It’s the first Mother’s Day in our family. I’m overwhelmed by this, but, perhaps, not for the reasons you think. Sure, it still surprises me that I am a mom. But, really, what overwhelms me, what touches me, what humbles me most of all is my connection to another mother– baby’s biological mother. There is not a day that goes by where I do not think about her, where I do not hold her in my heart. Her story– what little we might know– is our baby’s alone. But her presence in my heart is so significant that it is she who I am thinking about as Mother’s Day approaches. It is she who I want to honor. It is she who I want to celebrate, commemorate, remember. She gave birth to a smart, radiant, healthy, beautiful baby boy, and we are his trusted guides in this life. I want our baby boy to always know how much we honor his birth parents, and I want– even if it cannot literally be communicated– to always put out into the world the very reverence, respect, gratitude I have for them. To that end, I’m been thinking about Mother’s and Father’s Day and how we might celebrate the people who gave our baby life.
There are many ways that adoptive families honor birth parents. Some plant a fruit tree. Others plant perennial gardens. Some write prayers and release them into the world– via a helium ballon or message in a bottle. I’ve filed away naming stars for baby’s parents or even having him write and draw a picture book dedicated to them when he’s older and if he so chooses. But there’s the very real moment of this year’s Mother’s and Father’s Day approaching, and I want to do something that symbolizes nurturing life. The idea I am playing around with is planting a vegetable garden in the small patch of our yard that actually gets sunlight and letting it be a place where a tribute can be added each year– maybe a bench, a stepping stone, some perennial flowers, a fruit tree. So if the weather’s good and we can free up some time this weekend, I am hoping we’ll all be in our back yard, celebrating life, baby, and mothers.