There are thousands of families who have adopted children from overseas, and for one mom just like them, it's important for her to remember her kids' birth mothers on Mother's Day as well.
In a heart-wrenching Facebook post, Jill Robbins, the woman behind the blog Ripped Jeans and Bifocals, wrote about the "two extra cards" she buys each Mother's Day.
"I write my sons' birth mothers (yes, there are two different birth moms) a card every year. I've done this every year that we've had them. I write little snippets of what they've done and accomplished every year, what their challenges and accomplishments have been .. And then I put them away in a shoebox that sits on my closet shelf because I don't know what else to do with them."
Robbins' two sons (she also has a biological daughter) were adopted from China, a country that doesn't allow adoptive parents to contact birth mothers. And in her post, Robbins explains why putting these messages out there in the world means so much to her.
Robbins' is a common sentiment for women whose children were born to someone else.
In a 2014 HuffPost blog entitled "8 Things Adoptive Parents Should Never, Ever Do," Ann Brenoff, who adopted two children from China, wrote, "I am acutely aware that for me to gain my family, two women across the world suffered a massive loss. I can’t imagine their pain. I don’t know what I would say to them. But I won’t ignore that they exist."
And plenty of other adoptive parents agree with the sentiment. In the comments below Robbins' post are stories of email correspondences with birth mothers and the plan to copy this idea for their own families.
"I have a pretty happy life. I don't want for much, but if I could have one wish I would want my boys' birth mothers to know the babies they carried are safe and loved."
One woman even notes that though her family started with an open adoption, they no longer correspond with the birth mother. "My daughter has so many questions," she writes, "and this may help her in her grieving for her birth family."
There are plenty of complications that can arise when children are adopted (and of course, in every family), but this mama is showing exactly how to honour every part of her kids' lives the best way she can, and it's a beautiful thing.