What’s Mother’s Day Really Like for a Kid Without a Mom?

I have no idea where my mom lives.

How do you wish your mom a happy Mother’s Day when you have no idea where she lives? Why did she decide that chasing a fourth marriage was more important than me?

For so many kids out there, the word “mother” can be a painful one.

I remember leaving home at 17, in tears, with a garbage bag full of clothes. I didn’t want a later curfew. I didn’t want to drink. I just wanted to get along with my mom, and at that point, it seemed impossible.

After several weeks of sleeping in my car and going back and forth among friends’ houses, I met Mary—a foster mom with a spare bedroom who refused to listen to culture or anyone else who advised her against letting a 17-year-old boy live in her home.

It would have been easy to feel bad for me at this point, but you don’t know Mary. I can’t remember her not smiling. I don’t remember a day when there wasn’t Mountain Dew in the fridge because she knew it was my favorite soda.

I’ll never forget what she did for me. She took a chance. Who could have imagined the impact that chance would have?

I was the problem child. I was the kid who teachers stayed late to write an extra lesson plan so I wouldn’t be left behind. I was the statistic that culture says is hopeless. But Mary didn’t care about statistics.

Because of Mary, I went on to have an incredible career and am now the Marketing Director of a large non-profit. I just bought my first home and am taking classes to foster. Apparently single guys don’t become foster parents very often, but not many single guys have a mom like Mary. That’s the thing about people like her—you can’t just meet them and not be forever changed. And now? I can’t help but love others… simply because of how much she loved me.

And you can be part of a story like mine. By caring for a woman facing an abortion, you can, in a sense, be a mom to her. You can change lives in a way that cannot be ignored.

I may not have a biological mom to talk to on May 14th, but I have so many women who refused to give up on me and made me who I am today.

There was nothing I could do that would make Mary not love me, and now I know, that’s what a mother is.

To every woman who didn’t need to be a biological mom to love like a mother—Happy Mother’s Day.

*Names have been changed to protect my biological mom, who I love and pray for every day.