Category Archives: books about adoption

What to Say to a Birthmother on Mother’s Day and a Thought or Two on Birthmother’s Day

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There are millions of us. For every adoptee, there is a birthmother. We’re your sisters, your friends, your aunts, your cousins, your teammates, your co-workers, your wives and girlfriends, that person next to you on the plane who’s flying home to see her mom and tells you everything after her 4th rum and coke.

Each of our stories is unique and they’re all the same. What you say to the particular birthmother(s) that you know probably depends on the story. Think about what you know. Step into her shoes. Is she still keeping her secret from others with you being one of the few in her confidence? Is she happily reunited with her son or daughter? Has her child refused to meet her? Is she searching? Does she have other children? Maybe you invite her over for coffee or take her out for a drink. Maybe you tell her you feel enriched by knowing her story, or you give her a card or a take time for a conversation. Maybe you ask her what she thinks of Birthmother’s Day, which is today, by the way, in case you didn’t know.

I don’t exactly hate the idea of Birthmother’s Day, myself. But I don’t really love it either. The phrase Happy Birthmother’s Day pretty much gets stuck in my throat. I’d rather cough up a carving knife than say that, but the idea of commemoration is a good one. We’re here. So, I’m thinking of us and all of our stories.

Free Kindle Book: Saying Goodbye

This weekend, in a special promotion, you can get a free Kindle edition of Saying Goodbye, a collection of true stories about how we say goodbye to the people, places & things in our lives with grace, dignity & good humor. http://amzn.to/tcU8PP

My essay about saying goodbye to my newborn son, “Holding Him Softly,” is in it.

Here are a few snippets of reviews about the collection: (and if you like the book, you might consider reviewing it on Amazon.)


Tender perspectives helping readers with their own goodbyes. If you have ever had to deal with loss, read this book. It will make you feel better. — Christina Johns, Midwest Book Review, Oct. 18, 2010 

The stories are about love, really, not sadness. Despite all the sadness and grief that come with saying goodbye, there is love and joy and comedy on the Other Side. — Gretchen Little, Squidoo.com Lens, Oct. 29, 2010 

This book gets to the heart of what I teach in my class on death and dying – that life is filled with loss of all kinds and we can learn from each one and ultimately experience life more fully. The stories in this book do a wonderful job of showing that out of loss there are new beginnings. I recommend it for any teacher of death and dying classes. I also recommend it for anyone who is struggling with a loss – no matter what kind. — Professor Jann Adams, Department of Psychology, College of Idaho, Aug. 25, 2011 

Life is full of goodbyes. Some are painful, but some are downright humorous. Saying Goodbye is an anthology of short (true) stories about people saying goodbye to a variety of people, places and things. The authors vary as much as their subjects, and this collection does a nice job of showcasing how different people have so many different experiences with saying farewell. — Book Nook Club, Nov. 5, 2010 

This is a great book. There are many anthologies out there, lots with great short stories, but Saying Goodbye is about much more. It’s about memories. There are heartfelt memories, humourous memories, some extremely personal memories. Some really made me smile. Others brought tears to my eyes. — UK author Melanie Sherratt, High Heels and Book Deals, Nov. 22, 2010