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Adoption Blog: My Paperwork Pregnancies

Sharing Mother’s Day



This Sunday will be my eighth Mother's Day as a mom. My kids have already made me cards and are excited about our fancy brunch reservations. They talk about it so much that you would think they are expecting gifts galore this Sunday. I too am looking forward to this Mother's Day as a day to be doted upon and being told that all my efforts as a mom are appreciated.

This is not at all how my first Mother's Day went.

Before I was a mom, I thought Mother's Day was the best day to be a woman: You would get breakfast in bed, jewelry from your partner, and handmade gifts from your children. You would feel like a queen all day long. I was so excited to claim that day as my very own—a day just for me. But when I was struggling to become a mom during the years of fertility treatments, I despised Mother's Day. It was a day of the year, celebrated in other homes, that reminded me that my body was not allowing me to be the woman I wanted to be. My heart felt empty and incomplete.

Once I was lucky enough to become a new mother through adoption, I anxiously awaited my first Mother's Day. I was excited for my day to be just like the ones portrayed in all those Hallmark commercials. Unfortunately, it didn't happen as I had thought. My sweet husband, Paul, did his best to make me feel appreciated but it didn't meet the unrealistic expectations I had. I didn't feel like a queen. Something was missing.

It took some reflection on my part before I realized that this day wasn't all about me like I had thought it would be—the only reason I was able to celebrate this special day was thanks to a brave young woman who placed her son in my arms—my child's other mother, his birthmother, should be honored, too.

This was not easy for me to accept at first. The logical part of me knew that my child had two mothers. But the emotional part of me, which had been so excited for Mother's Day (my day), was unwilling to share it. As selfish as it was, I admit that on my first Mother's Day, I tried not to think too much about my son's birthmother. I thought I had been through so much heartache on the journey to create my family that I deserved this day, alone in the spotlight.

Then guilt crept over me. It was easy for me to know I was a mom on Mother's Day because I had a beautiful son in my home. Honestly, I didn't need a special day to be recognized as a mom. I was appreciated whenever my son's face lit up when he saw me entering the room. How fair was I being to her by hogging the spotlight on this day intended to celebrate all mothers?

Now Mother's Day is a day I look forward to not because I know I'll get extra hugs, kisses, and handmade pictures from my three children, not because Paul will do some extra chores around the house, but because I finally have realized how to make this day feel complete by remembering to include my children's other mothers in our celebrations. Even if my kids are still too young to understand how wonderful their mothers are, I will be sure to honor each one on this day—our day—in some small way, either by making birthmothers cards, by saying prayers in their names, or by telling my children about their births. This is my way of thanking them for giving my family the best gifts anyone could ever know.

 And I hope they know that I am doing my best to be the mom I promised them I would be, and I will continue loving them and the children they placed in my arms with all of my heart. Without them, my heart would still be empty.


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2 Comments

I felt the same way!!!! We have a semi-open adoption through our agency- it is what both sides wanted and Mother’s Day is such a wonderful day for us adoptive moms but I am sure that birth moms hurt even more on this day. So it is sort of bitter sweet in that regard…I think that your idea of sending cards the kids make her is wonderful! I plan to do the same when my daughter is old enough!  thank you!

By mel123 on Monday, May 09, 2011 at 6:53 pm.

I know what you mean. The first Mother’s Day, after a miscarriage was truely terrible. I really didn’t look forward to Mother’s Day at all.
After adopting a child from China I looked so forward to my first Mother’s Day. I sent all my sisters and sister in law a card for their first Mother’s Day. I didn’t get anything from any of them. My husband said that I was not his mother so he ran out at last minute and bought me a card.
I was so dissappointed, my daughter was only 15 months old. My husband bought his mother a rose bush. he took several pictures of it and our daughter to send her. My mother was visiting and he took no pictures of any of us.
BUT now that my daughter is 9 and we have another daughter 3, they more than make up for past Mother’s Days. They make the most wonderful cards and gifts and meals.

By best mom of 2 on Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 4:17 am.

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Meet the Author

Danielle Pennel

Danielle Pennel

Missouri

I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
U.S. Newborn, U.S. Newborn

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