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Submitted by Mary E. Cutter (Oklahoma City, OK)

I asked the guests at my daughter’s wedding to help me thank her birth mother.

We adopted our daughter at birth and when she was 18 years old she wanted to meet her birth mother. After a few tears, I agreed to help her. We found her and had a very cordial meeting. My daughter wanted to have a relationship with her, but promised me that she did not want her to take my place. I found peace with the situation and when my daughter became engaged, she wanted to invite her birth mother along with her husband, daughter and son. We invited them and they all came. I was thrilled for my daughter, but I felt a little bad for her birth mom. She was totally among strangers and had no one to visit with and was reluctant to tell others who she was.

So during the reception, I took the microphone, got everyone’s attention and spoke these words, “There is a lady here who had a very difficult decision to make about 20 years ago. Because of the decision that she made, Duane (my husband) and I have had the privilege of raising Cherie as our daughter. I would like you to help me thank her, because if not for her decision, none of this would have been possible. I pointed to her and asked her to stand. Everyone in the reception hall rose to their feet and gave her a standing ovation, which lasted for several minutes. Then people lined up to speak to her. Sometimes the line was 8 or 10 people deep. It continued for at least half an hour. Some other adoptive parents thanked her because they had never had the chance to thank their children’s birth mother. Others shared their experiences. I felt really blessed to have such a beautiful opportunity to show love to her “first” mom.