Mother's Day thoughts: A mother to the motherless

In honor of Mother’s Day, May 13, we asked bloggers to share their thoughts on motherhood -- and the importance of caring for children who have experienced the loss of a parent. Every day through Mother’s Day, we will feature a different blogger to remind us to appreciate mothers and care for those who are hurting. Today's post comes from Jill, who has previously contributed to the World Vision Blog during our 12 blogs of Christmas series.

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Thabiso Setona was orphaned at 14. He was left to parent his younger sister and raise his father’s cattle. He lives in Lesotho, where most people live on less than $1.25 a day.

In Lesotho, cattle are a precious commodity. To tend to them, he must live in huts in the hills with only the most basic amenities. His job is to make sure his cattle survive, even if it means he himself will go hungry. Herd boys are isolated and nomadic. They are also uneducated, having to drop out of school to work for their families.

This is Thabiso’s life.

When my husband, Ryan, asked me today what I wanted for Mother’s Day, I honestly had a hard time thinking of anything I needed. I mean, I could think of a lot of “stuff” that I suppose would make me happy. I am forever chasing after stuff. But my life is a charmed one. “Stuff” is the last thing I need.

For Thabiso and other herd boys in Lesotho, World Vision provides a support system through education and provisions. They are able to go to school, reduce their risk of HIV infection, and improve their social behavior.

This post isn’t to make you feel guilty. Sometimes I tune out from stories about how other people live in other parts of the world, because it is just too much. But on Mother’s Day, as I reflect on how blessed I am to be a mom and to have been mothered by such a great mom, I can’t help but think of those who are motherless.

What is so incredible about Thabiso’s story is that someone has stepped in to be a mother and father to him. Thabiso is in World Vision’s program. His basic needs are provided for -- and, despite his nomadic lifestyle, he is receiving an education. One of the most important aspects of his education is HIV and AIDS training, as he is at high risk due to misconceptions and lack of understanding in his country.

There are hundreds of boys with the same story as Thabiso -- hundreds of boys whose lives are made better because World Vision has decided they are worth caring for. As a mother, something in me wants to scoop up all the children who have lost parents, bring them into my home, and give them the life my kids have. Since I can’t do that, I am so thankful World Vision exists.

In honor of Mother's Day, will you consider sponsoring a child who has lost a parent? You can become a new parental figure to these children -- from halfway across the globe.

Psalm 68 tells us that God is the "father to the fatherless." I think this is a powerful example of us being his hands and feet here on earth.

Read related posts in our Mother's Day series:

Consider sponsoring a child who has lost a parent. Your support will help bring life-giving necessities such as nutritious food, clean water, education, and healthcare. You will also have the opportunity to develop a personal, lasting relationship with your sponsored child through cards and letters.

Jill Anderson is the author of The Diaper Diaries. She has been changing diapers for 6+ years as a stay-at-home mom of three children.


    I am 46 and a mother of three, two were adopted, and my oldest son(15) came to live with me last year.
    I discovered that I am a pretty good full time mom, before I was a weekend and holidays mom, but I love all my children full time. I lost my mother a year ago the 22nd of this month, and it hurts so much. I love my mama and miss her more than anyone can imagine. Happy Mothers Day to ALL mothers out there.

    Naomi, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for your love and dedication to your children- I'm sure it is a testament to love and care your mother showed you. Happy Mother's Day Naomi- I will be praying for you!


    Lindsey, WV Staff

    Dear Precious Lord,
    My heart aches this year more than ever around Mother's Day as I think of the children without a mother. I want to scoop them all up and bring them home for bedtime stories and cuddles. My prayer is that you would miraculously provide each of those children, all over the world, with a touch of your love on Mother's Day. Maybe a hug from someone who knows them, maybe something in your creation that touches their heart as they see it anew, maybe a letter from a sponsor, maybe extra food that day, or a cool drink of clean water....something that reminds them that you are there, you love them like a mother and a father, and you will never leave them.

    Beth, thank you for your heartfelt prayer. It is difficult to think about kids in the world who need love, but it is a comfort to know we have a father who loves them better than we ever could. We are praying for them alongside you!


    -Lindsey, WV Staff

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