This morning, we had a Church of the Brethren minister serve as guest speaker during the early service at the Unitarian Universalist congregation I have been attending. The title of her talk was “Why I Hate Mother’s Day.” The selected theme was fully intended to be inclusive of all mothering experiences. Mothering is not all sunshine and roses. Relationships between mothers and their children are deeply human and complex. In keeping with this theme, the guest minister referenced a wonderful post written by Amy Young for her blog The Messy Middle.
As a reunited adoptee, I truly appreciated the intent behind Young’s post and her observation that there is a wide continuum of mothering that should be acknowledged. Although I couldn’t help but notice that one of my mothers was not fully represented on Young’s spectrum. Many mothers lose children to adoption due to lack of resources or support. Adoption for those mothers is not an act of selflessness but one of surrender. Many mothers do have a deep desire to raise their children and are simply not assisted or empowered to do so. Adoption is so often a painful, permanent solution to what are usually temporary circumstances. With this in mind, and in the spirit of Young’s purposeful observations, I would like to add a few more statements that might be important for pastors, spiritual leaders and others to consider on this day.
- To those who were not supported or empowered to raise their own children despite wanting to do so very much–we vow to do better as a society to prevent the separation of mother and child.
- To those who lost their children to closed adoption and still don’t know where their child is or if their child is okay–we acknowledge your loss and offer our support to you.
- To those who lost their children to open adoption and were then cut out of their childrens’ lives completely–we recognize your pain and embrace you with compassion.
- To those who are in reunion with children once lost to adoption–we offer support as you journey down this path of discovery.
- To those who lost all knowledge of, or contact with, their mothers due to adoption and sealed birth records–we grieve this profound loss with you and vow to do better as a society to empower and respect the needs and legal rights of adopted persons.