Birth Mother’s Day: How One Gilbert Family Celebrates and Acknowledges the Sacrifice of the Mom who Birthed their Youngest Two


There is another day for mothers that very few know about and even less understand. It’s called Birth Mother’s Day and it’s hard to find even via Google, but it falls the Saturday before Mother’s Day each year.

It doesn’t surprise me that the day is so unknown to many. Birth Mother’s Day is talking about a very hard thing. It’s complicated and filled with sadness. We celebrate adoptions, but we need to recognize that in order to celebrate the sweetness of that day, we have to acknowledge the loss that occurred.

We didn’t set out to be adoptive parents. We became foster parents with the intention of building bridges for families and being a safe place in between time. I won’t lie though the minute our son landed in my arms he felt all mine. 

And a few months later when we met our daughter in the hospital (they asked us just 24 hours before if we could bring her into our home) I sobbed just looking at her. It felt like my heart cracked open. This tiny baby just lost her mama. I got to take her home and hold her and feed her and rock her…and her birth mama had to go home with empty arms and aching breasts and a broken heart. This wasn’t joyous. This was hard. And my heart still aches knowing my son and daughter stories started with brokenness. 

The story is long and bumpy, but in the end we heard their birth mother say on the stand in testimony during the adoption process ,through shaking hands and a shaky voice, that the kids are best with us. Again my heart had this mix of joy and absolute heart break. In a perfect world they would be best with their birth parents. But it isn’t perfect. Not by a long shot. We are the safest option and we are joyful to be that for them; We cannot imagine a moment in our lives without our youngest two. 

I can’t go without recognizing the woman who carried them in her womb. The woman who felt them kick and flip and gave her heartburn and changed her body forever. Who loved them enough to know we were safest for them. 

For us to not acknowledge her would be our greatest disservice to our children. She is not a dirty secret. She is not someone whose life we file in a locked cabinet and we pray they never open. She is flesh and love and body and heart. She loved and deserves to be loved. Her day should be acknowledged and sweetly known. 

So as we do each year, we’ll make cards and send photos and tell her the things about her that make her special to us. We will acknowledge that her choosing life for them and honoring the truth for them to be safe is never taken for granted. It’s a complicated day. It’s a complicated story. But our best choice is to honor and love and say thank you.


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