Surviving Mother's Day After Placing Your Child for Adoption

If you’ve placed your baby for adoption or are thinking about it, you’re no stranger to the powerful emotions that come with that decision. You’re on an emotional roller coaster that can be triggered by an innocent comment, a picture or an occasion at any time, in the beginning or years later. Brace yourself: Mother’s Day, possibly the biggest trigger of all, is here.

To say that Mother’s Day is complex for women who have placed their baby for adoption is an understatement, but one that should be stated. The holiday is almost inescapable. There are constant reminders of it on television, social media, magazines and in any type of store that sells anything that might be remotely acceptable as a suitable gift. More often than not, birth mothers are left to celebrate the day without cards, photos, homemade gifts, Facetimes, and that can set off a tidal wave of emotions.

Know that as you listen to the ads for flowers, pass the array of greeting cards, and perhaps cringe at a banner announcing Mother’s Day brunch to-go, you are not alone. Birth mothers everywhere are most likely having a tough time, too.

It can be different for everyone.

You might feel invisible. You might feel left out, angry, lonely or sad. You may feel your baby’s absence more than ever. You may feel that you’re wrong to even think you should feel those feelings. After all, what right do you have? You didn’t raise him. You didn’t kiss his boo-boos. You didn’t buy his new school shoes. And, just to make it even more complicated, you feel bad because it’s not that you don’t want your child to celebrate his mother, you just can’t help but feel left out.

You may not even be able to identify what you’re feeling, but simply feel out of sorts. Or, you may be fine on the actual day and find that you have a delayed reaction and are hit with a wall of emotions later that week or month.

If you have other children that you parent you will be recognized on Mother’s Day and that may help to soften the blow. It doesn’t make the hurt of having one of your children missing any softer, but at least there's recognition of who you are.

For those who do not have other children that they parent, Mother’s Day can be one of the cruelest of days of the year.

What can you do to help reduce the sting of Mother’s Day?

It’s only one day, some may think, and surely there are ways to cope with the fuss and fanfare of that day. Yes, there are ways, but unfortunately, there’s not a magic bullet or a one size fits all solution. Everyone’s emotions and reactions are different:

  • If you need to cry, weep.

  • If you need to read vlogs or similar experiences, read it and weep.

  • If it helps to talk to a friend, chat it up, Kathy.

  • If planning a day full of not-so-socially-distant activities help you avoid the day altogether, then hike with that burrito up high with 7 of your closest amigos.

And AS IF this day is not enough, let's throw a pandemic in the mix. The isolation and questions can be stifling. I'm not saying we'll have the answers, but Special Delivery is available whether you need emotional support or just have questions.

Connect with us for a virtual hug or double high-five online, or through Instagram, and Facebook. If you're feeling a bit nostalgic, feel free to write us a letter with an ink-drenched feather. You can also call us at (214)-210-1060 to talk or even set up a Zoom meeting.

Just because a woman is not raising the child she has given birth to doesn’t mean that she is any less of a mother. In fact, the women who choose to place their children for adoption are often the bravest kind of mothers—women who have made the selfless choice to give their child the best opportunities in life in the arms of another set of parents.

We’re always here for you.

Also, props to Step Moms, Foster Moms, Adoptive Moms, and Delivering Moms.

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