Mother’s Day is an emotional day.  For some, it is a joyful time for new mothers and their young children. For women struggling with infertility, it may be a depressing day, a day that reminds them of the child they want and the uncertainty of what the future holds. For adoptive families, Mother’s day may have many different emotions. Many children who have been adopted struggle with the idea of mother’s day, mourning the loss of their biological mother while also knowing it’s okay to feel love towards both mothers: their biological mother and their adoptive mother.

Kristen Longshore is a mother of two teenage boys through adoption. They adopted their sons when they were 14 and 12 from Ukraine. While it has not been easy, Kristen feels honored and blessed to be their mother and shared a story of hopes and dreams in a recent article for other mothers.

She encouraged mothers like you to maintain hope by yourselves with “your people.” She discussed how vital it is to have a support group of friends that understand what you are facing. It is so helpful to have someone that you can call or text when you just need to vent, someone who has been through it, who has been there and truly understands.

Don’t lose your dreams.  All mothers need to take a step back from social media and stop comparing themselves with others. Every family is going to be different, every parent is going to parent differently, and what is right for one child may not be beneficial for another child.

Kristen also wanted to reiterate that international adoption and parenting are both hard; there are stereotypes that will have to be faced regarding each one. She discussed how her sons have experienced huge losses and experienced trauma that they have to work through as a family. They did not, as a stereotype suggests, “save” them by adoption and the boys are not “grateful” to them for adopting them.

Mother’s day is a wonderful reminder to take a step back to honor mothers and to honor the valuable impact they have on many lives. The best piece of advice Kristen offered, “the best moms know exactly who their children are, and they parent the child they have–not the kid they think they should be, want them to be, wish they were, or hope they will become.”