Our evolving ritual was inspired by a British folktale about children burning Christmas wishes in the fireplace so the ashes rise to Santa in the North Pole. Later, I read about secret writings of Chinese women being burned to send their words with them into the afterlife. Somehow that turned into lighting candles, burning letters and blowing wishes across the sky. From our social worker we got the idea of doing it on the birthday eve so the actual day can be a celebration of the child.
This was the first year I included our daughter Hanna. She had begun asking questions about her birthmother in the past months, so I thought it was time. As Hanna gets older, I imagine the connection will grow to be more between her and her birthmother, and less between her birthmother and me. But we’ll see.
Hanna will have different things to ask of and say to her birthmother. Maybe the ritual will give her “a place” to have these conversations. Most of what I say to this unknown woman is wrapped in gratitude, and also some guilt that I get to raise this extraordinary child she birthed. (Yeah, this is its own topic.)
I, too, would love to hear more about ways people honor birthmothers. I wonder how honoring the birthmother would be if we knew who she was and were able to contact her—other than sending wishes over the sky waves.
Anybody have this situation? What do you do you?