A Tribute to The Stork Moms

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Happy Mother’s Day from Save the Storks! 

We would be nothing without our moms. Whether it’s our biological mom, adoptive mom, grandma, work mom, or the community of women who support us and love us unconditionally. 
For Mother’s Day this year, our staff is reflecting on the important mother-figures in our lives and the ways they have shaped us and stood by us.
Diane Ferraro – Chief Communications Officer

Happy Mother’s Day to my birth mom who is here on earth, and to my adopted mom who is up in heaven! Edie, my birth-mom, chose an adoption plan for me before I was born, and I was adopted by Robert and Agnes Hornsby. 

My adopted mom, Agnes, passed away when I was just eight years old after a heroic battle with cancer, but those eight years were packed full of love and great memories! My adopted mom was an artist and loved the beach. She introduced me to her passion for cooking, celebrating the holidays and entertaining. Even when she was going through chemo we traveled as a family to Alaska, Hawaii and Canada and were regulars at Disneyland or Knott’s Berry Farm every Sunday after church. 

I met my birth-mom (I call her Edie-mom) when I was 26. It wasn’t until she received my first letter introducing myself that she knew she had a baby girl. (She had six sons and I was her only daughter.) At our first meeting at the airport, she had balloons that read “It’s a Girl!” The passerbys were in tears when they realized this grown woman getting off the plane was the “baby girl” being celebrated. Edie-mom is an artist (just like Agnes!) and she lives near the ocean in Southern California. 

The older I get, the more grateful I am for being blessed to celebrate two moms every Mother’s Day. 

Michelle Castillo – Administrative Specialist

It’s not too often a daughter has a mother who Amazon Primes’ an extravagant karaoke microphone to her. It’s not too often a daughter gets to follow in her mom’s footsteps at her Alma Mater and Sorority… Sic Em Bears! Ring Ching! It’s not too often a mother wants to stay out later than her daughter on her daughter’s 21st birthday. Except, IT IS OFTEN in my family. 

I can’t go too many days without someone saying… “Wow! You and your mom are twins!”… and what a privilege that is. She is wise, thick-skinned, goofy, focused on the big picture, and has taught me more than any other person on earth. Thanks to Amazon Prime and Facetime, 615 miles apart has nothing on us💖

Sally & I have a strict rule: never say “mother-in-law,” always say “mother-in-love.” This Mother’s Day is special to me because I have two mothers to celebrate. Sally not only raised her son to be the amazing man I married this year, she also has loved me so well and already taught me so much about Jesus. She radiates the love of Christ, is a prayer warrior, and knows how to have a blast with her husband and children. I knew that marrying into the Castillo family would be fun, but I didn’t realize it would be this life-changing! Happy Mothers Day, Mother-in-Love!

 

Ahna Cameron – Social Media Assistant/Events Assistant/Ambassador

My mom is my home. I could be living in the beautiful state of Hawaii or Colorado, hopping from state to state on a tour bus, or even 8,000 miles away in the villages of Cambodia, yet the second I hear the soothing motherly voice of my mom, I’m brought back to the familiar and secure comforts of home. My mom’s contagious gift of smiling ensures and reminds me that there is so much joy in life– you just have to choose to see it. She has molded and taught me how to be a woman people respect through her graceful yet powerful stature. The older I’ve gotten, the more I realize that not only is my mother my mom, but she’s also my best friend.

Luke Vercollone- Partner Relations Manager

MOTHER OF INSPIRATION — My mother means the world to me! Heck, without her, I wouldn’t even be here.  She is an amazing example of love-in-action and inspiration to me! Growing up, my mother continually sacrificed for our relatively large family of 11 kiddos! She tirelessly sacrificed for us joyfully. Raising 11 “strong-willed” kids is tough; but what was most inspiring to me was how she nearly sacrificed her life for my youngest sister, Angela.

The day before Angela was born, I remember being woken in the middle of the night by the paramedics busting into our house to take my mother to the hospital in an ambulance. Even though she nearly bled-out, she fought for her life (and even more so for, Angela’s) and survived! She dismissed the medical errors by the doctors that led to Angela’s cerebral palsy and embraced her 11th child as an angelic gift from God. Raising a child with Cerebral palsy is extremely difficult, but my mom took this in stride while fully supporting and nurturing us all. 

Having five young kiddos of my own I now realize the challenges and sacrifices of my parents, I’m extremely inspired and grateful! Mom – you are an amazing witness and inspiration! I love you – have a blessed Mother’s Day!

Melissa Peterson – Finance Assistant 

I can remember as a young girl watching my mom do her hair and make-up. And how I’d be completely mesmerized by her beauty and think to myself how I hoped to be just like her some day! But aside from being awestruck by my mom, she would always speak words of truth, beauty, encouragement, and love over me (she still does). She’d let me know how much she loved me, but what she loved about me most was my heart. That it’s the heart of a person that matters most and makes someone the most beautiful of all. That’s probably one of my most cherished lessons my mom has passed onto me. And I still hope to grow up to be like her some day!

Brittany Smith – Senior News Writer

Ever since I can remember my mom has been a runner. 

One of her biggest goals in life has been to run a race with each of her four kids. To date, my mom and I have run a marathon and a half marathon together. She was my biggest cheerleader during those races and continues to be so throughout each step of my life. 

Her dedication to her family and to running has taught me that in reality, most of life’s problems can be solved by lacing up your running shoes and talking to Jesus. My mom is my hero and role-model and I hope that someday I can be half the woman (and runner!) she is.

Natasha Smith – Creative Projects Manager 

Something hit the floor when she opened the fridge, and as usual she joked, “Here’s what’s for dinner!” My mom has an incredible skill of taking random ingredients (whatever falls out of the fridge) and making a masterpiece for family and friends to enjoy. Her cooking always amazed me because she rarely used a recipe but somehow she made the most delicious meals with her creativity. When I asked what the secret was to all her delicious creations she said, “It’s my secret ingredient… Love.” That couldn’t be more true. My mother pours herself into anything she does and she loves extravagantly. Just like the falling ingredients from the fridge, life can toss together some of the strangest flavors, difficulties or curveballs. But somehow she always whips up everything into something amazing as she seasons it all with lots of extra love. I’m thankful for her positive attitude, her creativity and her ability to make something beautiful and good out of even the things that fall to the ground. She cares deeply, laughs heartily, and brings joy with her wherever she goes.

Alyssa Speakman – Tour Administrator

If there ever was a woman who could embody the definition of motherhood, that would be my mom. Not only has she been a constant source of love, comfort, and support for my entire life; my mother is the most selfless and humble person I know. Growing up, my mom always put others ahead of herself, and that is a lesson that has resonated with me my entire life. No matter how sick, worn out, or rundown my mom felt, you would never know it. The care of her family always came first for her. It’s funny to think that some of the most important things I learned from her, she did it without ever having to say a word to me.  

I am so blessed to have my mom, because she shaped me into the mother I am today. I have a 3-year-old little girl, and experiencing motherhood firsthand just gave me a deeper appreciation for my mom. I laugh when I find myself disciplining my daughter and telling her, “I do not work this hard raising you for you to…” I wonder how many times my mom had the same thought. While I struggle at times raising one girl, my mom raised 3 daughters without sweat. My mother really is a rockstar! 

Shara Pierce – Director of Consulting 

My mom is a nurse. For many reasons that fact alone makes her a hero. However, one of the things that has impacted me the most watching my mom over the years is her unconditional compassion. She has never hesitated to stop at a car accident or show up when the mayor called for nurses to come serve those impacted by a flood in our community. She has sat at the bedside of dying family members. She never did any of these things for recognition, but because it is who she is. Recently she said that she was considering volunteering as a doula to those on hospice when she retires. Really, she’s who I want to be when I grow up. Selfless, compassionate, and unwaveringly present for those in need.

Sarah Taylor – Partner Care Associate

I have such an amazing mom and mother-in-law. God blessed me with both of them. My mom Cindy, is the most beautiful, amazing, strong, spiritual, talented, hardworking, kind-hearted women I know. I’ve learned so much from her growing up and I’m so grateful to call her my mom. She’s had 11 kids and she still looks so young and beautiful. We have so much fun together when we visit and Facetime. I love our long conversations and I look forward to them.  I love and miss you mom. Thanks for all you do!! 

My other mom Jill, I met her in 2012, we worked together at Old Navy and I met her before I met her son/ my now husband. I felt like I knew her and she was a mom to me before she was my mother-in-law. She has always been there for me and I’m so blessed to have such an amazing mother-in-law. She is so beautiful, sweet, amazing, caring, creative, intuitive and spiritual. I love hanging out with her all the time and our random fun adventures. God has truly blessed me with such amazing women/ moms.

Nikki Chamblee – Service Coordinator

When I was about twelve I wrote a poem for my mom as a class project. At the time I didn’t know how true the simple words I wrote would become as I got older and experienced more life.  Growing up in poverty and without a father and then going through cancer twice, statistically, I shouldn’t have been able to achieve very much in life. However, having a mom that always pushed me to be my best and never give up I have been able to achieve more than expected and experience more than most. I can honestly say that without my mom showing me what it means to be a strong, independent woman who can conquer whatever life throws out and standing by my side guiding the way, I would not have accomplished any of the things I’ve been able to. Self- sacrificing love is something you can only learn from seeing it lived out. It was something my mom taught me when she didn’t eat so her daughters could. When she didn’t buy herself anything so I could play sports, and when she stayed up all day and all night for weeks while I battled cancer to make sure I was getting the best care. My mom is truly my hero even if she lost me in the store a couple of times 😊

 

This is the poem I referred to above:

Mom, 

You’ve always been there even when I tell you not to.

You try your best to make me do my best even when you know I can’t

You have always been the best you can

You do your best to make everything right when it is wrong

But always remember mom what you do for me I will be able to do for someone else

So keep your hopes for me high and I will always try

 

Megan Webb – Solutions Account Specialist

When I really think about my mom and her life, I realize just how much of a wonder woman she is. She’s been an example of strength, trust, wisdom, and grace my whole life. I’ve watched her go after the things God has called her to with a bravery and tenacity that I myself hope to possess someday. As a newlywed, she left school and supported my father in his calling as a pastor. She eventually came alongside my dad and stepped into her own identity as a co-pastor of the church they planted. Watching her come into that role had a profound impact on me growing up, and established a belief that God calls both men and women to ministry and leadership. When that season of life came to an end for them, she went back to school to complete her college degree. She graduated in 2017 with a degree in culinary arts, with an emphasis in baking- something she is deeply passionate about. She is smart and talented, and is someone who really knows how to transform that which is ordinary into something beautiful. She’s been a rock for our family through every season, and I’m so thankful for her!

Katie Doryland – Product Development Coordinator

My mom means the world to me. She has always been there to support me and stand by my side. Whether it was trekking along to volleyball tournaments in high school, driving hours to come visit me in college, or flying to Colorado to keep me company and take me shopping for maternity clothes- she has always been there. I love that even though I am further away, I am able to keep the same relationship. Since I moved to Colorado, we have had weekly phone calls and video calls.  I almost lost my mom a few years ago and since then, it has made me cherish my time with her even more, especially as a grandmother to my own daughter.

Brittany Smith
Brittany Smith
Brittany is the Staff Writer on the Awareness Team. She originally hails from Charlotte, N.C. But since moving west to Colorado she tries to get out and enjoy the mountains as much as possible. She loves books, French fries and not using the Oxford Comma-- although not necessarily in that order.