Mother’s Day For An Adoptive Mother: A Time To Dance, A Time To Cry

This guest post is by Delana H. Stewart at Nine Year Pregnancy

Ecclesiastes 3:4—“. . . a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance . . .” 

Mother’s Day 1988, on a hill overlooking our little town, my husband James asked me to marry him.

In May 1991, I experienced my very first Mother’s Day as a mom to a precious son. Two more sons followed in 1992 and 1994.

Then, because of medical complications, I could not have any more children.

A nine-year pregnancy

One day, when our sons were about 2, 4, and 6 years old, God planted a seed in my heart to adopt a girl into our family. I tell about it in my book Nine Year Pregnancy: Waiting on God—Our Journey of Adoption:

I felt so ready, so expectant. I might as well have been pregnant, because in my mind I knew God had given me this vision, implanted it in my heart, and would bring it to full term.

I felt so strongly about it that I wondered for a moment if my time of waiting to see God’s fulfillment of this dream would occur like a pregnancy. “Mother’s Day would be in nine months—that had to be it!” I thought. Something significant would happen on that day. I was so sure of it that my face surely exuded that pregnancy glow.

. . . Yet Mother’s Day, my birthday, and Christmas all passed without further direction from God and without a little girl. As each holiday approached, my heart and mind imagined the various ways God might bring a daughter into our lives in time for that holiday. God’s timing, God’s way—I knew this truth, though it did not make it any easier to wait.

On March 29, 2007 our daughter came into our lives just in time for Mother’s Day! My sons made me a mother, but my daughter made me a better mother and a better person.

Birthed from my heart and soul out of a nine-year pregnancy, this little girl invited me to embark on a new journey of motherhood–and of sisterhood with other adoptive mothers.

Where is my birthmother?

Our little princess breathes new meaning of Mother’s Day into our lives. Mother’s Day often arrives packed with emotion. On this special day each year, I must recognize my daughter has a need I can never fill.

When I think about Mother’s Day and being a mom, I think about the joy and sacrifices of parenting all my children, however they came into my life. When my daughter thinks about Mother’s Day, questions like these may come to her heart and mind consciously or sub-consciously:

  • Who is this person I call mom and why doesn’t she look like me?
  • Where is my birthmother? Is she still alive?
  • Why did my birthmother leave me?
  • I don’t want my adopted mother today, can’t I see my birthmother?
  • Why did I have to be adopted? Maybe my birthmother would have come back for me.
  • I want to grieve today, why does everyone expect me to be happy and celebrate?
  • I wish I knew what my birthmother looks (looked) like. (Or, I am starting to forget what she looks like).

Bringing child home through adoption

If you have recently brought a child into your home through adoption, seek to understand the bigger picture of what might be the cause behind a very emotional day.

Some families find that celebrating Birthmother’s Day the day before Mother’s Day is a good way to help their child hold onto his or her heritage and grieve losses as well. I have heard of families lighting a candle for the birthmother, and other family members lighting candles for significant mother-like figures in their lives.

If you are in the adoption process, hang in there. One Mother’s Day will come and change your life forever.

Delana lives in Houston, TX with her husband and two of her four children. You can learn more about her at her website, Nine Year Pregnancy, and her blog, Delana’s World, where she shares stories and inspiration especially for families in the waiting lounges of adoption.

Do you have an open adoption story? Share it with our community.

Help us remove the stigma surrounding open adoption. Like us on Facebook.