I’m Jamie, one half of Daddy and Dad with my fiancé Tom. Four years ago we became adoring gay dads (well, just dads, actually) to Lyall and Richard, via adoption. Lyall and Richard are loving, cheeky sibling boys. Tom and I treasure every minute with them and they’re thriving.
Mothering Sunday is a sensitive day for any adoptive family and especially for adoptive families with no mum. Here, I look at how, as a family of boys we approach Mothering Sunday.
Mothering Sunday presents a few sensitive issues for us as a family for a couple of reasons, not least because we’re a family of boys with no mum!
Adopted children, however content and settled they appear at face value, have all experienced dreadful, traumatic things which led to them being removed from their birth parents. Many adopted children have seen, heard and felt things that no child (or grown up) should see, hear or feel. And it breaks my heart to say that Lyall and Richard are no different. The boys were taken from their home as frightened wee nippers and plonked into the care of various kind strangers until eventually, they found their forever dads. It was a disorientating and frightening experience for the boys to endure at such a vulnerable age.
To make matters worse for adoptive parents (and I’m not trying to put you off; adoption really is the most magical thing you can ever do), nobody can provide you with a solid, unequivocal report of your children’s’ past. This leaves the parents to rely on the occasional fuzzy anecdote and patchy records from social workers. It’s not ideal.
Anyway, while Lyall and Rich present themselves as a pair of bruisers with plenty of brawn, Tom and I have to remember that there are probably some horrible suppressed memories, experiences and feelings that could rise back to the surface when triggered by a smell, memory, family event, song – or who knows what else.
So naturally, Mothering Sunday is a celebration that we were a tad uneasy about, to begin with.
But, we do have some very important Mums in our family and we LOVE a family celebration of any kind, so we still embrace Mothering Sunday, albeit in a subtle, sensitive manner.
At school, while the other children make Mother’s Day cards for their mums, our kids produce a beautiful Mother’s Day card for Tom and I (I’m welling up! Look at this year’s beautiful card below!). That one’s a keeper!!
The school are sensitive to adoptive and single-parent families, so class discussions about mums or Mothering Sunday is carefully constructed to embrace all women within the family – our beautiful Aunty Katie, awesome Aunty Emily and posh Aunty Hannah all get a lovely shout-out.
On Mother’s Day, to keep the boys busy we take them out for breakfast at the hotel down the road, an enormous special treat. Then, we take the kids swimming, or ice-skating, or to a museum in the city. Today we chose the splash pool at the leisure centre in the city. (Tom and I are knackered, it’s a bloody horrendous place but the kids loved it).
Throughout the day we talk about mums, aunties and Daddy’s best friends (all amazing women of course – I would give them all a shout-out here except I’d be worried that I’ll miss somebody out!) and then we usually descend on one of the grandparents’ houses for a cuppa and a chat.
The boys make charming Mothering Sunday cards for their Grandma and Granny, who they absolutely adore. Their Grandma Jenny (my Mum) is a very hands-on grandma who (despite still working full time) is our first port-of-call for respite care, with the help of Grandpa Mark – a retired handyman with loads of energy and love for the kids. Granny Margaret (Tom’s mum) is a senior midwife; still working hard in the local maternity hospital down in Cambridgeshire. She’s a wonderful Granny – resourceful, generous and full of excellent activities for the boys to enjoy.
Lyall and Rich adore their grandmas – and so, to us, Mothering Sunday is all about Grandma and Granny.
Join Tom and me on our adoption adventure over on our blog here – www.daddyanddad.co.uk x