Mother’s Day feels a little hard this year.

Sammy was just reading this sweet book to Marcel. He is such an amazing reader. He is also a very deep and intuitive young man. With Mother’s Day approaching I asked him if he’d like to help me make or pick out a card for his first mom. His response; “Mommy I think she needs a break from you and me. Let’s just skip it. She’ll write us when she is ready.” For those of you who have not been following, the short version is that after a long distance open adoption for the last seven years-mainly through letters, and texts, Sam’s first mom “Tea” has been out of touch with us for almost a year. Despite numerous attempts to connect, to sort through what may have gone wrong,  she has chosen not to respond.  Sam is aware of her silence on many levels.  As much as I try to shelter and protect him from the disappointment and hurt, there is only so much I can say. He is left with his own sorting out that I am rarely privy to.

I sent her a sweet, somewhat light, and very heart felt card to acknowledge all the amazing love we feel for her, and her family.

Sammy did not want to sign it.

It is his choice. It is her choice. It is still hard.

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For another particularly poignant piece on the subject of Mother’s Day and the adoptive parent in an open adoption relationship please see this post from See Theo Run.

Addendum: The next day. I received several off line emails since posting this.  I gather from this response that folks are deeply concerned about my well being.  Sam, one commenter said seems to be doing just great. Dear readers-I am fine. I just feel some deeply intense loss, and that loss is compounded by the presence of what is already, and has always been a complicated little day for me as a mother. Like many of you, reaching motherhood was not via the path I expected or imagined. There is no “better way”, or “easier way.” There is just the way one reaches it, if one is able in this lifetime to do so. As many of us know, there are no givens, even if as little girls and boys we are led to believe that parenthood is one big stop on the line, if you get on that bus…I am rambling. Clearly there is no such thing as a neat little post about something so BIG as Mother’s Day.

I am also really looking forward to celebrating with my kids. Shrek has been planning all sorts of lovely surprises with them which is ridiculously sweet. It is just that I hold the “event” of Mother’s Day in two very separate places, and was looking to acknowledge that here. Maybe my work is to integrate it all a little better.

Mother’s Day ain’t no joke

This was taken last night: Sam and Eddie dancing at the little pre-graduation party we put together spontaneously for her and her eleven family member who arrived in town yesterday afternoon. I don’t do spontaneous, but I don’t know what I wouldn’t do for Eddie (our former live in nanny/rock star), so it was easy despite my panic at the thought of her family looking at my kitchen floor. Uncle and I were in the racial minority, and Sam and Marcel were non stop entertainment. Eddie is a French born Haitian woman, who is the first child in her family to graduate from college. As mother’s day presents go-I can’t even imagine. This family has reason to celebrate large-and since Eddie was chosen as one of the three speakers to represent her class, and the only woman, I can’t wait to see the auditorium erupt as she steps behind the podium.

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After every one left, and we had had our bath, and our night-night snack, Sam, who was still high from the event, had an idea.  We were talking about the card we sent his birth mom, when he asked if we could call her now. As I was getting my phone out, he asked what she sounded like.

Uhhh. Like you really. Only an older, deeper, female version. He seemed content with that response.

I prepped him a little bit, asking him what kind of things he wanted to say to her, or ask her, and what she might like to say to him. He had never asked to call her before. He had refused to talk to her the one time she asked (his fourth birthday).

When it seemed like we were ready, I dialed.

Although Tea didn’t answer the phone, her voice mail did. I held it to his ear, and watched his face. He seemed calm, searching.

At the tone he needed little prompting; “Hi Tea. It’s Sammy, and I love you, and so does Mommy and Marcel. Happy Mother’s Day. And I have a uniform and I am playing T-ball. Our first game was canceled because of the rain. OK bye.”

I added a little more love with Marcel’s help, and invited her to call us back when she felt so inclined.

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I want to encourage all of you who may be wrestling with how to have that conversation, either about or with a birth mom, a first mom, to push yourself a little closer in that direction as you feel able. Maybe it is something simple as; “Today is a day when we get to send love out to the amazing and beautiful woman who grew you in her tummy with such care…” or maybe like Sam, you will find yourself surprised with the urge, or ability to connect in real time somehow. Whatever it looks like, the intention is what is important. So feel great about whatever steps you make, or are considering in the days or weeks to come.

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Coming soon to a screen near you:

Monday my piece about meeting his first mom in the hospital, a never before published piece, will appear on Fertile Source. I’ll add the live link when it appears.

Monday will also feature my next Moms of Hue post, which will be about my Mom’s Congress experience in part.