Today, the day before Mother's Day, is considered by many in the adoption world to be Birthmother's Day. It makes sense--the birth mother came before the adoptive mother. She is the first mother. Mainstream society rarely recognizes the birth mother post-adoption (especially in closed adoptions), as though her role is complete after the child is placed. Not true.
An amazing birth mother I know recently wrote about the complex feelings she experiences on Mother's Day (see Three Roots Adoption).
Earlier this week when picking out a card to send to my birthmother, I realized many of the cards, in their attempt to be universal and yet specific, didn't apply. They said things like, "all those years when you changed my diapers, drove me to school" or "remember when you used to tell me never to give up?" What I needed, and what I eventually found, was something that simply said, "Thank you for being my mother." For giving me life.
Mom offered to drop off the mail that day, and before I could protest she grabbed the pink envelope from my hand and put it in the stack with others. She said, "Is that for Patti? For Mother's Day?" I nodded. "Good," she said.
We've come a long way.