Today is Mother’s Day. It’s the day we set aside to celebrate moms for all the hard work and loving attention they give to their children throughout the year. While it is a day of celebration and honor, it can be a day of conflicting emotions for some of us.
Ten years ago I became a mom for the first time. A foster mom that is. Just a month or so before Mother’s Day I met the most beautiful baby girl I had ever laid eyes on. I had no idea how long she would be with me, or how quickly I would fall in love with her. I had no idea if I would see her first birthday, watch her take her first steps, or hear her say mama. I just knew I would lover her for however long God gave her to me.
As a foster mom, I expected that I would be mad at the birth family for not taking care of their kids. I expected to hear stories of drug usage, abuse, and neglect. I expected to find compassion for the kids, not the family who couldn’t take care of them.
But I remember the first time I met my sweet daughter’s birth mom. She was young and scared and she was grateful to me for taking care of her baby, yet she wanted to do it herself. She had never been a mom before and had no idea what to do. I got to show her how to be a mom. I got to teach her how to care for a fragile baby, and one day I stood by her side as she signed papers to relinquish her parental rights. Her love for this sweet baby led her to a selfless decision. I never expected how much I would come to love my daughter’s birth mom.
Mother’s Day can be a bittersweet day for adoptive and foster moms. We have to share our day with another mom and accept that we are not the only one our kids are thinking about today. But we can also choose to embrace the privilege of sharing this day with her
Our kids may not talk about her much, but they think about her often. They may not remember her, but she still remembers them. She may not have raised them, but she will always be the one who gave them life. She will always be a part of them, and we will always share our Mother’s Day with her.