Writers make their living putting feelings, experiences and perspectives into words, but I don’t know if there’s anything more difficult for me than trying to capture my thoughts about birth mothers, three of them especially.

By “birth mother,” I’m referring to women who carry and deliver a baby, and then decide to make an adoption plan for their child.

Evolution of Adoption

Technically speaking, any woman who gives birth to a baby is one, but the terms “birth parent,” “birth mother” and “birth father” were popularized in the 1970s and used regularly during a time of significant adoption reform.

Adoption has evolved over the years, both in tradition and terminology. We’ve gone from “Orphan Trains” to orphanages to adoption agencies.

Once secretive, it now tends to be quite public. Today, there are far more “open” adoptions than “closed” ones. In fact, 90% of adoptions today are either open or semi-open, meaning there is an ongoing relationship between birth parents and adoptive parents (open) or some intermediatory helping relay information between both parties (closed).

A Special Day

This coming Saturday – May 11th – is “National Birth Parent Day,” an annual event dating back to 1990. It was established to acknowledge and celebrate those who resist culture’s push for abortion and instead embrace adoption.

In our family, we celebrate three birth mothers – Julianna, Joli and Jennifer. Having given birth to our three sons, we talk about them a lot – and honor and laud them not just on the Saturday before Mother’s Day each year.

Each of these women are heroes to us. We don’t know them all equally, but because we love, adore and cherish their sons, we feel a special bond with them even across many miles and years.

 The Sacrifice

It’s difficult for people unfamiliar with an adoption story to fully appreciate the sacrifice birth mothers make when deciding to place their child in the arms of another family.

There is the challenge of the pregnancy, an ordeal that women endure because they know they’ll eventually enjoy the thrill and joy of their child being placed in their arms. Birth mothers might get to experience an initial meeting, but it’s very brief and a matter of maybe days not years.

Entrusting your child into the care of another family is a lot harder than it may sound. We’ve seen the tears and have felt the grief. We think about these remarkable and loving women all the time – and we’re quite sure they think about their biological child every day.

 The Way to Pray

Birth mothers should be championed and celebrated. They’re putting their children before their emotions, and even their own hopes and dreams. One of our child’s birth mothers said to us, “I always knew I could be a mother, but I also knew I couldn’t be a father, too. That’s why I chose you.”

One birth mother wrote in a poem, “Sometimes in my dreams, I think I see his face. Blond hair and big blue eyes, a pain that time cannot erase.”

Like their children, birth mothers age and perspectives evolve over the years, too. The sting may soften with time. One of our son’s birthmothers shared with us how pleased she is with her decision, and how grateful she is that her biological son is part of our family. Of course, the feelings are mutual, along with us being humbled beyond explanation.

If we’re serious about saving lives, and if we’re since sincere about the sacredness of life, birth mothers deserve to be cheered for their courage, bravery, selflessness and sacrificial love.


Image from Shutterstock.