The Other Mother on Mother’s Day!

We are fortunate to have a sea of mothers in our life. Multi-generation Mom’s, two-Mom family friends, social work co-workers, and of course, Mom-bloggers. The exuberance of store clerks, drive through attendants, and other customers offering, “Happy Mother’s Day!” was pretty exciting this weekend. As I waited in line with last minute purchases, I overhead that Hooter’s was offering free food to Mom’s. Imagine that…free food to Mom’s at Hooters! Okay, I’ve never actually been to Hooter’s, but Mothers Day must be a big deal if they are celebrating with special deals.

I was almost carried away by the excitement. Until our second event when my son innocently asked my wife about her biological mother, Granma Sue. Grandma Sue and Sharlene met when she was twenty-five years old. They have one of the best adoption reunion stories and I can’t help but wonder what those twenty-four Mother’s Days were like for her. Did she have people wish her a Happy Mother’s Day? What did she say or more likely, not say in response? Technically, she had a child, and was if fact a mother in one sense of the word.

After fifteen years in human services, witnessing some of the most tragic events an individual can experience, I am aware of innumerable reasons why a mother gives her child(ren) up for adoption. Oftentimes, it’s one of the greatest gifts a parent can give, an opportunity for a different life. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t condone experiences where one or both parents are coerced to give up their child (for a variety of reasons). Rather, I am speaking of those Mom’s who are unable to care for their child(ren) and whether through open, closed, or relative adoption or foster placement, choose a different family for their kid(s).

Sharlene often says (to our little friends who are also adopted), “Adopted children are luckiest because they were chosen!” I’ve never met someone so proud to be adopted, to be chosen. What I offer in the spirit of Mother’s Day is a special appreciation for those Mother’s who offered their children a different life and to the Mother’s that provide(d) for that life!

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