gift box tied with a red ribbon in the handsDear Mardie,
Mother’s Day is coming and I want to somehow honor my son’s birth mother, but I’m not sure if it is appropriate to send a card or gift?

It is only natural for adoptive mothers to think about and remember their child’s birth mother often, especially on Mother’s Day – because, let’s face it, without her choice, we wouldn’t be Mommies (or Daddies!).  It can be awkward though, to celebrate her on Mother’s Day, when you are also celebrating your own blessing of motherhood.
Every year, the day before Mother’s Day is set aside as Birth Mother’s Day.  It is a day when adoptive parents (and anyone!) can remember, celebrate, and honor mothers who have made the difficult and loving decision to place a child for adoption.  It is a time to say “You are special,” whether to your child’s birth mother or any woman you know who may made a similar choice.
Finding a card isn’t something that is easy, Hallmark doesn’t make a wide selection of Birth Mother’s Day cards, if any.  Add that to the fact that many birth mothers are not even aware of the day of remembrance and you may feel another awkward situation.
I recommend that you find a personal and special way to recognize her. You may want to create a special, custom Birth Mother’s Day card online, at Walgreens or Walmart, some place that has a photo service and can print a special card or photo for you.  Or, you may prefer to just provide a ‘Thinking of You’ type card to let her know you are remembering her.
A gift is always appreciated!  Here are a few ideas from adoptive parents…
We gave our daughter’s birth mother a charm bracelet after she had our daughter.  Each year, we send her a new charm.  As our daughter gets older, we will begin to let her choose the charm. Then, each year, we send a card and the specially chosen charm, explaining what about it made me think of her or something in our daughter’s life that corresponds with the charm we picked.
–Megan from Little Rock, AR

When we first met our son’s birth mother, we had taken her tulips – she said it was her favorite flower.  So we send them to her each year, in one way or another.  Last year, we ordered her beautiful cookies that were decorated tulips and daffodils.  Another year we found a locket that had a hand painted tulip on it we got her.  It’s a nice connection that is between us as mothers.  We know we came together because of our son, but it is nice to have a connection that can be separate from him.
– Sarah from near Houston, TX

With two very different relationships, each of our children’s birth mothers are celebrated in their unique way.  Our son’s birth mother still lives hand-to-mouth and is appreciative of a ‘care package’, that has basics, treats, and gift cards.  She doesn’t really treasure things, she is too busy trying to survive with her other children.  Our daughter’s birth mother is tender hearted, and loves animals and children so very much.  She appreciates gifts that relate to what she loves – so we send books about animals, photos of our daughter, a blanket with horses, anything that is close to her heart.
-Missy from Walla Walla, WA

Although we lost touch with our birth mother, we still tuck things away for her.  We know there will come a time when she resurfaces, and we want her to know that she was never forgotten.  So I write her notes and cards, and tuck things away that I wish I could give to her. 
– Valerie from Fresno, CA

To learn more about Birth Mother’s Day, here is a great article.