Today is not a holiday you will find on any calendar. It is not advertised by the local retailers as a time to purchase the nicest frames, pottery, or clothing. Today, to most families, is simply the day before Mother’s Day. The day we rush around purchasing our last minute gifts and frantically wrapping them in the guest bedroom.
What you may not know is that every year, the Saturday before Mother’s Day is called Birthmother’s Day. It’s true. Birthmother’s Day was created and started in 1990 (according to my research) by a group of birthmothers in the Seattle area. They created this day to educate others on adoption. But, most importantly, they created Birthmother’s Day as a day to honor and remember.
“May Birth Mother’s Day bring acknowledgement and recognition to every birth mother who ever loved a child lost to adoption. May it honor and celebrate every mother who became childless after birthing a child, and was forgotten on Mother’s Day. “
-Mary Jean Wolch-Marsh
Will I be sending a card to Millie Janalee’s birthmother that reads “Happy Birthmother’s Day”? No, I will not. What we did send is a fun gift and pictures with a card that says, “Happy Mother’s Day.” Let me explain my reasoning.
Many of you may ask, “But you have struggled through so many Mother’s Days longing for a child to call you Mama. Why would you share this day? YOU are her mother?” Yes, that is true. I AM Millie Janalee’s mother. Let’s remember, though, that I did not carry her in my womb for nine months. I was not there in the delivery room to hear her first cry. Yes, I wish I could’ve been there to experience those things. I wish I could tell Millie Janalee what the room was like when she entered it. But, I can’t. For those first few days, I was not her mother.
Of course, in my heart and for all intents and purposes…I was her mother. However, she literally had another mother for those days. A woman who saw her enter this world. A woman who loved her with a mother’s love, I’m sure. A woman who smiled and laughed, no doubt, when she was born. A mother who fed her a bottle for her first feeding. A mother who, after I entered her life, became childless. Just as I had been childless years before.
Before I was Millie Janalee’s mother, her birthmother was.
And, for that, I am grateful. If you follow my blog, you’ve heard me say it again and again. I don’t think I can say it enough. I am forever thankful for this woman and the selfless, loving choice she made. I am thankful for the plan that she made to give Millie Janalee a life that she could not offer. I am thankful to her for choosing us. And loving us. And respecting us. I am thankful that when we met her again in January, she referred to me as “Mom” when talking to Millie Janalee about me.
My heart is filled with JOY and a beautiful, precious girl because of one mother’s love. So, no. We will not celebrate Birthmother’s Day. We will, however, take today to honor and remember the choice Millie Janalee’s birthmother made. We will take today (like we do most every day) to pray for her birthmother and the pain this Mother’s Day is sure to bring. And, I will take today to educate others about adoption.
Then tomorrow, I will celebrate Mother’s Day! With tears, I’m sure. Tears of joy and thanksgiving. And tears of a deep gratitude for Millie Janalee’s birthmother and her “mother love” she had for Millie Janalee.
I will celebrate my first Mother’s Day because of the love of another mother.
Her first mother.