Celebrating Birthmothers this Mother's Day Weekend – Part 1


We are excited to have Lindsey Redfern contribute to our blog. She will tell her own story, but you can find more articles and adoption information at her blog.

As a sterile woman, Mother’s Day was always a hard day to handle. My house was quiet. My arms were empty. I was full of hope, but my heart was broken. It seemed that I didn’t fit in anywhere. My arms and heart longed to love a child …but medically it was impossible. For years I mourned and cringed at the thought of Mother’s Day. I dreaded it.

This changed in 2007 when we were chosen by a brave birthmother to be the parents of her little boy. He was born and placed in our arms just days before Mother’s Day. While my heart soared as I finally got to feel special on Mother’s Day, I knew my joy had a great cost. Miles away there was a 17-year-old who was heartbroken, full of hope, but hurting as her arms were now empty. Although I cannot fully understand the pain and the hope that is associated with placing a child for adoption, from my experiences as a childless woman, I can empathize. How could I really enjoy Mother’s Day knowing that this young woman, whom i loved so much, was hurting?

This is when my husband and I heard about Birthmother’s Day. Birthmother’s Day is celebrated the Saturday before Mother’s Day. It seems appropriate that their day comes first since it is only because of their selfless sacrifice that I even celebrate Mother’s Day. Birthmother’s Day was started in 1990 by a group of birthmothers in Seattle, Washington. It’s a day for birthmothers to unite and be honored for the gift of life that they gave twice–once in birth, once in placement.

Just weeks before Mother’s Day last year, my husband and I were chosen to be parents again. Being chosen twice seemed like a total improbability.

My heart was overcome with gratitude as I stood to claim my flower in church. I am only a mother because of these two courageous, selfless, eternally-minded young women. I respect them. I honor them. In fact, it is our privilege to honor them on both Birthmother’s Day and Mother’s Day.

First, we asked our sons’ birthmothers if they would like us to celebrate with them and we asked them how they would like us to celebrate them. Both of our birthmoms were very humble saying they didn’t need anything special, that a phone call or card or picture from the child would be great. They both made it clear that they didn’t expect it. I think it is important to ask what the birthmother wants. Some birthmothers are offended at the term "birthmother," some only want to be referred to as a mother, some don’t even know about Birthmother’s Day. Ask the birthmothers in your life what their feelings are on these holidays.

Even though our sons’ birthmoms don’t expect to be celebrated, I expect to celebrate them every year …on both days. Make no mistake about it, birthmothers are still mothers. Their hearts and souls still feel and love the child they chose to place and give a better life. What greater love could there be than to sacrifice one’s own will for the benefit of their child? Adoption is about love.

The rest of Lindsey’s story and this article will be posted in Part 2.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.