Mother's Day for the (Foster + Adoptive) Mothers

Mother's Day for the (Foster + Adoptive) Mothers

Dear Mother,

Happy Mother’s Day. It’s there in the greeting: “happy.” The description of how you’re “meant” to feel, what this day “should” be. But maybe, for you, this day isn’t only, just happy.

This thing that we do is beautiful and broken, joy-filled and heartbreaking. It can feel like work and like calling. It can seem deeply meaningful and like “what’s even the point.” Being a foster mother is ever, always more than one thing at once. Which means this “happy” day of celebration–Mother’s Day–is the same. For us–for the foster moms, the adoptive mothers–Mother’s Day doesn’t exist without brokenness and loss and a tangle of emotions.

But the “mixed bag” of this day doesn’t negate what is true: You deserve a day to be celebrated. What you do, it is worthy of honor. Should be acknowledged. Deserves gratitude.

So, to each of you, I say: Happy Mother’s Day.

To the women who’s said goodbye to a beloved child and carries heartbreak through the celebration...

To the woman who’s chosen to enter and reorient a child’s life forever, committing to share love and last names, no matter what may come…

To woman who’s never experienced pregnancy or birth but is a mother just the same...

To the woman whose child doesn’t call you by the name “mother,” though you have, in every sense, stepped into that role...

To the woman who’s celebrating a child’s recent or soon-to-come reunion with family and feels both joy and sorrow, victory and loss...

To the woman whose “maybe-forever” child is hanging in the balance of a broken system, the hands of a flawed judge....

To the woman who carries fear for her come-and-gone child’s future and fate...

To the woman who feels such sorrow for her child’s mother, that she can hardly feel happy for herself...

To the woman who holds guilt that she couldn’t do enough, couldn’t shift a child’s story or change the ending...

To the woman who may receive no gratitude or celebration, as her children struggle through this “happy day” themselves...

To the woman who has stepped into a child’s life and story and heart. Who has decided to love, when she had no reason to have to. Who has adopted the role of mother, for a short time or forever...

To every foster and adoptive mother, I say to you: Happy Mother’s Day.


Back + Forth Journal: Building a Relationship with Biological Parents

Back + Forth Journal: Building a Relationship with Biological Parents

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