The Mother I Am Now, The Birthmother I Will Always Be

This guest post is by Haley, a birthmother.

I had my beautiful little girl on January 27th at 7:37 PM six years ago. That date and time is imprinted in my mind more than any other date or time from my life. I was 15 years old and at exactly 7:37 PM on January 27th, I became a mother.

I was finally holding this little girl that I had fought so hard to get here safely. I was finally holding this little girl that I had prayed constantly about. And I was finally coming to the realization that soon she would not be mine.

I had made the decision to place my little girl for adoption several months before. I knew that this was the right choice for me and more so, for her. My body and heart were aching at the thought of losing this little girl I was now holding, but I knew it was right.

I spent every moment I could with my little girl before she flew home to another state with her family, the family I had hand picked for her. Saying goodbye was the hardest thing I have ever done — but watching her adoptive mother’s joy, as I placed my baby in her arms for the last time, made it all worth it.

The first few months after I placed my baby were very hard. Luckily, I had a support group that I met with once a week that kept me afloat. I would count down the days until I could go back to the group and talk to people who knew exactly how I was feeling. I slowly started to feel “normal” again and was able to keep myself composed anytime I saw a baby or pregnant person. This was until the month of May rolled around. The month of Mother’s Day.

Everyone knew that Mother’s Day would probably be a very hard day for me. It was a day that everyone else was being celebrated for being a mother, while my arms were empty. I tried to avoid thinking about the holiday that was approaching and I told myself that it was fine, it was just another day on the calendar. That worked–until the day finally arrived.

I woke up and my sweet mom and sister had Mother’s Day gifts for me. I appreciated the recognition so much, but it did not take away the sting I was feeling in my heart. I logged on to my email and I had a new message from my girl’s adoptive mother. She was letting me know how much she loved and appreciated me on this day.

Because of me, she was a mother. I was so grateful to her. I was so grateful that she took the time out of her day of celebration to thank me for what I had given her. This made me feel better and I decided that I could survive the day. I got ready and headed over to our Mother’s Day support group meeting.

When I got to the group that day, they had a piece of paper and a pen for each of us. They told us to right down what we wished for our child as they were growing up. We were then going to put the notes in to a balloon, say a prayer, and let them go into the sky.

I do not remember exactly what I put on that piece of paper, but watching my message to my baby float up into the sky made me feel so at peace. I knew that she had to feel my love for her in that moment. Someone hundreds of miles away was thinking of her and wishing her every good thing in the world.

Every Mother’s Day since has been a little painful – but it has gotten easier. I am now a mom to two more beautiful little girls that celebrate me on this day. My husband and family always make a point to recognize me as the mother I am now. But also the mother I will always be, a birthmother.

Haley lives in Salt Lake City, where she promotes the joy of adoption through interviews with birth and adoptive mothers.

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