Sunday, February 16, 2014

On Being A Birth Mom... Embracing My Motherhood

There are days, like today, that I don’t feel worthy.  That I don’t deserve to grieve because I’m not a “real” mother.  No matter how many times others tell me not to feel this way, it’s still there…  An internal message, repeated over and over again.  

My own personal recording – I put it there, and it’s become ingrained.

I’m pretty sure it all began as a way to get through the initial grief of the adoption, and once in place became a crutch.  It’s not necessarily a bad thing.  It was a coping mechanism; a way to get through the day-to-day without completely falling apart.  And a way to get through all those birthdays, mother’s days and holidays.  

The times I did give in to grief it was still with a lingering sense of unworthiness.  I can remember hearing whispered comments or seeing judgmental looks at particularly vulnerable moments, and they reinforced these internal messages, but it’s not anyone else’s fault.  It’s mine.  Just like it is now my responsibility to silence them.

Because unfortunately, the message is still playing.  And it doesn’t help anymore.

But I don’t think stopping the message is enough.  I must instead replace the old message with something new.  So here I am, yelling out into the universe “Yes, I am a mother!” and challenging myself to remember that even though there’s been more pain than joy, there has been joy, great joy.



  1. Candace, YOU ARE A MOTHER!

    I can remember you telling me about some of the reasons you chose to give Michael up for adoption; not being mature enough to raise a child on your own and you carefully selecting Michaels adopted parents, and more...only a mother would and could put such care into placing their child. Your motherly instinct had you ensuring Michael would be in a safe environment and would be well cared for; things you were not sure you could provide him at that time in your life.

    I also remember celebrating Mothers Day with you a few times; before you reconnected with were a mom then and you celebrated it as best you could.

    I can remember when you told me had been contacted by Michaels dad and that Michael had wanted to meet you...and then you did meet (again). You were happy Candace; uncertain where yours and Michaels futures laid but happy. You were still his mom after all those years; a mom, a mother, whose love for her child had never diminished over the years just because you were not together.

    I have gone through a lot of the same emotions you are going through after my dad died; it took years for them to subside. I do not share that to add frustration to what you are feeling, I share it to let you know that it will eventually pass. Sadly there are no magic words that can be said to speed up the process of grieving or to just make it go just have to get through this. Fortunately for you, you have an amazing,understanding, and compassionate man by your side to support you as the clock ticks on. You also have friends who love you and support you and want you to know you are a mother and that we have never seen you otherwise.

    You are worthy of your grief and worthy of the MOM title my beautiful, caring, loving friend.


  2. You are a real mother. Your pain is real. In fact, I've come to understand that ambiguous grief can be even more difficult to process.

    I'm abiding with you as you claim your motherhood and your worthiness and begin to heal.