The Cult of Birthmother’s Day – A Mother’s Day Celebration For First Moms – #Not a BraveLove

It’s almost electric, the emotions flying around social media this time of year. Like a storm brewing or a dam waiting to explode from too much pent-up pressure in the tidal wave of water, Mother’s Day elicits an almost primal, and strong, response from those of us in the adoption community. Especially us first/birth/natural mothers.  If the tension on the Internet is only a fraction of what is really going on inside of our hearts this time of year, I can’t imagine what our real lives, as opposed to online lives, may look like.

* Not a BraveLove * *Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove * *Not a BraveLove *

Some of us have other children that we parent and I know, at least for me, that helps to soften the blow. We will be getting “Happy Mother’s Day!” cards whether they are handmade or store-bought. We will be recognized on this day as a mother. It doesn’t make the hurt of having one of our children missing any softer, but at least we have recognition of who we are. For those who do not have other children that they parent, Mother’s Day can be one of the cruelest of days of the year. Walking that line between “mother” and “not-the-mother” can prove painfully ironic and many times friends and family members aren’t sure what to say. They worry if they buy a card or acknowledge the day they may be ripping open wounds best left stitched up. I’d say a good majority of the family members and friends of the first mom community are probably left with no recognition at all unless they are parenting other children.

* Not a BraveLove * *Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove * *Not a BraveLove *

To add insult to injury, there is this thing the adoption industry came up with, years ago the adoption industry hijacked (although it is only the past 5 years or so that it has really taken off), a holiday dedicated just to “birthmothers.” It is “Birthmother’s Day” and it is celebrated the Saturday before Mother’s Day. As if not being recognized as a mother on the very day created to celebrate mothers isn’t bad enough, you aren’t even allowed to consider being a participant in Mother’s Day now because you now have a day dedicated for the sole purpose of recognizing that all you are is an instrument of birth. Birthmother’s Day was created by Mary Jean Wolch-Marsh in 1990. It was intended to be a day of solidarity, reflection and grieving for mothers of adoption loss. It was never intended to be celebratory.

From research:

“Mary Jean Wolch-Marsh first conceived the idea as a result of her own adoption experience. She knew she was a mother, but didn’t feel recognized as such, either by those around her or by her daughter’s parents. Remembering the feelings she’d experienced at her daughter’s birth – feelings of triumph and euphoria; she used them to help in her own healing. May Birth Mother’s Day bring acknowledgment and recognition to every birth mother who ever loved a child lost to adoption. May it honor and celebrate every mother who became childless after birthing a child, and was forgotten on Mother’s Day. For birthmothers, the observance can be a time to affirm joys and acknowledge the sorrow, grief, and pain that are a part of many experiences. It can also be a time to break the silence and release years of anguish, worry, shame, or guilt. The purpose of Marsh’s Birth Mother’s Day ceremony is insight, affirmation, growth, and wisdom.”

From Brenda Romanchik’s insightful article on Birthmother’s Day:

“Birth Mother’s Day was created in 1990 by a group of Seattle Washington birth mothers who met each other at a birth parent support group. It grew out of the shared recognition that Mother’s Day is one of the most painful days of the year- second only to the birthday of our missing children. Yet birth mothers have been shut out of the traditional celebration and remembrances of the holiday. Most birth mothers are neither named nor recognized among the mothers in our midst. For most birth mothers there are no cards or flowers. Society treats the motherhood of the birth mother as a momentary event that fades quickly from the collective memory. It often seems we are even forgotten by those who received the gift and the privilege of parenthood through the birth mother’s loss.” (1)

Why should first/birth/natural mothers have to have a separate day, other than mother’s day, to be celebrated and recognized? If the “creators” of Birthmother’s Day truly wanted to do something for first moms so they didn’t feel left out on Mother’s Day, why didn’t they encourage others to recognize them on that Sunday instead of making up their own “holiday” just for them? Having we been singled out enough already?

* Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love *

What Birthmother’s Day Does For the Adoption Industry

There was a time, not so long ago, where the cultural norms of our American society equated having a baby out-of-wedlock to that of, say, murder. It was not accepted. You may as well have walked around with a big scarlet letter on your chest. You would be shunned by society. This worked to the benefit of the adoption industry. To acquire a woman’s baby for purposes of adoption all one had to do was work the “shame-angle.” With time, however, this cultural stigma in American society is, for the most part, non-existent. Women were no longer relinquishing babies simply because it was too shameful to keep them. To combat this, and to continue procuring babies to meet the demand (and fatten their pocket books – even non-profit agencies are making huge profits) the adoption industry had to reevaluate their methods. These methods were a complete 180 from the predecessors.

Instead of shaming young women into relinquishing their children, they instead made them heroes. For someone facing a crisis pregnancy it’s probably suffice to say they are already facing some serious self-esteem issues and their self-worth is probably considerably low. Giving first mother’s “Birthmother’s Day” is a way to make them feel special, like a hero. It’s almost like the same rush of having 5 seconds of fame. “Look how great I am! I did this great thing for my kid and for this great couple! I’m so awesome! Yeah, it hurts, but look at how much attention I’m getting! I’m brave! I’m selfless! I’m a hero!” Immediate self-esteem boost and the rush that comes with that. For someone who has lacked that for a long time it can become almost addicting. So, for the adoption industry, Birthmother’s Day first serves this purpose. Another purpose is to prevent first moms from “taking away” from the glory of the adoptive mom on actual Mother’s Day. Couldn’t have that, could we? No sharing of the motherhood here. You are not really the mom and you are not worthy of the complete recognition on Mother’s Day itself. There is one more purpose, however.

* Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love *

The other night I was watching a television show about people who had lived in a cult. People that are missing something in their lives and don’t have a positive view of their self-worth are often the most susceptible to being drawn into a cult. It fascinated me to see how these cults could influence people to do things that were so obviously not right or okay. I decided to look up how a cult goes about brainwashing someone. Almost always, in a cult, people are sucked in by believing they are doing things for the greater good of their eternal soul. In other words, to get into Heaven. They are willing to accept a lifetime of abuse and pain to secure their spot in Heaven. Similarly, in adoption industry coercion, a mother is willing to do whatever it takes, endure a lifetime of pain and grief, to secure a “better” life for her child.  That “better life” is the equivalent of the cult’s “ticket to heaven.”

* Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove *

Recruiting is very important in a cult. Using “brother and sisters” of the cult to get new recruits is the most common path taken. You have people who are already in the cult and participating telling you how great it is. Similarly, in the “birthmom world,” those first moms who have already been taken a hold of by the “adoption cult,” as I will call it, are active, all the time, in recruiting more members. It ensures that the rush they feel about being a hero, brave, selfless, IMPORTANT, continues on and on. They will go out of their way to help recruit more women to join the club of “birthmom” because it is just so awesome, right? What they are really doing is helping to procure more babies for the industry of adoption and the profits that follow (did you click on the link earlier in the article? Would you like to see the profits that domestic infant adoption brings in? Click here). The adoption industry is the leadership of the adoption cult. Like any leadership in a cult, they are in it for self-serving purposes. Profits. And they don’t care who they hurt along the way to get it. As long as they get what they are after. So the last reason that Birthmother’s Day is so pervasive and useful to the adoption industry is because it continues to give their cult members and new recruits the fantasy that they are important.

* Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove * * Not a BraveLove *

The Reality of Birthmother’s Day

The reality of Birthmother’s day is that it ostracizes first moms. It tells them they are not good enough (unless you’re a cult member then you think you’re better than) to celebrate themselves on Mother’s Day. Nothing could be further from the truth. I always see these memes going around on Facebook. They usually start with “A real mother…” or “A real father…” and go on to talk about bedtime stories, sleepless nights, etc. And that is not entirely untrue. That is definitely part of what makes someone a mother or father. The unconditional love that first moms feel for their children and the lengths they will go to protect their children (even if being brainwashed that their only ticket to Heaven – providing a good life for their child) is the very definition of a mother’s love. And, for many, there was no choice or brainwashing at all. They were literally forced. They were tied down to a table to give birth and had their children taken from them despite their useless protests. Does the mother whose child was kidnapped have less of a right to celebrate Mother’s Day than the kidnapper who is reading that child bedtime stories every night?

Why do we have to single ourselves out as “birth” mothers? We don’t hear people going around calling themselves “adoptive” mothers. Unless you are speaking about the two and you need to distinguish which mother is being talked about I see no need for qualifiers. Why should there be qualifiers? Are we not both mothers? And why do we have a Birthmother’s Day and not an Adoptive Mother’s Day? Puts things into perspective a bit.

* Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love * * Not a Brave Love *

Finally, if you are reading this and you have a first mom in your life and aren’t sure how to approach the topic of Mother’s Day, let me tell you this. Celebrate her. Recognize her motherhood. On Mother’s Day. There may be tears, but it is nothing compared to the isolating and lonely feeling of pretending you aren’t a mother, of being a ghost in the crowd, of straddling that thin line between “mother” and “non mother.” She is worthy of being celebrated.

No matter where you are in your lifetime journey of “birthmother,” I’d like to say to you –

Happy Mother’s Day my sisters.

* For those wondering about the little inserts, there is currently a huge billboard campaign, nationwide, by members of the adoption cult that is being used to procure more infants by the industry. They are using first moms to encourage others facing a pregnancy, in less than ideal situations, to surrender their children. The terms, strewn about my blog, will help this blog come up in search results when anyone googles it. This is the only way I could think of to combat this hideous campaign.

#notabravelove

(1) http://www.firstmotherforum.com/2010/05/why-dont-we-have-national-adoptive.html – comments section

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22 thoughts on “The Cult of Birthmother’s Day – A Mother’s Day Celebration For First Moms – #Not a BraveLove

  1. I don’t understand. Are you saying that adoptions are the work of a cult program designed to coerce moms into giving up their kids? Because that is how I read this. I adopted me son. His birth parents knew they weren’t using protection. They knew they didn’t have the means to raise a child. The mom had two older ones and didn’t want to raise another infant. But they didn’t use protection. For us. I cannot have kids. They purposely created a child they knew we would adopt long before she ever conceived. We formally adopted our son six months after taking him home from the hospital. I know several who have done this very thing. So it is not all a cult. Many women actually use protection and still got pregnant. They don’t have the ability to raise a child. So saying a cult industry talked them into adopting is wrong. Some just don’t believe in abortion and know they can’t raise a child. But they shouldn’t feel shamed into going up their child. We maintain an open adoption. That seems to be the norm these days. The world is different now. People don’t care if they have abortions or live on the system to raise their kids. But it does not in any way mean that every adopted child was given up in shame.

    Like

    • “They purposely created a child they knew we would adopt long before she ever conceived”

      So basically you’re saying this woman got pregnant on purpose with the intent to give the baby to you? And this isn’t a cult………ok.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Tonya, you are exactly the type or entitled infertile couples I love to hate. You seem to think that this woman who is your childs birthmother is an incubator for you.
      ” The mom had two older ones and didn’t want to raise another infant. But they didn’t use protection. For us. I cannot have kids. They purposely created a child they knew we would adopt long before she ever conceived.”
      So your telling us that your childs birthparents were having sex one night and said, “hey! I know, hows about you get me pregnant so that we can give the baby away?” Thats bullshit, plain and simple! and if it did happen the way you claim (which i totally see as delusional, by the way, id love to hear from your childs birthmom im sure her story is VERY different from your TV movie of the week one) then that tells me, that if they PURPOSEFULLY created a child JUST FOR YOU (trying not to puke here at your sense of entitlement and me me me attitude) then they knew you BEFORE they got pregnant, and they must have known of your wishes. Which…wow…where do I even go with this…you would have had to bring it up with them. Which speaks to head hunting young vulnerable people to convince them to have a baby for you. that makes you a PREDATOR. #notabravelove

      Liked by 3 people

    • you are a selfish disturbed person……no one deliberately made a baby to give to you…….if a woman does not want to parent is is their right to have an abortion………and not to be forced into delivering a newborn for predators like you.

      Liked by 2 people

    • “But they didn’t use protection. For us. I cannot have kids. They purposely created a child they knew we would adopt long before she ever conceived.”

      Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over?????????

      I thought I had heard everything after 23 years of being part of the social experiment called adoption. Guess I was wrong.

      What callous disregard BOTH of you had for another human beings feelings, THE CHILD THAT WAS CREATED TO BE GIVEN AWAY TO SATISFY YOUR BABY LUST. I just . . . I can’t even begin to fathom the depths of crazy.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Pingback: The Cult of Birthmother’s Day – A Mother’s Day Celebration For First Moms | Musings of the Lame

  3. Oh my word!! I only discovered ‘birth mother’s day’ this past week and I asked my husband why it had to exist. Why not ‘share’ Mothers’ Day? I had been wondering how to get hold of our daughter’s mom to commemorate Mother’s Day…BM Day is just too weird for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ya, interesting how birthmothers are supposed to take a different day, but birthfathers don’t have a different fathers day, and adoptive mothers don’t have their own day…funny that. we’re all mothers and fathers folks! this marginalizing behavior only serves to undermine the leaps forward in adoption reform!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “Why do we have to single ourselves out as “birth” mothers?”

    then why use “birthmom” in your blog title? you can’t have it both ways. you guys rage about society and especially APs never acknowledging or paying attention to birthparents, and then rage when some people embrace and promote a holiday for them. adoption network cleveland, the same group responsible for brining OBC access to Ohio, has been doing a birthmother’s day event for 20 years. are they just a tool of “big adoption” as well?

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    • Unfortunately “birthmom” is the only way to attract readers. We are mothers. Period. And that’s just something you’re going to have to accept. I also use “adoptive mom.” It’s for clarification and nothing more.

      Like

    • we used to be called natural mothers. I wonder if you know why we are no longer called that? It isn’t because we were bothered by the term natural mother. That term makes adoptive mothers uncomfortable. It makes them feel as though people are saying their motherhood is “unnatural” sometimes truth is painful. We are mothers. The very definition of motherhood includes giving birth to offspring. If anyone needs a separate day to celebrate it is the people whose motherhood comes only from taking another’s motherhood away. We aren’t asking for adoptive mothers to have a separate day. We simply ask to be acknowledged as MOTHERS. Along with every other mother.

      Liked by 1 person

    • we use terms like this because these are the terms that are searched for when looking for a blog on adoption. such as #birthmom #birthmother #adoption #adoptee #open adoption
      I use the title second generation birthmom to distinguish myself from adoptees who are also birthmoms. My mother is a birthmom, and I am her first kept child, but I am also a birthmom. it makes my perspective a bit different being that with the rest of the adoption ties in my family, I have 4 generations of adoption in mine spanning 100 yrs.

      Liked by 1 person

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