I am not sure what my thoughts are about Mother's Day. I grew up honoring my mom on that day. . . with the whole nine yards. . . breakfast in bed, homemade cards, cross stitch projects, and even really cool ceramic plates with roses on it and dogs that I made in ceramics class (just a side note--I grew up in the boonies and I did participate in 4H. Since I didn't have any farm animals. . . I mostly did the arts and crafts and plays and stuff--I never won any ribbons at the fair--so that tells you how great my crafts were. haha!) But, my mom still displays all that stuff on her walls. I can't believe it!! I can't believe all the things my mother did for me for my ENTIRE life and all the love and support she continues to give to me. I hope that I can be just 1/2 the mom to Jakob as she was to me--more would be great--but she is a pretty tall order to live up too.
My first Mother's day as a mom myself didn't quite have all the joy that I thought would come with it. Not because I didn't love every single moment of being a mom--actually I was ecstatic about FINALLY being a mother--but because I was feeling pain for our son's birthmother. I knew it was probably going to be a very difficult weekend for her, but, quite honestly, I didn't know how to handle it. The whole "deer in head lights" theme comes to mind. Me, just sitting there staring into space thinking of all the reasons why I shouldn't send her a Mother's Day card. (But, I'm his mom--she chose to place him--will she think she can make the rules if I call her his mother--will it mess with that unspoken boundary of who is in charge--will he still love me--will he love her more--blah blah blah.) She was probably thinking all the same things. Jakob was just 4 months old at that time--so I could probably rightfully blame my idiot way of thinking purely on the lack of sleep, but, most likely on my own insecurity as a person unseasoned in the world of open adoption. So, being the mature adult that I am. . .I ignored it and did nothing--nice, huh? I can only imagine what that weekend was like for Kaiti.
After that, I learned about Birthmother's Day. I found out about it in some adoption groups that I was posting in on MYSPACE, of all places! Too late to do anything for that first year, but at least I was learning. I was trying to understand the depth of the emotions that Kaiti would most likely be experiencing as a result of choosing adoption for her child. Along the way, I have made some very good friends. I would have never thought that I could find a friend through the internet--let alone people that I consider myself to be close too--but it happened--and they have been a very important piece of my life and pretty much are responsible for saving our relationship with Kaiti. We just didn't quite understand all the things she was going through, emotionally and physically. Yeah, we had classes, but they were focused more on issues that an adoptee may experience--not the dynamics of an open relationship involving birth families after placement. So, I'm embarrassed to say it. . .but we were under the impression that she would just be able to go foward with her life after placement with no bumps in the road. Sorry Kaiti. . . you know that we know better now.
So, back to Birthmother's Day. Along with adoption comes this whole new world of vocabulary that is ever changing so as not to offend anyone. Along with that is the delicacy of Birthmother's Day. Some feel offended that they are not honored as a "mother" on Mother's day, some hate the word "birthmother" and prefer other titles such as "first mother" or "natural mother". It can get really confusing and when submerged into an already delicate relationship--it is every person's biggest fear of offending or hurting somebody who means the world to you--when you just want to honor them for who they are and their part in their child's life--the whole reason that adoptive parents have children!
So, the last two years, I invited Kaiti to spend "Birthmother's Day" with Jakob and me. (Craig has always gone fishing that weekend since it is fishing opener weekend in Minnesota.) This year we just hung out at home since it was rainy, snuggled on the couch, watched a lot of Yo Gabba Gabba!, finger painted a real master piece for Kaiti, and ate lunch in style at McDonalds.
I am thankful that she feels honored by this. I absolutely love spending time with her and the alone time that we get to just talk about things, our lives, Jakob, and really, how truly blessed we are! I love to watch Jakob play with her until he can't keep his eyes open any longer. I know he knows who she is by how he rests his head on her shoulder while snuggling on the couch. I know he knows who she is by how he touches her arm and looks into her eyes. I know he knows who she is by how happy he always is when she is here. I know he knows who she is by expecting her to sit next to him in the car when we go somewhere. I know he knows who she is because he calls her by her name--and recognizes her in pictures. Jakob does not say anybody else's name except mom, dad, Kaiti and his own version of Squeakers (our cat.)
I want Jakob to always feel that it is okay to love Kaiti--as we do--and that he should never feel like he would be hurting us if he does. I want him to know that Jesus has enough love for each and everyone of us and that he should never hold back his feelings of love for her--his heart is big enough to love anyone he wishes. I want him to know that he can call her whatever he feels is right in his heart.
I want Kaiti to know the same things go for her. She is free to love Jakob with all her heart and I never would ever expect her to not think about him, not love him and not have wishes and dreams for him. That is why I love having her in my life. So I know what those wishes and dreams are. So I can maybe help them come true--for both of them.
If you didn't know, we are currently waiting again, to be chosen to adopt and our current agency (Lutheran Social Services) had a Birthmother's Day dinner the previous Thursday for Birthparents that we all went too--Craig, me, Jakob and Kaiti. It was nice to meet some other birthmom's and prospective adoptive parents and honor the birthparents that were there. Another blurb on how AWESOME LSS is as they welcome Kaiti into the LSS family even though we didn't adopt through them the first time. Kaiti is so excited to be on their birthparent activity list--and to meet other people who may be able to relate to her more than anyone else.
I have a friend on myspace who is a birthmom and she made a slideshow for her son with the song My Wish by Rascal Flatts in the background. I love this song and it makes me cry every time I hear it--even when I hear it at BK or Target! I probably would have never heard it if it wasn't for her. All I can think of is my wishes deep from my heart for Jakob and for Kaiti--for both of their lives--and how much I really do love both of them. I hope we can continue to celebrate Birthmother's Day together--for as long as I live. I know that it is not the only time that we get together, but it feels right to honor Kaiti on her own special day. . . only because she deserves it. . . after all. . . love is love. And because of that. . . I think that I am always going to look forward to Mother's Day weekend!!
Life in Collages
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