In 1959 Mother’s Day was celebrated on May 10. I was 3 1/2 months old and had been admitted to hospital two days earlier for tests on my kidneys, bladder and stomach due to concerns about celiac disease. I would remain in hospital for almost a month and, two days after my release, I was placed on probationary adoption with the couple who were to become my Mom and Dad.
I imagine my birth-mother may have shed some tears on that Mother’s Day morning. She was likely also busy with her four-year old son, my brother, and that may have kept her mind occupied though.
I wonder what my adoptive mother was thinking on that morning, too. Did she know that in a few weeks she would hold me in her arms and celebrate Mother’s Day a little late that year? Or was she letting the day go by silently, with a phone call to her own mom, but ignoring the grief in her heart that another year had gone by without a child to call her own?
I was likely confused and afraid as I cried alone in a hospital crib. First taken from my birth-mom and handed over to a foster mom, then taken from her and left alone in a sterile hospital environment with no mother’s arms to comfort me, I am convinced that at some level I grieved the losses that I had already endured in my brief life.
Depending on one’s point of view, Mother’s Day in relation to the subject of adoption can be a day of great joy or a day of deep grief. I am thankful that it is possible for me to see through the grief to a place on the other side where blessing awaits.
My birth-mom, despite giving up three babies to adoption, raised a fine son on her own.
My mom adopted two daughters and lived long enough to become a grandmother of two.
And that little baby who was alone and afraid in a hospital crib on that Mother’s Day in 1959? She is a proud mother and grandmother today and blessed abundantly!