She will be there for the first breath but not for her baby’s first smile or first step. Those special moments will belong to her baby’s adoptive parents. In a loving and courageous decision, the young woman will place her newborn child in the arms of an adoptive family.

We are eternally grateful for the special women who were our daughters’ first mothers and to the members of their families who supported them.  

Her reasons for doing so are as personal, intimate and as unique as she is. Even though she believes adoption is beautiful and life-affirming, she also knows adoption day will be difficult when she experiences the bittersweet moment of placing her baby with a new family and the grieving that will surely follow.

Yet the young woman is not alone. Her mom and dad, her siblings and friends – perhaps the birth father and his family – all those who have supported her through her pregnancy will experience the joy and beauty of birth and the pain of loss which follows as well.

We are eternally grateful for the special women who were our daughters’ first mothers and to the members of their families who supported them.  

Since 1990, the Saturday before Mother’s Day has been recognized as “Birth Mother’s Day” for biological mothers of adoptive children and their families.

This year, please take a few moments to reflect with gratitude and admiration upon those women and their families who have lovingly placed a child with an adoptive family. They may still be in need of comfort and healing or of simply knowing that they are loved for loving so powerfully and painfully.

And they are not alone. Each year approximately 120,000 loving mothers allow new families to be created through adoption, with adopted children making up about 2 percent of all children in households.

The untold story is that every adopted child has two “real” mothers and families. Just as those of us in the pro-life community celebrate and promote healthy adoptions, so too should we celebrate those women and their families who have loved a child so passionately that they placed their child in the care of another mother and her family to continue to love and nurture that child.

The memories of her pregnancy and the birth of her baby will always belong to the birth mother and her family. Many express their feelings by writing a poem or a letter to their child.

As adoptive parents of two wonderful daughters, we are eternally grateful for the special women who were our daughters’ first mothers and to the members of their families who supported them.

Our daughters’ birth mothers undoubtedly anxiously awaited their child’s delivery and, after a tiny little cry, they welcomed the new life which they would soon entrust to our family.

We know how beautiful and precious our little girls were when they came home with us. We can only imagine and admire the love and care which preceded their journey to our home.

We have no doubt that our daughters’ first families still love them and think about them every day. For that, we are particularly grateful and blessed and we honor them on Birth Mother’s Day and every day.

Ovide and Bettie Lamontagne are adopted parents. Ovide serves as General Counsel for Americans United for Life in Washington, D.C. and Bettie is a former high school math teacher.