Five Ways to Celebrate being a Birth Mother during National Adoption Month
It’s November. Time for turkeys, family and preparing for Christmas right around the corner. We are quickly sliding into a season of giving and holiday cheer. For birth mothers, however, dealing with holidays and not being able to celebrate as you wish you could with your child, can be especially taxing. Even though we celebrate what we have been blessed with in this eleventh month, we also celebrate National Adoption Month.
The holiday season is one of the most emotionally-charged times of the year. For a birth mother, it can be full of much pain or joy. It can be a bit isolating too, as much of the focus may seem to be on the adoptee and adoptive parents. But, National Adoption Month wouldn’t be complete without her. Did you know? You deserve to be celebrated as well!
One of the purposes of National Adoption Month is to uplift and celebrate birth mothers — our first connection to the world outside of the womb. While there is more recognition happening than historically for birth mothers who have placed their children for adoption, there is little tangible support for birth mothers like you during these times. Children make crafts in schools every year to take home to their smiling mothers — and, for some kids, this is just plain confusing. For a child of adoption, their heart may be divided, or even torn, on Mother’s Day or Christmas. But what about coping as a birth mother who has so bravely placed their child for adoption? During the month of November, remember why you made the difficult decision of choosing adoption and celebrate the life you gifted your child.
Ways to Celebrate during National Adoption Month
As human beings, sometimes we feel that we are the only ones struggling, the only ones dealing with problems, or the only ones feeling a certain way. Healing can be found in sharing our stories and by making connections with those who have had similar experiences.
If you are a birth mother wondering how to cope with this upcoming season, we hear you. Our heart is with you, and we hold space for you. You’ve already made probably the bravest decision on earth, to place your child for adoption. But it doesn’t end there. Holidays come and go, and you deal with the emotions time and again. This time of year might already have you feeling sad, or dreading the avalanche of Christmas cards everywhere. So, how do you cope? Are you, as a birth mother, able to celebrate too? Check out these five ways to celebrate being a birth mother during National Adoption Month (and the upcoming holidays!):
- Your Emotions are Valid
Remember that emotions are not wrong or bad. Feeling sad or depressed, or feeling fine when everyone else thinks you should be sad, does not mean something is wrong with you. Emotions tell you something about the journey you are on. Let the emotions come. Acknowledge them for what they are. Name them. Then, when you’re ready, keep moving forward.
- Create a Distraction for Yourself
Distraction doesn’t always work, but if you are feeling a twinge of pain, find something beautiful to look at and just breathe. Find a tree, some birds, a pint of ice cream — anything that captures you, and get lost in it, if only for a moment. You may have to do this over and over until the feeling passes. But remember that you deserve to relax and enjoy life!
- Write in Your Journal or a Letter
Write to your child, or children. If you can’t see your child during National Adoption Month, write it all down. Even if you never send it — or if you don’t have contact with your child, or don’t know where they reside — get it all out. Don’t be shy. You can tear the letter up later if you want. For now, get your thoughts and emotions out. If you write lots of letters, you can save them to potentially pass on to your child or children in the future.
- Reflect on a Special Object
Pick something special. If you have a photo or other memento of your child, choose to hold it close to you. Keep it with you. The memories of your child can never be taken from you. Rejoice in the ways that you can Try to think of letting go of the things that cannot ever be. Letting go is a process that cannot be rushed. If you have no mementos, choose something that symbolizes your child.
- Reach Out
Engage! If you are offered the opportunity for a phone call or visit with the adoptive family this month and you feel that you can handle that emotionally, go for it. Something that many birth mothers do not know is that many adoptive moms may feel threatened by biological families. This emotional reaction can go back to their own roots of infertility, or feeling they aren’t “enough.” After all, you will always be the biological mother.
Sometimes, adoptees can fantasize about birth parents and have strong thoughts of spending time with them or living with them (even if they have no memories of ever being with that birth parent, or even with traumatic pasts), and this is scary for adoptive parents at times.
While it isn’t your job to put them at ease or make them feel better — adoptive parents are responsible for coming to terms with their own fears — it can help to remember that the adoption has probably been hard on them in some ways, too. Adoptive parents are not superstars. They are kind, compassionate people with a heart for children, but that doesn’t make them impenetrable or made of steel. So, just be yourself. Put your best foot forward, expect mishaps, and give grace whenever you can.
Remember to Celebrate You
There is no one right way to celebrate this special time, but we do hope that you will celebrate being a birth mother during National Adoption Month. Whether you spend it alone, reflecting, or spend it with others — if it works for you, it just works. Reach out. Get support, especially if you are overwhelmed by emotion. You deserve to be able to move past hard things to be the best you.
You, as a birth mom, are of utmost value. You, as a birth mom, have done something that not many others can do, or ever will do. You deserve to be celebrated.
Nothing can take that title, “birth mother,” away from you. It is yours for life! You are worthy, you are loved, and you are important. Happy National Adoption Month, birth mom — whether it is a good month for you or a harder one; whether this is the only place you hear it, or whether many others acknowledge you — Happy National Adoption Month!
For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are an prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Meet the author: Megan Nichols is a writer, artist and collector of multiple plants- most of which she has successfully killed. She lives in North Carolina with her goldendoodle, Rosie, and super-hero daughter. Megan is pursuing her MFA at Liberty University and plans to teach Art History and Creative Writing at her local community college after graduation.
When she isn’t sipping pumpkin spice coffee and madly typing away in her office, you can find her biking with her daughter or painting her next masterpiece while watching the squirrels.