Open Adoption and Who Gets to be the Mom on Mother’s Day

Today’s guest post is brought to you by Ashley Glick, one of the bravest people I know. Four years ago, after learning she was pregnant, she made the difficult decision to find adoptive parents for her child. Amber and Nate would fill this role for her, adopting her son B. Today she writes about the struggle to find a way to celebrate Mother’s Day in their open adoption.

Mother’s Day is a weird one in the adoption world. Like so many adoption topics, there is a fine line between black and white, scary and comfortable, giving and taking. It has taken Amber and I four years worth of balancing on the line for us to land in our own, unique spot. We have both reached a place in our hearts that is very matter of fact.

Amber is B’s Mom. I am B’s Birthmom. Even though each title holds a different meaning, the word “Mom” is still there. So of course, on Mother’s Day we celebrate the differences in the titles we hold in his little world. The list of similarities and differences is endless, but the most important is our unconditional love for B. He is the center.

I have come this far to understand that my own selfish desires have to take the back seat for my sanity, for Amber’s sanity, and most importantly for B’s stability. I prayed often that I would be able to fully hand over my Motherly instincts. This is so important to me, all I want is for B to grow up in a world full of love, functioning relationships, and a sturdy structure of support. I expected the hardships, anger, and frustration. But I wasn’t expecting Amber. Our talk on Mother’s Day melted my heart. For her to tell me that I am very much included in this holiday with her was beyond my wildest dreams.

I was fully prepared to watch from the sidelines and cheer her on with this special holiday. By sliding over and making room for me she gave back a small sliver of my heart that I handed over four years ago. Her greatest dreams and desires in life are to be a mother. I know how much she treasures her role. For her to honor me is redeeming, sacrificial, and shows her love for B. What else do you need in a mother?

Looking back on my fears and anxiety about Mother’s Day I have to laugh a little. It’s such a relief to not dread this holiday, but to celebrate it and be celebrated. I was determined to make Amber feel 100% B’s Mom which meant Mother’s Day would have to be all about her. Of course this left me devastated, but I wanted her to feel secure in her role. This past Mother’s Day we loved each other not only for who we are in B’s life, but for who we are in each other’s lives. God has sneaky ways of redeeming the fears and hurt that we lay at his feet.

As weird as it sounds Amber is a close friend, a mentor, and my son’s mom. When you can find a balance, establish roles, and ignore your selfish desires things start to fall in place. You can put aside the blurry line and actually get to know and love the person on the other side.

Don’t be fooled. We don’t always skip off into the sunset holding hands and gazing into each others’ eyes. But we are learning together. We always make these choices with B in the center. So it’s a breath of fresh air when something is established and we can focus on each other for once. Her Mother’s Day gift of honoring me cements the fact that she is selfless, loving, and perfect for B.

Please come back next week to hear Amber’s story. If you’d like to submit a post telling the story of a poignant moment that occurred during adoption or foster care, please email your 500-word submission to Thanks!

Prior adoption and foster care posts include:

The Problem With Permanent Marker – A Foster Care Story With Jeffrey Lane
Fear and an Open Adoption – Adoption Stories With Rebecca Wenrich
I Saw Our New Son and the Voice Said, “Run Away” – Adoption Stories With Kim Van Brunt

Checking ‘Yes’ to Everything: Adoption Stories With Sonya Judkins

Because Someone Has To: Adoption Stories With Shar Halvorsen
Momma For a Moment: A Foster Care Story, With Tamara Out Loud

8 Replies to “Open Adoption and Who Gets to be the Mom on Mother’s Day”

  1. Thank you for sharing, Ashley! Our birthmom is in TX, so we don’t get together like you and Amber. I hope she has at least some of the same feelings and perspectives as you do. It’s tricky figuring out whose role is what, but she is so special to us, as I know you are to Amber and Nate. Blessings!

  2. Great to read a post from you here, Ashley!
    Obviously Amber has a heart of gold with her sensitivity in realizing how important it would be to you to be included in B’s Mother’s Day.
    So you two are a perfect fit to share the role of mother in B’s life, because you obviously also have a heart of gold and are also sensitive because you were willing to allow her have Mother’s Day! Wishing both of you the best on Mother’s Day and everyday as individuals and as B’s mothers!

  3. Such a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing your heart and your struggles and fears and triumphs so candidly. A really wonderful perspective and a amazing example of God’s grace and unfailing love.

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