Dedicated to A Special Group of Mothers
My memories of Mother’s day as a child are filled with orchid corsages, hidden presents bought with small change saved from our allowances, and three-generation, family dinners. Everyone went to mass where all the mothers proudly displayed their floral décor. I miss my mother on Mother’s Day.
When she died three years ago, I cried at her funeral for all the memories her death evoked, but while my mother played an important role in my life, her role wasn’t always a positive one. People like myself, whose relationship with this important woman in their life was less than Hallmark-card perfect, will be nostalgic today, remembering the good times, leaving the others locked away like old love-letters hidden in the attic. Since I won’t be reminiscing about my own mother, I’d like to write a tribute to the woman who raised my oldest son.
At sixteen, I was a child having a child. I gave my baby up for adoption. My parents took charge of all the arrangements, and adoption felt like my only choice. For eighteen years after giving him up, I worried about him and daydreamed about the if only—if only I had kept him. I looked for faces in the crowd of boys his age, wondering if he looked anything like I imagined.
I am one of the fortunate women who met and got to know the child I gave up when I was too young to take care of him.
Before his eighteenth birthday, I contacted he adoption agency, requesting that I wanted to be on record as open to meeting my son. When they called me months later to say his adoptive parents would give him my name when he turned eighteen, I was thrilled. More months went by and I did not hear from him. I was frantic, fearing it would never happen. Then I got a call from his mother, who along with his father, drove hours to meet me. They brought me dozens of photos of him and assured me that their son would contact me when he was ready. And he did.
Today, more than thirty years later, he and I stay in touch by phone and visit at least once or twice a year. His mother is a wonderful woman who raised him to be a kind, giving person. She remains a good friend and daily email buddy.
I’d like to take this opportunity to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the women who have lovingly and selflessly raised an adopted child. And to all women like myself who’ve had to give up a child, I hope someday you’ll be as blessed as I have been to have my son and his parents be a part my life.