As an adoption consultant, I see firsthand the amazing gifts that birth mothers provide. I think it takes incredible bravery be a birth mother. Their decision to place their child for adoption must be so complicated and difficult that I don’t think that anyone who hasn’t walked in their shoes can possibly understand it. But the incredible joy birth mothers bring to adoptive families is also incomprehensible. So today, on the often unrecognized holiday of Birth Mother’s Day, let’s hear what two moms – who coincidentally both named their sons Cole – have to say about the gift their children’s birth mothers gave each of them.
Image: djedzura/Getty Images
Dear Birth Mother,
Two years. It’s been two years since you so graciously let us share the delivery room with you as we all welcomed Cole into this world. I remember the raw emotions, the compassion, the fear and most importantly the love among us all as we tried our best to navigate a hurricane of emotions. You allowed me the same opportunities as a birth mother; I did skin-to-skin with him, and we cut the cord. We made decisions together, as a unit, and you always said he was “our son.” Our son. Yours and ours.
Those next two days in the hospital allowed us the opportunity to get to know one another on a level that few people could ever relate to, and honestly, most people couldn’t imagine. I know your past, your present and your future hopes, and you know the same of us. Together, we weaved together the lives of two families whose paths crossed purely for the love of a child.
On signing day, through tear-filled eyes, you looked straight into my soul and asked me to promise that, above all else, he would know how much you loved him. The gravity of that moment hit me harder than anything I had ever felt. There was no doubt, question or uncertainty in your eyes. I can still see your face and hear your voice.
Your gift allowed me to become a mother. I can tell you one thing for certain, I had no clue. No clue about the depth of emotions you had for him, the fear you must have felt as you entrusted him to us and what I imagine are the countless moments when you think about him.
You are not only his birth mother, but you are the bravest, most selfless person I know. I admire you.
I will not only fulfill my promise to you that he will know how much you love him, but will ensure he is happy and that his whole heart is full.
He is our son. Yours and ours. Forever and always.
Forever thanks and love,
Image: Angie’s son Cole who is now 5 years old
Dear Birth Mother,
The day we received the phone call that you had chosen us to be your son’s forever family, we knew our lives would be forever changed. Little did we know the ways in which it would change. We met you and got to know you over the next couple of days, but nothing prepared me for the emotions I would experience when you kissed him goodbye and placed him in my arms. Your sadness over placing your son should have been my joy at gaining a son. Instead, I was filled with sorrow for you and fear for myself.
The tears in your eyes did not begin to express the pain you were feeling at having to say goodbye to the baby you carried in your body and your heart for nine months. I will never be able to understand the extent of your pain. I do know that it takes a very special person to make that sacrifice for her child. To put his needs above your own, and for that, I am forever grateful.
I was not prepared for the fear I felt at holding my new son in my arms. I knew the joy and love I would feel for my son, but I never expected the fear I felt along with the joy and love. I looked into your eyes and saw the hopes and dreams you had for your son, and I knew that it was now my responsibility to fulfill those hopes and dreams for him. I was afraid I would never be able to fulfill them to your satisfaction, and in that failure, I would bring you more sorrow and disappointment.
I can only hope that someday we will meet again, and that when we do, you will be proud of who he has become. I hope that you see the intelligent, funny, outgoing and beautiful person that we see every day, and that we love so, so much. I hope that you see your beautiful brown eyes looking back at you, because I see them every day, and think of you and the awesome gift you have given us. I hope that we will have provided him with everything you dreamed he would have in life, and more. Most of all, I hope that you feel the love we all share for you, Mom.
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. You can visit that website at Beyond Infertility.