Whether for a season or a lifetime, a foster mom is a mom. Many foster moms provide a temporary safe and loving environment for a child as their biological parents work to get better. Other moms provide eventual permanency through adoption. Coaches, teachers, and mentors may also serve as a mother figure for a child in foster care.
This Mother’s Day, read what four foster moms have to say about the importance of the holiday.
Grief and Celebration All At Once
Mother’s Day is always a neat thing for me, but it’s always a hard thing for me. Having lost five pregnancies, there was one of those pregnancies that we lost right before Mother’s Day, and that was very hard.
So I know what it’s like to have Mother’s Days without faces that are supposed to be there. I know what it’s like to have holidays and birthdays without those faces there that should have been there. And so I think that gave me compassion [for the biological mother of my sons.] Because I wouldn’t be their mom without their mom.
And I know that in her decision to relinquish them… I don’t take that lightly. To me, that that’s a really big deal.
So Mother’s Day is a happy thing for me, but it’s also a grieving thing because I know that for me to be [my children’s] mom means that another woman lost something. Yet she was willing to give up something really important [and] say that she knew that she wasn’t making good choices at the time and that she knew she needed to become healthier and better herself. And so she was willing to let go of her kids [in order] to do that.
—Bethany, foster and adoptive mom
Family is Who You Choose
What I have learned not being a mother of my own children but being a mother to someone else’s child is that family is who you choose to have as family. I’ve learned that a mother is someone that steps up, who is a cheerleader, who is a mentor, who can love someone [who] is the hardest one to love.
—Jayme, foster and respite mom
Honoring Biological Mothers
Mostly on Mother’s Day, we’re focusing on the birth mom and how we can show her honor and how we can support her. We’ve had a couple of placements that have reunified with their biological family. And it’s such a picture of redemption. True redemption is when the mom is able to work on the steps that she’s been given by the state and then be able to be truly reunified with her baby.
—Amy, foster mom
Find Support and Ask For Help
I would say if you’re just starting out your [foster or adoption] journey, know that you’re not alone. It can be very lonely. For us, being in a small town, we didn’t have a lot of resources that you might have in a larger town. And even if you’re in a larger town, the sphere of influence that you live in may not have other people who are fostering or adopting.
But you’re not alone. Find your group. Find your people, whatever that looks like. There are so many resources out there.
And I would also suggest to ask for help. It’s okay to ask for help.
It’s okay to not know everything and not be everything because there are other people who can also be positive influences in your kid’s life, outside of [you] being their foster parents. There are other people who are willing to pour into your kid’s life and your life as well.
—Emily, foster and adoptive mom
How to Support a Foster/Adoptive Mom on Mother’s Day
Do you know a woman in your life who fills the role of “mom” without enough recognition? It may be easy to overlook a foster mother on Mother’s Day, but all kinds of mothers deserves to be celebrated. This Mother’s Day, show a foster mom that she is seen and loved through one of the following:
- Drop off flowers on her doorstep
- Call her to ask how you can be a blessing
- Arrange a meal delivery on a night that works for her
- Offer to babysit so she can have time to herself
- Tackle some chores around her house
- Run errands such as grocery shopping or returning books to the library
Learn More and Get Involved
If you have seen foster or adoptive mothers in your community and wonder how you can get involved, start by learning about the child welfare system. Not everyone is called to foster or adopt, but everyone can do something. Learn more about foster care at WaitNoMore.org.
If you are interested in advocating for children, learn about how to become a court appointed special advocate. One of the best ways to help a foster family is by offering babysitting. Educate yourself about how to become certified as a respite provider.
Finally, remain in prayer about how God wants to use you to impact vulnerable children and their families.