Growing up Mother’s Day was never a very big deal. When all my friends had family obligations on that particular Sunday, my parents didn’t feel that it was important to celebrate a “made up day” as they saw it. Sure, if we didn’t have anything else going on we’d do something together, and some years I got my mom flowers or a card. But it wasn’t a day that held any kind of special meaning for my mother. As an adult I’ve often forgotten it was even happening. It’s something pre-filled on any calendar I buy, and there’s a rush of posts on my Facebook feed, but otherwise it can pass virtually unnoticed in my life.
In the past few years I’ve found myself pausing to reflect just a little more on that particular Sunday. At first it was to dream what Mother’s Day would feel like when I was a mom myself, then to wonder if that would ever be. But now I stop on that one day, and wonder what it means to be a mom at all. Thoughts on my newsfeed yesterday thanked “the woman who raised me” and “the woman who cared for me”, and also “”the woman who gave me life”and “the woman who carried me for nine months”. For most people this is an accurate description of their mother. The one and only woman who did all these things. This Mother’s Day I found myself stopping to reflect, how will Mother’s Day feel when I am not the only Mother in my child’s life?
I know adoptive mom’s are not unique in their struggle to establish their identity while raising children. My eye was caught by a blog headline “Finding An Identity Beyond Motherhood. We Are More Than Just ‘Mom’“. In the article the author talks about her need for others to see her as more than just someone’s mother. Yet my struggle has been an inability to obtain that label at all. So I wonder, what will that label mean to me? What will this made up day become in my life?
I realize that for me, Mother’s Day will forever hold a lot of meaning. It will be a day to celebrate having a life I have wanted, but for so long been unable to have. It will be a day to rejoice in the family I have finally been able to grow. And it will be a time to honor my child’s other mother, the one who will give my child life, and give me the gift of getting to raise them.