You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… (Psalm 30:11). 

Tomorrow, many women will celebrate how — through the arrival of a child, that glorious gain that’s both beautifully life-changing and heart-enlarging (and yes, sometimes excruciatingly heart-wrenching) — a new name was given to them.

It’s a simple word, spoken in many languages.
Ma, Mai, Mëmë, Ana, Matka, Mäe, Majka, Matre, Mama, Aiti, Moeder, Nai, Manman, Daya, Mater, Maire, Madar, Omm, Matri, Amma and Eje, just to name a handful.

With the addition of a child, a woman goes from “executive” or “minister” or “teacher” or “nurse” — yes, even “homeless” — to “Mom” that day she has her first child.

But for those like me who received that name through the miracle of adoption, my gain is another’s loss — even if placing is, for her, the best option.
Don’t be fooled. Undoubtedly, her decision isn’t easy. Isn’t painless. Doesn’t come without a price — to her heart, at the very least. No — it absolutely cost her a piece of it. There’s just no way around that. It always does.

And in the economy of adoption, that piece of her heart becomes another’s priceless treasure — filling up a space in hers that has been waiting… hoping… longing. Her gain is indeed another’s loss.

With Ian, my name went from “Mo” (which I’d been called for many years) to “Mom” in a moment. (What a difference 6 lbs. / 4 oz and 18 inches make! What magnitude one little “m” makes!) And Ian, Jacob and Allie make me a “Mom” each and every day. Because it’s more than a name — it’s a role, a responsibility and, for me, a wonderful delight!

But for three young women named Cindy, Michelle and Jenna, the day they made me “Mom,” they, too, each received a new name.
Today, I celebrate them. I thank them, and I hold them in my heart, as I hold and cherish the three “Pieces” that came from theirs, which help make mine more complete.

Happy ‘Birthmother’s’ Day to three beautiful women!
I see you in my children’s smiles, hear you in their laughter and feel you in their touch. Thank you for helping make my life more beautiful. Thank you for giving me the honor of wearing the most glorious name of all — Mom!

I love you each so much!

Both his mothers’ love — our Ian with his birthmom Cindy.
With Jacob’s birthmom Michelle at his high school graduation in June 2018.
Our Allie and her birthmom Jenna.