At Hope’s Promise, we never stop caring for birth moms. Once a birth mother has placed with an adoptive family, we believe in providing continuing opportunities for healing, growth, and well-being.
However motherhood comes to you, it is a blessing. But what if motherhood doesn’t look like you thought it would. You may struggle with infertility, or maybe you are a foster mom. You might be a mother who has suffered the loss of a child. Maybe you are a birth mom or an adoptive mom. Maybe you chose not to have children. Maybe you suffered the loss of your own mom. Mother’s Day can be a celebration for some and a struggle for others. But there is hope and unity in our struggle. In this guest blog, the author discusses the idea of spiritual motherhood. Being a mom takes on a plethora of different meanings, so let’s celebrate them all.
Read more here:
Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better”
Many adoptive families choose to celebrate and recognize the day their child’s adoption was finalized or the day they became legally a family. It is an important milestone in the journey for the family and the adoptee. However, at Hope’s Promise, we have been discussing new ways to mark this occasion appropriately, sensitively, and without the much-used old terminology of “Gotcha Day.”
We are always striving toward accurate and neutral adoption language as well as continuing to listen to adoptees’ experiences of adoption. Through listening and learning, we are finding that the term “gotcha” is not accurate or neutral. For the adoptee, the day they joined their new family also is a day that they forever left their birth family’s care and/or homeland. As with many things for adoptees, there is both/and – both joy and grief.
We have come to wonder if “gotcha” seems to either gloss over the loss of birth family or gloat over the joy of the adoptive parents. Some adoptees feel that this language sounds a bit like abduction or not being sensitive to the power structure of adoption. Adoptees have no power over any of the decisions that so dramatically changed their lives. In terms of relinquishment, we choose not to use the terms “give up” or “keep” because it objectifies the adopted person. In the same way, “gotcha” can objectify the adoptee.
Does this mean families cannot celebrate the day they became a family? By no means! But we would suggest using the term Adoption Day or Family Day, which is more accurate and neutral than the language “Gotcha Day.”
Want to learn more? Here are some articles from multiple perspectives we encourage you to read about this issue that helped inform our thoughts:
I don’t know how to respond to my grief… I don’t know how to let the tears out when I feel
You see, every April marks another year since I chose adoption. Another year of choosing
Placing my baby for adoption was hard but I have never wished that I would have single parented. There were five things
I have been a birth mother for eight years. There are times when these eight years have felt longer, and sometimes its still hard to believe I’m a birth mom at all.
A collage of childhood photos lay strewn across my desk as I held a pair of shears. I studied each photograph and wondered, What would my child want to know about me?
I made an adoption plan for my son in 2001. At the time, I was nineteen and had just started a relationship with the birth father, Mike, when I discovered I was pregnant.
My fingers frantically typed on my keyboard: “Birth mother support group.” I hit the search button and waited. I placed one hand on my growing belly and hoped I could find someone who could understand.