It’s a holiday that’s pretty easy for most. You buy your mom a card and some flowers. Take her out to brunch. Pick up the phone and tell her you love her.
Well, for a lot of people it’s not. There are those who have lost their mothers or maybe have mothers who have chosen not to be in their lives. There are also those who, for whatever reason, can’t become mothers.
Then there’s a small population (one that I am a part of) who have two mothers because of adoption. And for many of us, it’s not an easy day.
I wrote about my feelings about Mother’s day here. And even though I’m in reunion with my birth mother, I still feel the same way about Mother’s Day – I dread it.
For some adoptees, their feelings of loss surface on their birthday or on holidays like Thanksgiving. But for me it’s always been Mother’s Day. Mostly because everything around you forces you to think about your mother. For most of the year, these intense feelings of grief simmer safely, but on Mother’s Day, my emotions tend to erupt, bright hot and painful.
While I still dread the holiday, it’s gotten a bit easier. So what’s changed? Well, mostly what I do on Mother’s Day.
What’s helped me the most is leaning in to the adoptee community online.
No, it doesn’t really have anything to do with this book. It’s more about making purposeful connections with other adoptees. Social media can be a landmine on Mother’s Day depending what your feed looks like, but for me, my Twitter timeline is filled with adoptees encouraging each other and lending support.
My Twitter family is amazing. They cheered for me when I found my family in Haiti. They encouraged me in the days and weeks up to my reunion. They even checked in with me after Hurricane Irma and Maria. So on Mother’s Day, I actually turn to social media for a little while.
Besides checking in on Twitter, I also manage a Facebook group with 200+ Haitian adoptees. The online group has been a place where I can be candid and where all of us can share our struggles. It’s a place to talk about the fact that we’ve been given so much in terms of educational and economic opportunity, but we’ve lost everything else in the process.
I used to feel guilty about the way I felt on Mother’s Day, but I don’t anymore. The trauma of being separated from my family will live with me in some form for the rest of my life. My adoptee family just makes it a little bit easier.
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