What is a Mother?

The first definition of a mother in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is 1. a female parent.

A lot people in the – let’s call it – “anti- adoption” world feel that a mother is solely the woman who gave birth to a baby. I feel they couldn’t be any more wrong. Loving someone with all you have unconditionally, sheltering them, providing for them – how can that not be a mother as well? 
Take me, for example. I was brought into this world by a young 18-year-old girl who did what she thought was best for me and made that selfless and brave act to place me for adoption. She loved me unconditionally. She never forgot about me. She never stopped loving me. She is my birth mother. 
Since I was six months old another woman cared for me, wiped my tears, came to all of my games, supported my every dream and loves me unconditionally. She is my mother. Did she physically give birth to me? No, but that does not take away her title whatsoever. This misconception needs to change.
I am a mother. The first time I became a mother I was 21 years old and a junior in college. I had an unplanned pregnancy. I decided to place my daughter for adoption a few months into my pregnancy. I carried her for 9 months. As she grew inside me, so did my love for her. I knew it was the right choice for her. I placed her in her mothers arms the minute she was born. I always felt she was mine to carry for that short time and bring into the world for the amazing eternal family she has now. I love her unconditionally and did what I thought was best for her. 
So yes I gave birth to her. I am her birth mother. She will always be a part of me, but her mother is R! She was there when she was born, she was the one who comforted her those late nights, T’s first word “mama” was for R, not me. She plays dress up with her, reads her bedtime books, and loves her unconditionally. Did she give birth to her? No, but she is her mother! 
I was then blessed to become a mother again when I was 24. There is no greater calling on this earth than to be a mother. My twins mean everything to me. A mother equals love! As a mother you put your needs before your own. I have seen great examples of that since the day I was born and I am beyond grateful for the wonderful mothers in my life. Without you, I am nothing.

One last point I would like to make. I have many amazing women in my life, and they wish nothing more than to have their own family. In many cases, it is just medically not possible. So they look towards adoption. Those selfless acts of other mothers placing their baby in another woman’s arms to raise and love them are remarkable and brave. If it were not for birth mothers some women could not become mothers at all. 
So is that adoptive mother that has had a baby from birth or that teen who now has a loving, stable home anything less than a mother? I think not! Who said that love has to be constricted to “one mother”? Love should be multiplied, shared, passed on, not divided. A mother has many definitions but for certain, it is not only for the women that carry and give birth. I am a mother and proud of it.
– Jori Reid

2 Responses to “What is a Mother?”

  1. Anonymous
    May 11, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Jori, How the Lord loves you and yours! You are a glowing example of LOVE. giving without hope of reward, but it came! I’m excited that your next baby will be a treasured boy, although I know that you and Nate would welcome any child.

  2. November 3, 2013 at 11:29 am #

    Love this post. I couldn’t agree more with what Jori said. Thank you for sharing.