April 23rd, 2007 08:42 EST
May: The Mother of All Months!
To most Americans, Mother's Day is a very special day, set aside to honor and thank that beloved woman who gave the most precious gift of all, life itself.
Cards, flowers, candy, and perhaps a nice meal in a restaurant are lovingly lavished on the women who bring new life into the world.
We celebrate our moms for their strength, unconditional love, and for just being "mom."
But for some, the cards, flowers, and candy are sent to a woman other than one's birth mother. That will be the case for many of the 513,000 American youth currently in foster care because of a family crisis, or due to child abuse and neglect.
For such youngsters, it might be a foster or adoptive parent, a grandmother, an aunt or another relative, who they wish to thank and honor for raising them to be all they can be.
Therefore, as we celebrate Mother's Day in May, we also observe National Foster Care Month as a way of calling attention to the year-round needs of America's most vulnerable children.
With more than 12 million foster care alumni in this country, there are countless stories of inspirational women who have come forward to be a "Mom" to a young person in need.
The SOP is proud to announce that we will run a series of stories to honor some of the non-traditional mothers who have provided extraordinary foster care to children in need.
Please visit the Foster Care Month web site for more information about the heroic and loving care provided by women who serve as foster parents.
Next: In our next story on Wednesday, we discuss three well-known women whose lives were literally transformed by non-traditional mothers.