“Happy Mother’s Day!” – how many times did I cringe when I heard that during my infertility/adoption journey. Once you get to a certain age, everyone assumes that you’re a mom and feels the need to wish you a happy Mother’s Day – at the supermarket, CVS, or even the gas station. Before I got married, these comments didn’t bother me. The holiday was just a trip to the flower store and a time for family get-togethers. But once we got married and started to try to have a family, Mother’s Day took on a whole new meaning. It became a symbol of everything I didn’t have. It was highlighted on TV, at the stores, everywhere – even at church. Eventually I stopped going to church that day, just to avoid watching the other moms stand up and get a round of applause.
Once we adopted, I thought all of that would change and I would come to love the holiday, but so far it hasn’t turned out that way. I feel relieved and lucky that we finally have a family but the sadness I felt before has been replaced with a little bit of guilt. Guilt that we’re able to spend every day with our three little girls and their birthmothers can’t. I imagine that this is a very tough day for them – reliving their pregnancies and deliveries, missing their babies and wondering what could have been. If their financial/home situations had been slightly different, they would be raising our girls. I think going through the adoption process opens your eyes more and makes you have more empathy for others who may have grown up in an environment that’s different from your own. Some people have said to me, “How can someone give up their baby? Didn’t they love them?” But nothing could be further from the truth. I can’t speak for birthmoms, but I have caught a glimpse of this agony in making this choice - being on other end of the phone, hearing how hard it was for them to make the decision and at the hospital watching the sadness in their eyes as they said goodbye to her babies and handed them to us.
We will be forever grateful to our three birthmoms and birthdads for choosing us and entrusting their children to us. And while I know that Mother’s Day will be a tough day for them, hopefully there’s some comfort in knowing that their babies are being taken care of. For anyone trying to adopt – believe that someday you will be parents – no matter how far away is seems. Now I need to get to the nursery to buy my mom a plant before it closes J