Are you my mother?

We all remember reading the children’s book Are You My Mother? and laughing at the comedy in the confused baby bird trying to find his mother.  Unfortunately, searching for a mother is the reality for kids in foster care, and this Sunday is another painful reminder of this. They have been removed from their home in an effort to protect their safety, but the cost of a safer life is sometimes a lonely life.  Read below to hear from Betty, a young adult who spent years in foster care searching for a mother before finally being adopted.

Sunday is Mother’s Day! Children and parents will be heading off to church, having Sunday brunch, planting in the garden and just spoiling mother by bringing breakfast in bed. What about the 26,000 of the 463,000 children in foster care nationwide who age out of foster care to live on their own? How do they celebrate Mother’s Day?  For those fortunate enough, the day is spent with the “family” they have built for themselves.  However, many are not fortunate and this May 9th will be a day of longing for that essential connection.

Sunday marks my 8th anniversary spending Mother’s Day with my adoptive mom; and the 8th year since the death of my biological mother. Because of this, Mother’s Day is a very special day to me. I take the time to thank my biological mother for bringing me into this world and spoil the mother I now have. Mom and I love to go shopping, go out to eat, spend a day here and there in New York, and listen to Christmas music in the car together when we’re feeling down.  We volunteer together or just hang out and chat about life when we miss each other. I never look at my adoptive mom as my “adoptive” mom, but rather as my mother I always had. It’s funny how fast my mom and I bonded when I first moved in. I never had anyone to read books to me, take care of me when sick, or just spend time with. So at the age of 14, I was reading Dr. Seuss books, learning how to cook, and learning how to be a regular kid.

This Mother’s Day I’m going to go visit my biological mother’s grave and plant sweet pea flowers in honor of her for bringing me into life. My mom would always call me her little sweet pea and I would hate it. Now that I’m older, I love sweet peas flowers and buy the scent at Bath & Body Works; and it always gives me sweet memories of her. The second portion of the day will be spent with the best mother in the world in my eyes. I won’t spoil the surprise I have in store for her, but I can tell you no matter how we spend the day, it will be like any other mother and daughter; and I’m grateful to have her in my life.

Betty with her family

For children who are displaced from their biological family, Mother’s Day is about the big things and also about the little things in between it all. Thank you to all you moms out there. Happy Mother’s Day!!!!

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The Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes and to eliminating the barriers that hinder these children from realizing their basic right of a family.

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