My son, C’s umbilical cord fell off on Mother’s Day 2013. To many, this is a disgusting fact to remember, let alone tell others. But to me, it was so packed with symbolism. You see, he was our first baby we actually were able to bring home after our seven losses. And he came to our family via adoption. So his losing his umbilical cord on Mother’s Day—his last physical tie to his birth mother—had all sorts of meaning to me.
On some levels, it felt like the passing of the baton, from one Mother to another.
But what I’ve learned in the time since that day, is that the baton is never really passed. It is held onto by both sides. I’m no more his “real” Mom than she is. We are two Mothers who love their son deeply. We are two Moms who know the pain of not having their children with them. We are different. We are the same.
There are many preconceived notions about adoption. Especially from those who have never experienced it. In fact, I’ll admit that my husband and I had ours when we first started the process. Even though my sister had placed her son for adoption, our main frame of reference were crazy “Lifetime-esque movies,” or how the media portrays it as an “us versus them” scenario. Through much education, and many questions and discussions, our mindset has evolved over time. The truth is, regardless of if there’s a relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents, there’s still a connection. Our son had a family before us, and that connection didn’t end because he joined ours. There is no us versus them.
For me, Mother’s Day is a time that is filled with great joy, and great sadness.
It is a day where I reflect on my children I am not able to parent, and enjoy those who are here with me. On some levels, Mother’s Day is just like any other day because these are the thoughts that are always on my mind.
And I know I’m not alone. I share Mother’s Day, and everyday with my son’s first Mom. I share these days with my friends who have lost their children. I share them with my sister whose son is not with her. I share them with all other PAL and loss Moms. I’m proud to share with these strong women, for it is because of this sharing that we are able to support and boost one another. At a time where things can feel so lonely, we stand together.