Sunday, May 10, 2009

New Mother's Day Tradition

When Zoe first came home, I started a Mother's Day tradition of writing a note to her birth mother, and as Zoe got older, she began to write a note to her birth mother on Mother's Day. Maya was added to the tradition when she came along.

The notes are undeliverable, of course. They are kept in a drawer, waiting for the day we might be able to discover who their birth families are.

But this year, Zoe wanted to add something new to the tradition. She asked if we could burn the notes, in hopes that the smoke would carry the good wishes to China and find her birth mother, or find her birth mother in heaven if that's where she is. (She remembered seeing the burning of hell money and other paper objects at Buddhist temples when we were in China.)

Zoe decided that the only proper way to do it was to put the notes in lucky red envelopes (which, BTW, are really hard to burn!). She and Maya solemnly wrote their notes, with Zoe wishing she and her birth mother could spend Mother's Day together. And then we went outside (all fire safety precautions at hand!) and set fire to the envelopes. As the smoke rose, Zoe and Maya cheered. They're sure the smoke found a wind current to take it all the way to China.

Happy Mother's Day to ALL mothers, near and far.


Wendy said...

M wrote an email to her foster mother today (the first time on her own!) and then wrote her birth family a note and made them a craft--she wanted to include her birth dad too even though it wasn't Father's Day.
M also sent a balloon to them on her birthday (she does this each year) with a note inside. She asks me each day if it got to them yet--it was last month. I am glad she feels she can connect with them in this way, last year she wanted to make sure we had the note translated so they could read it--smart cookie!

malinda said...

Smart cookie, indeed!

Zoe's already planning to do the burning-a-note thing for her birth father on Father's Day!

Third Mom said...

Very cool idea! I hope your Mothers Day was wonderful! I loafed all day long :)

Lorraine Dusky said...

Thank you for this post, and for your thoughts...

malinda said...

Margie, an all-day loafing Mother's Day would have been a blessing! Whew -- the girls had ballet recital, with Zoe in both the afternoon and evening performance, so we were hopping all afternoon and evening. (What I was thinking redesigning the blog in the midst of all of that is beyond me!)

malinda said...


Thanks for your comment. I was very moved by your post, "What’s Wrong with Birthmother Events on Mother’s Day? Just about EVERYTHING."