he or she is, if they are okay, healthy, happy, settled. Or worse, if they are abused, neglected or unwell. It’s the chance you take when you give your child to adoption. You trust that the adoption professionals will place your child in a good home, but it’s only a fervent hope that in my case was, happily, borne out.
All mothers give their children away once—when they’ve grown and begin their own lives. Birthmothers give their children away once as well, but they give their child to strangers. However, your children are your children. No legal document changes the most basic relationship—that of birthmother and child.
So, I wish all mothers a happy day, a happy life and, if possible, a happy reunion.