As we celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, we honour all forms motherhood comes in, because as Oprah Winfrey once said, "biology is the least of what makes someone a mother". And there are countless women who never give birth, but who've made amazing mothers and/or mother figures.
Below, we highlight moms via adoption, surrogacy and foster care.
Mother of two, proudly via adoption, Sharon van Wyk said after her seventh miscarriage, she switched her focus to the legacy and responsibility of parenting a child, irrespective of genes.
"Being a mother is an all-encompassing love for my children. I love them so much I'd lay down my life for them. To me it's about raising them to the best of my ability, so they are well adjusted, emotionally intelligent adults, who contribute positively to our society. That for me is being a mother and it means so much more than a strand of DNA and a birth experience," she previously told HuffPost.
And hers is an experience shared by many adoptive mums across the globe.
As an adoptive parent, adoption has taught me that there is always miracle to be found in the messiness of life. And, that it takes but one person to see the beauty in the mess, one person to say to a child: I believe in you. #adoption #fostercare #familyhttps://t.co/fYB1Va6BA3— MichelleMadridBranch (@LetHerBeGreater) May 6, 2018
After struggling to conceive in her early thirties, Alex Kuczynski, author of "Beauty Junkies", welcomed her son through a gestational surrogate.
"He is our most vivid dream realised — the embodiment of the most blindly powerful force in the universe, brought to life the only way he could be. With a little help," she wrote to The New York Times.
Mother's Day is Sunday.— ѕeυм 🌷 (@JustSeum) May 10, 2018
Being able to have helped make someone a mom is my proudest achievement.
This is immediately after I delivered Olivia. This is raw and unedited emotion.
Moms are made by birth, adoption, Surrogacy, etc. But they're still moms.#ProudSurrogate pic.twitter.com/SRHjzKYfcZ
happy Mother's Day to my mom who is literally due any day with her second surrogacy, a baby for someone who can't have their own ❤️❤️❤️❤️— Tamara 💋 (@_TeeWilly) May 8, 2016
So one of my best friends just finished being a surrogate for a couple that wasn't able to have their own child... I'm in tears rn 😭😭🙌🏼💜— lee (@mandilee1994) May 9, 2018
"I'd rather these sweet babies know my love than never know it," said foster mum Rachel Hillestad, who has fostered more than 70 children.
"It's absolutely criminal that a two-year-old sits in a social worker's office for two days in dirty clothes because I'm afraid I'd get too attached. I got attached. Getting attached has been the greatest pleasure and honour of my entire life," she wrote in a Facebook post.
I finally get my first Mother's Day thanks to fostering.— HarleyQuinn917 (@HarleyQuinn917) May 11, 2018
Today is a hard day for me but I realized that I'm blessed to say my foster mom who raised me into amazing woman Happy Mother's Day!!!!— T Dollaz🍭 (@2Damn_Dope) May 8, 2016
HuffPost wishes all mums a happy Mother's Day!
To mom's of ALL kinds: birth, surrogate, foster, step, expectant, hopeful, single, adoptive and married: Happy Mother's Day Weekend! ❤💜🧡💛💚 https://t.co/5SaCLeC44q— Gays With Kids (@GaysWithKids) May 11, 2018
Happy Mother's Day 2 every woman who's loved a child &nurtured them Mothers come in many forms, by birth, adoption & marriage. Mothering is often done by aunts, friends & neighbors. Thank you 2 every woman who has,given of themselves & made the life ofchild better #celebratewomen— Cindi Walton author (@waltonnana) May 10, 2018