Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ben's Mother

It's that time of year again. In just a few short days, it will be Mother's Day.

And guess what...for the first time in years, I don't have to run away and hide!

So many years of sitting in church, sobbing as they asked the moms to stand and be recognized. Every year, I debated. Do I stand? I know that I am a mother, but it feels like no one else considers me to be one. How much longer do I have to bear this "stupid holiday" with empty arms?

Well guess what folks... this year, you will find me on the front stinkin' row, ready to jump up when the moms are asked to stand. I might even wave my hands and say "I am a mom! I am a mom!" And I just might wear an obnoxiously big corsage- just so there is no question. Maybe a wrist one too.

And yet, I have a new sadness in my heart this year. The pain that I felt all those years is now going to be felt by our dear birthmother. Is she dreading the day as much as I always did?

I have written about it before, that the day before Mother's Day is Birthmother's Day. There is much debate in the adoption world about whether or not Birthmother's Day should be celebrated. Some people feel that it gives a special opportunity to recognize a birthmom for the special role that she plays. Some people believe that it is an insult to differentiate her as anything but just a plain mother. As a birthmother, I was never really sure how I felt about the day. It's not like anyone really even knew about Birthmother's Day, so not many people would recognize me on that day either. It felt kind of pointless to me.

It's funny, but it took me becoming an adoptive mother to really know how I feel about Birthmother's Day. In trying to find cards to celebrate Birthmother's Day, I came across a lot of blogs and opinions about the day. I read a sentiment that really struck a chord with me. One blogger asked, How would an adoptive mother feel if she was not recognized on Mother's Day, but instead got her own day and card that said "Happy Adoptive Mother's Day!"?
I certainly don't want to be considered anything other than Ben's mother! I realized at that moment that I was putting way too much emphasis on this whole subject.

So I decided that I am going to celebrate both.

On Saturday, I will remember her for the sacrifice that she made to give Ben a better life. 
And on Sunday, I will be filled with gratitude for giving Ben life which gave me the chance to be a mom.

And in that, I will be able celebrate Ben's birthmother for who she is: His mother.
And I will celebrate the fact that I am his mother too.

That may be hard for some people to grasp, but if you were to walk in my shoes: the shoes of a birthmother and an adoptive mother- you would realize that there isn't a competition. There doesn't need to be any labels between us.

We are both women who love Ben and make up who he is and who he will become. I think that makes him pretty special.

And I am going to celebrate that.


  1. Well why don't you just go ahead and make me cry here at my desk at work?!?!

  2. Awww...Happy Mother's Day!! I know it will be a VERY special one for you this year!!!

  3. BEAUTIFUL post, Jenni! Thank you for sharing :)

  4. Well said Jenn. You are an amazing woman and I am so proud to call you my friend.
    Love you,
    Nate's Mimi

  5. I have always heard that there can never be too many people in a child's life that truly love him.

  6. Please wear a corsage. And a wrist corsage. YOU DESERVE IT! I love you and your sweet big heart and I am proud of you. Happy 1st Mother's Day. Love you tons!

  7. Ben is a very special and very much loved boy indeed. I wish you the happiest of Mother's Days as you now have full arms!!

  8. Wow, you are wise way beyond your years. I hope you write a book one day Jenni - I will be the first in line to buy it. Your continued faith in Him and ability to focus on what truly matters in life is amazing. I am in awe every time I read your blog. You, Rusty, & Ben are wonderful. Thank you for being an inspiration to all of us! XOXOX (& a few happy tears!) - Jacque