3 Touching Poems for Birth Mothers

Reading and writing are my two greatest comforts when it comes to coping with placing my baby for adoption. Putting words to the overwhelming love and loss that come with placement is something that is so healing for me. Reading other people’s work helps me to understand that I am not alone in what I feel. Here are three poems for birth morhers that I have come across on my adoption journey that really speak to me as a birth mother.


The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein

Although this poem is not about adoption specifically, it describes the selfless love the giving tree has for the little boy. “And she loved the little boy very, very much. Even more than she loved herself”. Placing a child is a great sacrifice for a birth mother, one we make out of love.

Once there was a tree….

and she loved a little boy.

And everyday the boy would come

and he would gather her leaves

and make them into crowns

and play king of the forest.

He would climb up her trunk

and swing from her branches

and eat apples.

And they would play hide-and-go-seek.

And when he was tired,

he would sleep in her shade.

And the boy loved the tree….

very much.

And the tree was happy.

But time went by.

And the boy grew older.

And the tree was often alone.

Then one day the boy came to the tree

and the tree said, ‘Come, Boy, come and

climb up my trunk and swing from my

branches and eat apples and play in my

shade and be happy.’

‘I am too big to climb and play’ said

the boy. 

‘I want to buy things and have fun.

I want some money?’

‘I’m sorry,’ said the tree, ‘but I

have no money.

I have only leaves and apples.

Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in

the city. Then you will have money and

you will be happy.’

And so the boy climbed up the

tree and gathered her apples

and carried them away.

And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time….

and the tree was sad.

And then one day the boy came back

and the tree shook with joy

and she said, ‘Come, Boy, climb up my trunk

and swing from my branches and be happy.’

‘I am too busy to climb trees,’ said the boy.

‘I want a house to keep me warm,’ he said.

‘I want a wife and I want children,

and so I need a house.

Can you give me a house ?’

‘ I have no house,’ said the tree.

‘The forest is my house,

but you may cut off

my branches and build a

house. Then you will be happy.’


And so the boy cut off her branches

and carried them away

to build his house.

And the tree was happy.

But the boy stayed away for a long time.

And when he came back,

the tree was so happy

she could hardly speak.

‘Come, Boy,’ she whispered,

‘come and play.’

‘I am too old and sad to play,’

said the boy.

‘I want a boat that will

take me far away from here.

Can you give me a boat?’

‘Cut down my trunk

and make a boat,’ said the tree.

‘Then you can sail away…

and be happy.’

And so the boy cut down her trunk

and made a boat and sailed away.

And the tree was happy

… but not really.


And after a long time

the boy came back again.

‘I am sorry, Boy,’

said the tree,’ but I have nothing

left to give you –

My apples are gone.’

‘My teeth are too weak

for apples,’ said the boy.

‘My branches are gone,’

said the tree. ‘ You

cannot swing on them – ‘

‘I am too old to swing

on branches,’ said the boy.

‘My trunk is gone, ‘ said the tree.

‘You cannot climb – ‘

‘I am too tired to climb’ said the boy.

‘I am sorry,’ sighed the tree.

‘I wish that I could give you something….

but I have nothing left.

I am just an old stump.

I am sorry….’

‘I don’t need very much now,’ said the boy.  

‘just a quiet place to sit and rest.

I am very tired.’

‘Well,’ said the tree, straightening

herself up as much as she could,

‘well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting

Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest.’

And the boy did.

And the tree was happy.


Legacy of an Adopted Child, Unknown Author

This poem speaks to the fact that birth mothers are real mothers, just as much as an adoptive mother is. We each play a special role in the child’s life, and we do the best we can for them.

Once there were two women

Who never knew each other.

One you do not remember,

The other you call mother.

Two different lives

Shaped to make yours one.

One became your guiding star,

The other became your sun.

The first gave you life

And the second taught you to live it.

The first gave you a need for love

And the second was there to give it.

One gave you a nationality,

The other gave you a name.

One gave you a seed of talent,

The other gave you an aim.

One gave you emotions,

The other calmed your fears.

One saw your first sweet smile,

The other dried your tears.

One gave you up —

It was all that she could do.

The other prayed for a child

And God led her straight to you.

And now you ask me

Through your tears,

The age-old question

Through the years:

Heredity or environment

Which are you the product of?

Neither, my darling — neither,

Just two different kinds of love.


Love You Baby Boy, by Melody McCaid

This birth mother writes about the joy and pain of open adoption.

You spent the weekend with us,

It was nice….

It was very scary and never wracking, but I got over it.

You didn’t cry when I held you in my arms.

I am glad you didn’t.

And when he held you it looked so natural

I almost cried….

I know you’re doing well with them,

I know that this is for the best,

It just hurts sometimes

in my chest….

I try to fight it

like it doesn’t bother me….

But it does….

But when I saw you this weekend I was so happy

And I thought to myself, “I did the best.”

Are you considering adoption and want to give your child the best life possible? Let us help you find an adoptive family that you love. Visit Adoption.org or call 1-800-ADOPT-98.

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