Everyone knows about Mother's Day, the holiday celebrating the million and one things mothers do for their families every year. However, not everyone is aware of Birth Mother's Day that takes place the Saturday before Mother's Day. This year, Birth Mother's Day falls on Saturday, May 7.
Birth Mother's Day might not be nationally known, but it is an incredibly important holiday to celebrate the gift that birth mothers have given to an adoptive family. Even those who are aware of this holiday often don't know the appropriate ways in which to acknowledge the event. The evolution of the holiday from an educational event to a celebration, as well as the bevy of emotions wrapped up in adoption, make the mood of the holiday different from the traditional Mother's Day. Here are some tips on how to best acknowledge the holiday as an adoptive parent or a friend of a birth mother.
If you have an ongoing relationship with your child's birth mother, the most important first step in planning a celebration is simply to ask the birth mother what she would like to do for the holiday, just as you would ask any mother what she would like to do for Mother's Day. Oftentimes, birth mothers love having a separate and special holiday, while some prefer to celebrate on Mother's Day itself. Knowing her preference will help you plan.
Whether she wants to celebrate on Birth Mother's Day or Mother's Day, it is a good idea to treat it similarly to Mother's Day. There are many traditional ways you can celebrate your child's birth mother, including:
Along with sending her a present, try to schedule a call or Skype session to wish her a Happy Birth Mother's Day personally along with your child. If she lives close to you, you can take her out to lunch or for a mani/pedi.
For those not in contact with their child's birth mother, there are still many ways you can honor her gift to your family and teach your child the importance of the day. For Birth Mother's Day, you can bake a special dish or dessert with your child in honor of his or her birth mother or write down well wishes for her that can be placed inside balloons and then released into the air.
If you adopted your child internationally, you can use Birth Mother's Day to not only honor his or her mother but also to honor the birth mother's heritage. Spend time reading a book together about the country the child came from or learn something new about that country in a way that connects to what the birth mother may be doing now.
Celebrating Birth Mother's Day should not be viewed as something secretive that happens behind closed doors. Tell your family members about Birth Mother's Day and how you will celebrate the day with your child. You should also find opportunities to educate your child, family and friends about understanding birth mothers and the incredible sacrifice they made.
Before you go, check out our slideshow below:
Nicole Witt is the owner of The Adoption Consultancy, an unbiased resource serving pre-adoptive families by providing them with the education, information and guidance they need to safely adopt a newborn, usually within three to 12 months. She is also the creator of Beyond Infertility, a community support site and online magazine geared towards families who have gone through infertility.
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