Ever since I started this journey of further exploring the concept of adoption, I’ve noticed two things happening to me: firstly, many of the opinions have I had about adoption before have only become more solidified the more I read about it, the more I read other adoptees’ experiences and the more I begin to learn about my own adoption story. Secondly, with that all being said, I’ve also been exposed to so many new perspectives that I have never considered before. Previously, I had my perspective as an adoptee and the unique perspective of my adoptive parents. And that was it. Perhaps this was due to how small my world has been until now when it came to the issue of adoption. I kept this world small by choice for a number of reasons that I am sure will eventually be exposed as this journey continues. But now that I have slowly expanded my boundaries on the topic, I’ve learned that there is the perspective of the birth parent(s), of siblings of those who have been adopted, of strangers who see blended families and react appropriately or inappropriately and of society as a whole. All these points of view have given me much to consider.
And so here I am on the eve of Mother’s Day thinking about someone I have never thought of before on this holiday. My birth mother. To me, it doesn’t make sense that I should be thinking about her. For one thing, she lives in a country that does not traditionally celebrate Mother’s Day. For another, I don’t know this woman and most of all, I don’t actually consider her to be my mother. She is my birth mother, yes, but I have a mother, and it’s not her. My mother is of German descent. She lives in Minnesota and makes casseroles, hooks rugs, bakes pies and communicates in English. She votes Democrat and watches Netflix when she isn’t playing with her grandchildren who are, like herself, Caucasian, and the children of my brother who was not adopted. Despite this odd mash-up of random characteristics — characteristics that to an outsider don’t seem to have much to do with me — she still is, in every sense of the word, my mother.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this all goes back to this world of mine that is slowly expanding…reading about birth mothers’ reactions to this holiday, reading about other adoptees’ thoughts on Mother’s Day and exposing myself to views that show me how the word “mother” can be so complicated for those whose lives are affected by adoption.
Nothing, I am learning, is always so neatly clear-cut for everyone. There are perspectives we don’t always hear, but when we do hear them, they open up to us a whole new world.