I remember a woman telling me once how much she hated Mother’s Day.  She wasn’t a mother, but wanted to be, and the day was a reminder of that fact. She dreaded going to church.

I wondered how many other women felt that way–women who were either single or childless and hadn’t planned on not being a mother.  Was this day hard for them too? Did they hide the pain beneath the mask of everything is okay?

Then I saw the “motherless women”–the ones who lost mothers and had no one to visit or celebrate.  Even when these women were the ones being celebrated, their happiness was overshadowed by this void in their life.


All of these women made me realize that there’s a group of people who struggle through  Mother’s Day.  They don’t want to celebrate, but would rather grieve their loss in solitude and quiet. Some of them do.  The rest drag their heavy hearts to church and paste a smile on their face.  It’s not that they don’t want to celebrate mothers, it’s that the word “mother” has so many emotional ties—of who we want to be, of where we came from, and ultimately what motherhood means to us.


Last year was my first Mother’s Day without my son.  I didn’t think anyone would remember this, but I had several women say they were thinking of me.  They hadn’t forgotten.  That is the only thing I remember about Mother’s Day 2013.  I wasn’t forgotten.

So as we buy cards and flowers and see mothers on Sunday, we need to remember the wounded ones, the hurting ones, the grieving ones.  The world is filled with women on Mother’s Day who need to hear these words:

You are not forgotten.  Your hurt is not overlooked.


Whether we are mothers or not, whether our mothers are living or not, whether our mothers are broken or whole, we all need Christ’s grace, his love to transform these mangled hearts and lives.  He remembers us.

If only we could gather together all these broken hearts together and remind ourselves:

There is a sisterhood of broken women who struggle through the celebrations, but whose pain is remembered by the One who suffered and was broken himself. 

We are broken but strong.

On this Mother’s Day, we are not forgotten.


(Thanks to Heather Bleeke Photography for the pictures and to know my son is not forgotten either.)


6 Comments on When it’s hard to get through Mother’s Day

  1. Sara, you never cease to amaze me with your insight of life!!! I was hit by so many different angles: missing my own mom as well as my mother-in-law. Remembering the days when I so badly ached to have a child. Being blessed by a biological and 4 adopted kids. Prayers answered. Hearts broken. Life. Thanks for helping me to realize this and keep it in perspective!!! ((HUGS)) to you, one of the most incredible mom’s I have ever known!!! HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

    • Thanks Deanna. I think you are an awesome mom–you inspire me with your zest for life and for others. And you are such a fun person–that is so contagious and such a good reminder that I need to break out of mom-mode and just make fun, crazy memories with my daughter.

  2. i love seeing these pictures of silas and you, we are all mothers to someone, if we are single. b/c mothering requires loving and caring for others and i believe woman have been given a special gift in that department. happy mothers day to you sara, love you

  3. I remember the first Mother’s Day after I gave my son up for adoption. He was born at the end of March and only 6 wks had passed before Mother’s Day. I sat in the church pew as other women given a carnation and cried silently. Nobody comforted me, nobody said they were thinking of me and the sacrifice I had made, afterall, women who give thier children up don’t have a right to a connection. . .or so I was told later by a church member.

    • Rebecca, I’m so sorry for what happened. Some people can be so insensitive in the way they deal with birthmothers’ feelings or the things they say. I wonder how people can be so callous? Can they really not put themselves in that person’s shoes? Weeks ago I found an email from our adoption agency that addresses this same issue:
      “For many birthmother’s, mother’s day is a very difficult time for them. For birthmothers, that church service can be awkward and very difficult. They do not know if they should stand or stay seated. They may cry tears longing to be recognized as a mother. Some may not even go to church that Sunday to avoid the pain.”
      I found this email as I was cleaning out my inbox. It was from several years ago (yes, I’m not good at cleaning out my inbox), and it reminded me what a difficult day Mother’s day can be for so many people, the childless, the single woman, the woman grieving her mom, the birthmother. So. much. hurt.
      Anyway, thanks for sharing your story. Perhaps you should write down some of these stories? I have tried over the years to educate people about adoption since there are so many people who seem misinformed. One of my goals has always been to show birthmothers as the brave, strong women that they are. That message would come so powerfully from you.

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