A wonderfully intimate and personal holiday being celebrated by millions can also be a day that serves as a reminder of someone’s grief, or an awkward day full of difficult decisions and strong emotions. The one constant for all of us is this: we all have a mother. Whether we know and were raised by our birth mother, have an adopted or foster mom, or hold a special place in our hearts for a woman who invested in our life and passed on wisdom and love, each of us knows someone who takes that place on Mother’s Day.
This holiday, which was created to praise the name and work of mothers in our lives, was petitioned by Anna Jarvis about 100 years ago in response to the many sacrifices her own mother made for her family. Jarvis celebrated her own mother, yet remained childless during her lifetime. However, I can’t help but imagine that she offered to share insight or spend time with children, knowing how much she valued the importance of those role models in her own life. Being a mother does not stop with DNA. A mother encompasses that and so much more.
Along with the custodial mothers we often celebrate on Mother’s Day, we are also reminded of the women whose sacrifices many times go unnoticed — but who deserve all the pomp and circumstance that we show this holiday. One day prior to Mother’s Day is a lesser-known holiday: Birth Mother’s Day. Not only can we show our appreciation to mothers who are a very present part of a child’s life, but also to the many women who have made selfless and courageous decisions to share in the role of motherhood by placing their child for adoption. Whether you choose to celebrate them on Mother’s Day, Birth Mother’s Day or both, these mothers should also be included in our notes of appreciation, our thankful prayers, and recipients of our admiration.
Our family stands ready and waiting in the middle of our adoption process. We have two daughters and are eagerly excited about the addition of another baby through adoption when God uses us to fulfill this role. For Mother’s Day, we find it important to remember our own mothers, grandmothers, and influential women who have played vital roles in our lives. However, we also see the upcoming holiday with a new perspective and renewed sense of gratitude for the woman who will someday share in bringing up the child we welcome into our family. The decisions a birth mother makes are of the highest regard and beyond our deepest understanding. We will share with her in shaping a future and extending love to a child.
Our hope is that, when we receive an adoption opportunity and are presented with the chance to develop a relationship with a birth mother, she always feels loved and celebrated for her strength because she too is a mom. Whether we call or visit her, send cards and pictures, or show our appreciation with her favorite flowers, we pray that she knows what an important role she has as a mother.
When choosing to be grateful for the mother(s) in your life, no matter their relationship or biological connection, be intentional in making them feel cherished for whatever specific role they have played. If you observe Birth Mother’s Day or Mother’s Day or just choose to set your own special date to commemorate the sacrifices of a mom, honor her particular role in your life or the life of your child. Our world would be out of balance without the ones who take on the roles as mom.
Jill is a 32-year-old wife and mom. She has been married to her husband, Brannon, for eight years and has 5-year-old and 1-year-old daughters. Jill and her husband are currently in the adoption process to bring another baby into their home. Jill lives in a small community in Kentucky. She has her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Spanish and obtained her Master’s degree in Christian Ministries. Jill’s passions are her faith, her family, writing, playing sports, and eating good food.