A Mother’s Day Adoption Story
Join Lifetime Christian Adoption today as we share adoptive mother Karen’s adoption story, and how she and her husband Louis came to be parents through Christian adoption. To this day, Karen honors her daughter’s birth mom year-round, and on Mother’s Day in a beautiful way!
Mother’s Day is a special and emotional time of year for me. I always take the day to reflect on my family’s adoption story and show gratitude to the birth mother, whose loving choice changed my life forever. It is because of her that my husband and I can fulfill our deep desire to be parents.
Though many years have passed, it seems like only yesterday that my husband, Louis, and I were pouring our hearts into our “Dear Birth Mother” letter. We were so excited that Lifetime had accepted us as potential clients that we started our letter before we even finalized the contract! We painted a picture to show what kind of couple we were, our faith and values, and our calling to share our love with a child. Our adoption coordinator was very helpful as we gathered pictures and put together our portfolio. We set up our 800 number and gave the adoption coordinator all of our contact information for that very special call. Once everything was finalized, we settled in for the wait. Anxious and eager, we told our friends and family that we were on our way to grow our family. We never imagined how quickly events would unfold!
Getting “The Call” That Would Change Everything
I got the call while I was at work on an ordinary Tuesday. Call after call went to voicemail as I sat through my afternoon meeting. Something compelled me to leave my meeting and check my messages. The voice, on the other end, would change my life forever. Diane from Lifetime explained that they had found a potential match for us and that she was in labor right now. The birth mother had a medical condition, so she would be delivering via emergency cesarean section within the next hour. Were Louis and I interested? I hung up and called Louis right away. He was just as excited as I was, so we immediately called Diane back with a resounding Yes!
Our Adoption Hospital Experience
The next part of our journey seemed to be guided by God’s hand. While our child’s birth mother delivered a healthy baby girl over 300 miles away from us, they were only a few towns over from Louis’s parents and two brothers. We called Louis’s family, and they were overjoyed with the news. They picked up some diapers and met us at the airport.
When we reached the hospital, we were a bundle of nerves and anticipation. The nurse took us directly to the nursery, where we met the beautiful baby girl of our prayers. The nurse informed us that our child’s birth mother had not seen her baby yet because she wanted the adoptive parents to be the first to see her. We were beyond touched and humbled by that gesture. Our child’s birth mother is truly special.
We spent an hour with our daughter in the nursery, savoring every coo and every precious touch from our perfect baby girl. We hugged her and kissed her and thanked God for his blessing. We couldn’t believe that this day had finally come. We were parents!
The nurse entered the nursery and informed us that the birth mother wanted to meet us. Louis and I were so nervous! What if she didn’t like us? How could we possibly express the gratitude we felt? Held steady by our faith in God’s plan for us, we went to meet our child’s birth mother.
She was incredible. We had so much in common. Lifetime brought us together, but it felt like God had matched us. We felt an instant connection and remain bonded to this day. I am so grateful to God for the opportunity we had on that first meeting to share our hopes and dreams, and for the relationship we still have to this day.
We roomed-in with our daughter during the hospital stay. We really appreciated the support and “next steps” that Lifetime was able to provide. They assisted us through the process and answered all of our questions every step of the way. After some medical tests, we were ready to take our daughter home. We made a pit stop first to visit Louis’s family. Our daughter got to meet her grandparents, aunts, uncles, and two cousins before we flew back home.
Honoring Birth Moms on Mother’s Day
It’s been seven years, and there is not a Mother’s Day that passes when I don’t think about my daughter’s birth mother and all the birth mothers who made the loving decision to choose adoption. On Mother’s Day, while I enjoy a breakfast prepared by Louis and our daughter, and I read the crayon-scrawled card my daughter made just for me, I feel so fortunate for the life God has given me. But I also think about the birth mothers who have made this life possible for adoptive parents, and the bittersweet experience Mother’s Day is for them.
Birth mothers choose adoption for many reasons. Some may struggle financially, and others may not have the support they need to raise a child. Some, like my daughter’s birth mother, have an illness that prevents them from providing the life they want for their child. My daughter’s birth mother has a degenerative disease. She chose adoption because her condition was worsening, and she knew she wouldn’t be able to give her baby the life she wanted for her. She didn’t want her child’s life to be consumed with her illness, and as a single woman, she didn’t have the resources to care for a baby on her own. She is one of the strongest women I know, and not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for bringing her into my life. We have an open adoption, so we text and call frequently. Geographical distance and her medical condition that now has her bound to a wheelchair limit our face time, but she is still able to have a relationship with her birth daughter.
Mother’s Day can stir up a variety of emotions for birth mothers. They may feel at peace with their selfless sacrifice that resulted in a better life for their child, while also feeling guilt and wondering what could have been. This day is a reminder that the birth mother has suffered a loss. The grief may fade over time, but it is always there. It’s important for me to recognize and honor my daughter’s birth mother on Mother’s Day.
How We Recognize Her Love on Mother’s Day
Hallmark does not have a section for Birth Mother’s Day cards. There are no clear guidelines for adoptive parents to follow, so how you acknowledge your birth mother will depend on your relationship. I send my daughter’s birth mother gifts on Christmas and Mother’s Day each year. Last year, I sent her a gift basket filled with some of her favorite treats. She also has a beautiful garden outside of her home, so my daughter and I made her a garden stone for Mother’s Day each year. Each garden stone has the date and my daughter’s handprint in the center – a memento to show her birth daughter growing and thriving. I am blessed that my daughter’s birth mother and I continue to have a healthy relationship after all this time.
Sharing a Special Letter
This year, my daughter and I have a new addition to our Mother’s Day ritual. When my daughter’s birth mother was pregnant, she wrote a letter. She wrote about her likes and dislikes, her beliefs, and her dreams and fears. She mentioned the butterfly baby kicks she felt, and she prayed that her child would understand her decision. When we met in the hospital, she gave me the letter and asked me to consider sharing it with her daughter one day. I told her it would be my honor.
Now that my daughter is older, she has many new questions about her birth parents and her adoption story. Some of these questions I was prepared for, but some have caught me off guard. This feels like the right year to share her birth mother’s letter. This Mother’s Day, we will honor her by reading her letter together for the first time.
Her Choice Made Me a Mother, and I’m Forever Grateful
For adoptive parents, Mother’s Day is a time to celebrate that our desire to be parents has been fulfilled. But it is also a reminder that our fulfillment would not be possible without the birth mother’s loss. I know that no matter how much time passes, Mother’s Day will be tinged with grief and loss for my daughter’s birth mother. This holiday is an in-between place for a birth mother, with no clear etiquette to follow. The most important thing that I can do for my daughter’s birth mother is to acknowledge her. I acknowledge the individual she brought into the world and the strong roots she provided before Louis and I came into her life. I acknowledge that selfless love for her child fueled her decision to choose adoption. I acknowledge that her choice is what made me a mother, and I will be forever grateful.