It might be difficult to honor your birth mother if you experienced a closed adoption. But there are ways to show appreciation for her.

Closed Adoption: Honoring Your Mother

Learn how to honor your birth mother through a closed adoption. 

May is the month we celebrate motherhood, and you might be wondering just how to honor your birth mother. Closed adoptions can be hard on both you and your birth mother. Even if you don’t know who your birth mother is, you can still celebrate her. Adoption has given you a chance to be with a loving family, and that wouldn’t have been possible without your birth mother’s selfless choice. Here are some creative and heartfelt ways to honor your birth mother and some sentimental stories from adoptees who’ve also been through a closed adoption. 

What Are Some Ways I Can Honor My Birth Mother? 

It can be hard to think of ways to honor your birth mother when you don’t know who she is, but there are many different ways to celebrate You can start to honor your birth mother by listening to inspiring stories from adult adoptees, reading poetry and quotes, and creating a memory book. You could even ask your adoptive parents for some ideas, too. 

Stories From Adult Adoptees 

Reading true life stories about adoptee’s perspectives as adults is an inspiring way to honor your birth mother, and can also inspire you to share your story one day. Here are a couple of stories from adult adoptees about how they honor their birth mothers through their closed adoptions.

“My name is Jamie, and I’m an adult adoptee. My birth mother chose to place me for adoption when I was a baby, and I never got the chance to meet her. I often wonder what type of person she is today, and if she even thinks about me. I think about her often, and with Mother’s Day, I usually celebrate with my adoptive mother. I’d like to start honoring my birth mother by celebrating the fact that she has given me an opportunity to have a better life, and without her, I don’t know how my life would’ve turned out. I’d like to honor her by starting a flower garden with my adoptive parents and plant a flower just for her.”

“I’m Alexander, and I was placed for adoption by my birth mother when I was born. Growing up being in a closed adoption hasn’t always been easy and it sometimes feels like a small part of me is missing. I always make a tradition on my birthday to honor my birth mother by baking a cake and lighting an extra candle for her. Even though she isn’t there to blow out the candles with me, I like to always keep her in mind, because without her, I wouldn’t be here. I would like my birth mother to know that I always love her and I’m always thinking of her.”

Creating a Memory Book 

A memory book is like a scrapbook filled with photos, small mementos, letters, cards, poetry, and quotes. Even though you haven’t met her, you can honor your birth mother by taking the time to make a special memory book about your feelings toward her. 

Poetry About Birth Mothers 

To A Mother I Never Knew

By Keith 

To a mother, I never knew,

From a son who desperately misses you.

There were so many times I would imagine you,

But you would never appear.

And there were so many times I would cry for you,

Tear after tear.

I have even begged for you,

On both knees,

To please come to save me, Mama,

Please, please, please.

And even as the years passed by,

I would never lose hope,

Because it was hope

That kept this little boy afloat.

I would daydream about the moment

When I would finally meet you,

And how I would cry and be speechless

Just to finally see you.

With my own two eyes,

Exactly how I had dreamed,

Angelic and beautiful

And as loving as you seemed.

But I’m all grown up now

With a son of my own,

And I try to give to him

What I’ve always wanted in a home.

I teach my son,

From the lessons that I’ve learned.

I teach him that love can’t be bought,

It can only be earned.

I’ve learned that sometimes love

Is so much harder to show than to say.

That’s how I know you truly loved me, Mama,

Because you’re not here with me today.

I can only imagine

The selfless love that it took

To say goodbye to your child

And take one last look.

To let him go,

In hopes that he can live a better life.

The pain must’ve felt

Like a dull serrated knife.

 I miss you every day, Mama,

And I hope to see you soon.

But if not,

Then I’ll see you in my dreams tomorrow afternoon. 


By Lola Ridge 

Your love was like moonlight

turning harsh things into beauty,

so that little wry souls

reflecting each other obliquely

as in cracked mirrors …beheld in your luminous spirit

their own reflection,

transfigured as in a shining stream,

and loved you for what they are not.

You are less an image in my mind

than a luster

I see you in gleams

pale as starlight upon a gray wall …

evanescent as the reflection of a white swan

shimmering in broken water. 

To My Mother 

By Christina Rossetti 

To-day’s your natal day;

Sweet flowers I bring:

Mother, accept, I pray

My offering.

And may you happy live,

And long us bless:

Receiving as you give

Great happiness. 

Your Soul is a River 

By Nikita Gill

The water of her womb, your first home.

The body she pulled apart to welcome you to the world.

The spirit in you she helped grow with all she knew.

The heart that she gave you when yours fell apart.

You are her soft miracle.

So she gave you her eyes to see the best in the worst.

You carry your mother in your eyes.

Make her proud of all she watches you do. 

I Will Have to Wait Till I’m a Mother 

By Rupi Kaur

I struggle so deeply

to understand

how someone can

pour their entire soul

blood and energy

into someone

without wanting

anything in


I will have to wait till I’m a mother. 


By Unknown 

I’ll never know the smell of your hair,

How you lived life or even where.

I’ll never know the sound of your voice,

Or whether with me you had a choice.

I’ll never know the thoughts in your head,

Whether you’re still here or possibly dead.

There are many things about you,

I’ll never have the privilege to know.

But, one thing I know without a doubt,

Is that you gave me a life to grow.

Inspiring Quotes

“When I found you my world became complete.

I lived every day as a child wondering where and when and if we would meet.

I searched the Internet and made the calls, but all I hit were walls.

It wasn’t till I received a letter that I knew my life would change forever.

What would you look like?

What color was your hair?

Did I have your smile?

Do I have your eyes?

What makes you laugh what makes you cry?

Then I saw you, and I knew you were my mom.

It was an instant connection and bond.

Our spirit and hearts never tore apart, we were connected from the first beat of my heart.

You may not have tied my shoes and bandaged a bruise, but you gave me life and made a sacrifice.

We made up for the time we lost, but now you are gone…and I wipe the tears, yet grateful for all the years.

The times we laughed and the times we cried…I never thought I would say my last goodbye.

Now your body has been laid to rest and only memories are left.

Thank you for the time we shared and all the love and care.

You are special to me and I know that we will continue to meet.

It will be in spirit when I sleep…that I hold your hand and hear you speak.

I know there will be the DAY we meet and I will again feel complete, for half of my heart flew away when you were taken to a place of eternal grace.

Until we see each other again, I will meet you when I lay my head. Upon my sleep, I will reach for you and I will find peace.

I love you Mommy… always and forever.”


“Adoption was a bumpy ride—very bumpy. But, God, was it worth the fight.” 

—Mariska Hargitay

“Children and mothers never truly part, bound together by the beating of one another’s heart.”

—Charlotte Gray

“To attain to a place of acceptance of an adoption decision is an honorable goal, but often an arduous journey.”

 —Sandra Cantrell

 Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.”

—Gail Tsukiyama

“I know (my birth mother) must have had a lot of love for me to want to give (me) what she felt was a better chance.”

—Faith Hill

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.”

—Ancient Chinese belief

“Forgive yourself for not having the foresight to know what now seems so obvious in hindsight.”

—Judy Belmont

“There are two different kinds of strength. There’s the strength to make a parenting plan and then there’s the strength to give that plan to another.”


“I felt more love for my baby than I had ever experienced before. But I found that the more I loved him, the more I wanted to find out what would be best for him throughout his entire life. The things I wanted most for him (a stable family with a mother and father, a home to live in, a mother who could stay at home with him, financial security, etc.) were things I could not provide. So it was because I loved him so much that I chose adoption.”


“A mother’s love for her child is like no other love. To be able to put that feeling aside because you want the best for your child is the most unselfish thing I know.”  

—Natasha W.

“The circumstances surrounding your birth are not as important as the opportunity to live life.”

—Lailah Gifty Akita 

What Kind of Letter Should I Write?

One way to honor your birth mother is to write a letter about how you feel. You can write about how adoption has changed your life for the better, about wishing to meet her one day, and whatever else you feel like including. Your birth mother is still an important person, and writing a kind letter about her will feel inspiring to you. 

Make a New Tradition

You can honor your birth mother by making your own traditions. You could plant a flower for her, cook a special dinner, make a craft, light a candle, read books, or do whatever makes you think of her. 

Celebrate Birth Mother’s Day

Did you know there’s a day that celebrates birth mothers? Originating in Seattle in 1990, Birth Mother’s Day falls on the Saturday before Mother’s Day. A closed adoption is one reason to celebrate birth mother’s day. You can celebrate this day by reading about the history of Birth Mother’s Day and why honoring all birth mothers is important.

I hope these ways to honor your birth mother through a closed adoption leave you feeling motivated and expressive. I also hope that these adoption stories have you feeling ambitious to share your own adoption story with others. By choosing to honor your birth mother in a closed adoption, you’ve shown that there’s plenty of love in your heart to appreciate her for the wonderful woman she is. 

Are you ready to take the next steps on your adoption journey? Visit The Gladney Center for Adoption to learn more.

Kandice Confer