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A Mother's Day card can mean so much ...

The Healing Power of a Mother's Day Card

Leceta Chisholm Guibault
May 2004

My first Mother's Day was while on vacation in Miami with my husband in 1991. We had been proposed our infant daughter, Kahleah, born in Guatemala, just 2-1/2 months before. She was still in Guatemala and we expected her arrival sometime late summer.

Hubby took me out to dinner. The maitre'd carried a beautiful bouquet of roses. He went to each lady in the restaurant, asking first if she was a "mother". (The year before I would have been in tears :o)

When he approached me I was so overwhelmed with emotion when the words came out of my mouth, "Yes ... I am a mother". I felt like I was half lying!

I grabbed the rose so fast and placed it on the table between the two of us. Beside the rose was a tiny photo of our baby girl in Guatemala. It was the last "quiet" Mother's Day dinner I have ever had!

A son, Tristan, arrived three years later. I am sure we can all agree that those first handmade Mother's Day cards, made with love, make everything we have been through on our road to becoming parents worthwhile. The cards are priceless.

In 1998 I lost my beloved mother to cancer ... far too young. Oh how I grieved, and still do.

We have an open international adoption, and stay in touch with Tristan's birthmother in Colombia. As the first Mother's Day approached after losing my mother, my grief was not allowing me to celebrate myself as a mother. I was too sad. Imagine my surprise to receive a Mother's Day card from my son's birthmother. There was also a card from his then-eight-year-old birth sister.

Piedad wrote: "In this month of mothers, since I know that you all must be very sad about your dear mother, I don't know how to tell you that I too feel the pain of losing such a great and important person as a mother and parent. I want you to know that I too feel it and understand your grief. I feel your sadness today and will share it with you. I pray for your mother's eternal peace. Her soul did not die, and feel her hope and strength for your family from above. I wish for you a happy Mother's Day. I thank you for your caring and loving devotion to our mutual son and remember, a mother is not the one who gives birth but rather the one who raises."

The card from the sweet sister included a prayer called, "A Children's Prayer for a Deceased Mother". It was absolutely precious.

Needless to say, besides the cards I receive from my own children ... the first Mother's Day card I received from my son's birthmother and her daughter will always be close to my heart. They helped to start the healing of my heart. Since that time, we have been sending each other Mother's Day cards annually.
Leceta is mama to Kahleah (13, Guatemala), who sends Mother's Day cards to her foster mother, and Tristan (10 next month, Colombia), who also makes Mother's Day cards for his birthmother. Leceta and husband Jean and family live in Joliette, near Montreal.
Leceta Chisholm Guibault is a board member of the Adoption Council of Canada and the Federation of Quebec Adoptive Parents, and moderator of the email list Canadians-Adopting (

Copyright 2004 Leceta Chisholm Guibault,

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