Why I Honor My Kids' Birth Mothers Every Mother's Day

Every May, Mother’s Day arrives. Advertisements tell us that our deepest desires beckon our kids and partners to gift us flowers, homemade cards, promises of breakfast in bed, and cheesy (but adorable) mom jewelry. For one day, our motherhood role is universally glorified and celebrated.

I always knew I wanted to join the ranks of motherhood. I started babysitting when I was 12 years old. I eventually also worked in a daycare and as a nanny. I taught a children’s Sunday school class at my church for several years while I attended college. I considered becoming a preschool teacher, but instead wound up teaching college-level writing.

When my husband and I got married in our early twenties, we knew we wanted to become parents — but we had goals. I was earning my graduate degree while teaching, and he was climbing the corporate ladder. A visit to the emergency room changed everything for us. I was breathless, underweight, and shaking. Within an hour, I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes and carted off to the ICU.

During my five-day hospital stay, the hospital sent a diabetes nurse educator to teach me and my husband how to inject insulin, test my blood sugar, and count carbohydrates. She noticed my disinterest. I was curled up in the fetal position, covered in bruises, and depressed. Being the wise person that she was, she shifted topics, asking us if we planned to have children in the future.

As she discussed how a diabetic could have a healthy pregnancy, one word popped into my mind. I knew, without any doubt, that we were going to adopt.

During the next few years, as my health stabilized, we began gathering information on adoption. Then we had a home study done — interviews, background checks, home inspection, and more — all required in order to adopt. We attended trainings, met with others with adoption experience, and prepared a nursery. Then we waited, and waited, and waited.

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