Today (Saturday) is Birthmother's Day!
While I am sure husbands and kids around the world are working hard today to make sure they bless the socks of their moms tomorrow, it is worth noting that today is special, as well.
More than twenty years ago in the pacific northwest, a support group of women who had given their babies up for adoption started acknowledging the Saturday before Mother's Day as Birthmother's Day. Their goal was to encourage these women and acknowledge their significant sacrifice as moms. You can read more about it here.
You can know it's legit since Hallmark has started creating cards for the day.
I posted something related to this last year before Mother's Day. it's worth posting again, just to help us to remember, to appreciate, and to honor these moms.
The Unsung Heroes of Motherhood
With Mother’s Day upon us and everyone scrambling to appreciate their moms and wives, I wanted to take just a few moments to honor some heroic moms who are often overlooked on this special day.
Though their children are alive and well, these mothers will not get many blessings this Sunday. They will not be served breakfast in bed. They will probably not have gifts to open. The children they carried for nine months will not climb into their laps and shower them with hugs and kisses of appreciation.
Their children won’t be with them because, through various circumstances, they chose adoption. These brave moms made the difficult decision to let someone else raise their child. So, while their daily lives may not be filled with the duties of motherhood, these women should be honored on Mother’s Day.
This is very personal for me. Because my wife and I are in an open adoption with our daughter, we have much to be grateful for. Every day we are thankful for our daughter’s birth mom and the precious life she placed in our trust.
We know that Mother’s Day is probably very difficult for her.
The way I see it, birth moms who choose adoption for their children have a very unique place in the broader world of motherhood. Consider this:
All moms sacrifice. Selflessness is built into the framework of motherhood in every culture of the world. But a birth mom demonstrates the ultimate in sacrifice by giving up her right to raise her child. She gives, in the best interest of her child, expecting (and usually getting) nothing in return.
All moms love. They give and receive love in a million ways with their time and energy and through the unending bombardment of hugs, kisses, and life-giving words. But a birth mom must love from afar. She loves in her heart and through her memories of her pregnancy. Rarely does she get to express her affection in a way that the child can know just how much she loves him.
All moms pray. Every mother intercedes for her child as she watches the challenges, conflicts, and stages he goes through. But a birth mom prays with a measure of faith that most parents would never understand. Because she does not know all the details of her child’s life, she must pray with a tremendous confidence in God’s sovereign will. Where many moms struggle with trusting God while still clinging to control, a birth mom must pray while trusting that God is ultimately in control.
All moms care. One of the key roles of a mother is to care for the ongoing, daily needs of her children. But a birth mom cares enough to know that she is unable to offer the best life for her child. So she gives her child to someone else, caring so much that she is willing to let her child grow up knowing someone else as his “mommy.”
But this unsung hero of Mother’s Day is still very much a “mom.” Though she typically goes unnoticed and unmentioned, she deserves our honor on Mother’s Day.
She is the 16 year old girl who was duped into thinking that he loved her. He took her innocence and left her with a life growing inside her womb.
She is the woman from the third-world nation whose cultural challenges or economic obstacles made an orphanage seem like the only reasonable option.
She is the college honor student who faced the honest truth that she was unable to fully commit herself to motherhood.
She is the young, underprivileged minority, barely able to care for herself, much less someone else.
She is the single mother who is already overwhelmed with (yet devoted to) one child, and who knows that she isn’t prepared for a second.
While you may not be able to send a Mother’s Day card to these precious moms, you can still praise God for them. You can be thankful that they have loved their children in a powerful way, clearly modeling the sacrificial love of our Savior.
You can celebrate the reality that they chose life over death. In a culture that carelessly takes the lives of the unborn, these heroes chose a difficult path full of unknowns instead of a quick conclusion to their pregnancies. That, in and of itself, is reason enough that these moms should be honored on Mother’s Day.
So as you cherish your mothers on Sunday…as you pamper them with affection, gifts, and love…take a few moments to say a prayer of thanks and blessing for the many birth moms out there. If you know of women who have given children up for adoption in the past, give them a call or write a note. These moms sacrifice, love, pray, and care with the best of them. But they do so with empty arms and with emotion that passionately goes out but that is rarely returned.
These moms are truly the unsung heroes of motherhood. May God never allow us to forget about them.