We are in awe about the fact that May is upon us and its time for another newsletter and perhaps you are too. While we have many wonderful events and areas of growth happening at ASA (see all of the highlights to the right), we wanted to take time to focus this month on an inclusive approach to self-care during the Mother's Day celebrations to come. Love makes a mother and that also includes self-love and nurturing the mothering qualities within us all. On its best days, being a mother is complicated. It brings us the greatest joys in our lives and our deepest disappointments. When you are talking to a community of people impacted by adoption, the complications deepen. It is quite possible that we are taking on too much in an attempt to capture all the feelings and scenarios that are present in the adoption space on Mother’s Day. It’s inevitable that we are not going to acknowledge something that should be acknowledged- we apologize in advance. But, regardless, here is the conclusion we would like you to hear: We know it’s complicated- that is ok.
As a mother, it’s ok to feel joy on this day for the gift of motherhood. It’s ok to pamper yourself and ask for breakfast in bed, flowers and gifts! It’s ok to be thankful and overwhelmed with joy for your children. And to be exhausted in all that motherhood entails. It’s complicated. And that’s ok.
As a woman who wants to be a mother, It’s also ok to feel sad that you are not yet a mother and that your journey to motherhood had been seemingly so much harder than others. It’s ok to mourn the loss of pregnancies or failed fertility treatments. It’s ok to be angry for the medical diagnosis that prevents motherhood or frustrated that there is no explanation. It’s ok to be jealous of friends who are already mothers. It’s complicated. And that’s ok.
As an adoptee, it’s ok on Mother’s Day to think of BOTH of your mothers- (1) one who gave you life, who you miss and about whom you wonder and (2) one who raised and loved you and sacrificed for you daily. It’s ok to feel angry or disappointed by the life you missed out on or the relationships you were never able to have. It’s ok to wonder how your life might have been different if you had been raised with your biological family. You wonder what was wrong with you that your mother chose to place you for adoption. It’s complicated. And that’s ok.
As a biological mother, it’s ok to wonder if you made the right decision in choosing adoption for your child. It’s ok to acknowledge judgement by others for your decision. It’s ok to wonder if your biological family is safe, loved and cared for. It’s ok to feel loss as a result of an adoption decision and relief that you are not mothering daily. It’s complicated. And that’s ok.
In this month in which we celebrate mothers, we want to be a community that embraces the complications. A community that knows positive feelings and negative feelings can exist at the same time- about the very same thing. We welcome the opportunity to sit with you there and will tell you it’s ok to feel all of it. To that end, we have curated some additional resources to honor the mother figures in your life and yourself this Mother’s Day. Sending love and compassion to all in our adoption community on Mother’s Day.