Saturday, May 1, 2010

Mother's Day Month - both birthmothers and adoptive mothers!


Birthmother's Day is unique in the adoption community. There are an estimated 6 million adoptees in the US alone - plus the millions elsewhere around the world - who each have two mothers: the one who parented, and the one who gave birth.

Mother's Day, celebrated since the days of Ancient Greece, is observed on the second Sunday of May. And ever since 1990 when it was first celebrated in Seattle, Birthmother's Day has been observed on the Saturday before Mother's Day.

Mary Jean Wolch-Marsh first conceived the idea of Birthmothers Day as a result of her own adoption experience. She knew she was a mother, but didn't feel recognized as such, either by those around her or by her daughter's parents. Remembering the feelings she'd experienced at her daughter's birth - feelings of triumph and euphoria - she used them to help in her own healing.
So many adoptive parents ask other birth parents what good gifts are for mothers who are planning to place or their children’s birthmoms. This has to be difficult, because how can a mere gift say thanks for answering their prayers. But, at appropriate times, gifts are nice tokens of appreciation.  Below are some ideas for gifts:
- Pictures are always wonderful, but should not really be considered a gift. But doing something special with them is! If you are crafty you could make a scrapbook and send her the book with a few completed pages, then continue to periodically send completed pages for her to put in the scrapbook. Also, special frames make the picture a gift.
- Journals are great gifts. Include a nice writing pen.
- Anything to spoil a birthmom! Candles, bath gels, soaps, etc
- Jewelry: Lockets (with a picture of the child,) a ring with the child’s birthstone, a charm bracelet (you could give a new charm each year)
- Bring her flowers to the hospital when she delivers the baby.
- If you live in a different part of the country, something from your area might make a nice keepsake.
- The child’s hand in a plaque (can use the phrase "you are forever in my heart.")  Even just a tracing of the child's hand on paper can be a cherished treasure.
- Anything your child makes!

May Birth Mother's Day bring acknowledgement and recognition to every birth mother who ever loved a child enough to create adoption plan. May it honor and celebrate every mother who placed a child and thereby gave another mother the privilege of experiencing Mother's Day, too.

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