It’s kind of funny…when you are talking about a family with adoption in its family tree and hear the words “real mom” people tend to think of the birth mom…the woman who created this baby and carried it for 9 months and gave birth to it. When in fact the woman who raises the child is the “real mom” . This is the woman who bravely and unselfishly takes that baby when another woman cannot – for a variety of reasons. She holds, rocks, and bonds with this baby. She feeds, clothes and bathes the child. She has many sleepless nights with illness, teething, colic and nightmares. She gets the unpleasant jobs – changing the exploding poopy diaper, catching throw up in her hands, killing scary spiders, pulling inanimate objects from unknown places, and bandaging all the owies. It’s the woman that teaches her child right from wrong, how to share, be kind, don’t lie, respect others, play fair, and love fully. She cries when her child goes off to kindergarten for the first time and wonders where all the time has gone – even if that child is only 5. She gets to see the first steps, hear the first words, feel the soft kiss and gentle hug. She has a collection of homemade cards, gifts and notes that were carefully created out of crayons, glue and glitter. She has a hardest job, but also gets all the rewards of being called “Mom”… This person is the REAL MOM. While I am one of those real moms, I am also the birth mom that admires, respects, envies, prays for, thanks and is at times a little jealous of the REAL MOM. I will always have a connection with this woman – a woman I dont know and have never met…a stranger. Someday maybe our paths will cross and we will meet. She did what I could not do all those years ago and continues to do today. Thank you Joshua’s real mom.