What is Mother's Day Like For You?
Honestly, I get nervous when Mother’s Day is coming up for me. I’m scared of the emotions that might come up for me. I’ve had two Mother’s Days so far as a mom; this will be my third. My first one was pretty emotional. I remember feeling ill because I was filled with emotions and thoughts like, “Will anyone wish me happy mother’s day? Does anyone see me as a mother?” This emphasized the loneliness and inadequacy I was already struggling in.
I think a common question that most people have for birth moms is, “Will it be more painful for her if I send a text or recognize her on Mother’s Day?” The truth is, she will never forget that she is a mom. Someone choosing to not acknowledge her will only emphasize the lack of worth she might already be struggling with.
She’s already wondering, on this day in particular, if she’s a good mom for choosing adoption. Someone acknowledging me on Mother’s Day by saying, “Happy Mother’s Day. You’re a good mom, and you as a mom are recognized,” would be gold! It would affirm that I chose what was best for my child and am also seen as an equal to any other mom.
Mother’s Day is a bittersweet day for me. When I observe other moms and their kids celebrating in public, it does remind of me of my loss, that my daughter isn’t with me and how I will never experience family in the same way with my daughter. This is why I try to take time away from all of that to process alone. I love being able to sit with my emotions and journal through them as each year will always draw up new ones.
I guess my challenge to us all this Mother’s Day is to consider how we as people, as communities, as churches, acknowledge/highlight/draw out of hiding all types of moms who feel unrecognized or unseen on this holiday
How Was the Adoption Process For You?
The adoption process is scary. You have 9 months, or in most cases less time, to make the biggest decision — not only for your life but your child’s life as well. I felt like I was chasing time and there wasn’t enough of it. Everything was a question mark. I had a lot of anxiety and fear of not knowing what I was supposed to be doing at the time to prepare for the future or what these papers were that I was asked to sign. Most of all, I didn’t know that I should be offered my own adoption attorney to represent me, advocate for me and inform me about the process. This is the reality of adoption in most cases. Most decisions are left in the hands of the adoption professionals who represent the adopting parents, but expectant or birth moms don’t have someone advocating for them.
I also didn’t know any other birth moms at the time. I felt overwhelmed and anxious walking through this initial adoption process all alone — not having an attorney or knowing other birth moms I could talk with to help me through each step. I tried going online to seek knowledge but there were either heart wrenching stories about adoption showing trauma for the child or there were other adoption stories online that made it seem like there was no pain in the process, but I didn’t sense that they were fully transparent or honest either. Usually it was written from the adoptive parents perspective and not the birth mom as well so I didn’t know who I could fully trust. I felt defeated.
Thankfully in the end, I was assigned an amazing case worker right before my hospital stay who also happened to be a birth mom. Without her guidance and support from then until now, I would not be where I am today. Having women beside me who empathize with exactly where I am has changed my healing journey after placing my child.
How Has Claris Been Helpful?
Talitha, the CEO of Claris, was the one who connected me to a ‘separate legal representation’ law firm, TruAdopt Law, a non-profit that advocates for the rights of expectant mothers, like myself, considering adoption for their unborn baby. After seeing the work that they do, I was inspired to learn more. Eventually, this led me to work as their Marketing Director. Now I’m on the front lines of helping other expectant moms find support and advocacy so that they are rightfully represented and informed through their adoption journey.
Expectant moms with a separate attorney is a critical piece within adoption because this attorney will help navigate her through the adoption paperwork, write an agreement with the adopting family about what future contact between them will look like, guide her through writing a hospital plan, connect her with support for after placing her child, and much more.
Claris is truly a light for women facing unintended pregnancies. I have no words to describe my gratitude for the work they do with connecting women to incredible resources no matter what they choose. I am beyond thankful to Talitha and to Claris for stepping in when I needed them.
I’m also thankful that this is what Claris does not only on Mother’s Day but on every other day of the year. You can join them and celebrate ALL types of moms today by CLICKING HERE and supporting those, like me, who will turn to Claris for help.