Author: Rebecca McDonald, President & Founder
May 1, 2022

This Mother’s Day, I want to celebrate the women who never mothered a child biologically. They’re role models of a mother’s heart in ways deserving respect, love, and adoration. They sacrificially give of their time, talent, and treasure to nurture in the truest sense of the term “mothering.” True mommies to the mommyless or to others’ children, they may be single committed to nurturing others’ children or married but will never deliver their own. They nurture babies whose own mother was not there for them or nurture others’ kids in ways their parents couldn’t.

Single women profoundly influenced me as a young girl and one reason I am who I am today. I grew up on a humanitarian mission compound in a foreign land with a high number of single women serving the hospital, school, and other humanitarian works. They embraced singleness and poured their lives out 24/7 like a drink offering to nurture little ones. So powerful were these role models, I did not fear singleness. I saw lives that gave up marriage either by choice or by God’s design to nurture a world of children who desperately needed the maternal instinct that’s in every woman.

One of my heroes in Asia would love to marry and have her own children. My heart breaks that she is lonely in ways that married women will never understand. But she was called to be a mother figure to the broken girls of the red-light district who hang on her like the mother they never had. She’s too busy “mothering” to find a husband. She radiates joy and nurture; children flock to her in droves. She is the only safe person they know, a drink offering in a dark place.

Just because you can conceive doesn’t make a good mom. Sadly, this greatest job on earth requires no education, no certificate, no liability statement, and comes with no directions. Babies are having babies with no clue how to nurture. There’s so much more to “mothering” than physically bearing a new life.

This Mother’s Day tribute is to those mothers who have given their lives to lift others’ babies. I often state that after I raised my own babies, I am still just a mommy…Now a mommy to the mommyless. I’m nothing special. I simply do the work I’ve always done of nurturing. Women who aren’t biological mothers are experts at doing the same thing. We stand shoulder to shoulder and join forces with incredible ranks of “moms” who nurture to the exclusion of their own biology. I don’t deserve to be in their company. They know a pain and loss that I don’t. Yet they pour out their maternal instincts to lift the babies of the world.

As a practiced observer of pain, I don’t miss the signs of their sacrifice and sense of loss. They don’t cry in their soup and whine. They quietly give their lives to nurturing others. They are the teachers who pour themselves into the children born to others. They are the nurses who rock the babies in the nursery where the biological mom is incapable of loving for so many reasons. They are safehouse staff who faithfully go into the darkness to find little ones or who, when they were little, no one heard their cry. They hear the cry of the wounded and rejected. They make their pain their responsibility. They bring to the table whatever skill, talent, or treasure God has entrusted to them to be the moms those wounded, at-risk children never had.

It’s my privilege to stand in their shadow. I feel a unique pain for singles offered platitudes that married women and even clergy heap on their heads. I watch as they quietly bear senseless remarks and flippant misunderstandings. As a child, I cringed at the quiet pain filtering across their polite faces as grownups were oblivious to the impact of their comments. I have an uncomfortable knack for seeing pain that has no voice.

I have a soft spot for married women who cannot bear children. I grew up as an American in foreign lands where a woman can still be divorced, abandoned, used up, and discarded for this “sin.” I understand culturally why the women of scripture…Sarah, Hannah, Rachel, and Rebecca were devastated at their barrenness. I have a soft spot for moms who miscarry and mourn their loss. I have witnessed the unspeakable pain and confusion of Russian culture that considers abortion normal birth control, yet is taught by the Orthodox Church that abortion equals murder and is, therefore, an unpardonable sin. One of the earliest programs of WAR was stumbling on a weeping Russian who believed she was required to abort her new pregnancy because of living in a one-room apartment with six adults and no room for a child. She wanted this child in her happy marriage but couldn’t afford it. We supported her for two years. Now her precious son is a wonderful man.

So this Mother’s Day, the world of Women At Risk, International salutes those women who are, in some ways, more a mommy to the world than many biological moms. You are our heroes. We cherish you and lift you high. We honor you in the cultures of the world that would whisper other messages. We could not do what we do without you. We are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as the mighty warriors of mothering and nurturing that you are. We honor your life as a “mommy to the mommyless,” standing together fulfilling the call to parent the motherless. I could write a similar letter to you about nurturing, protective dads who have not born biological sons and daughters, but that will come on Father’s Day.

Thank you for the honor of working beside you. Someday in Heaven, there will be a real Mother’s Day where the fruit of your labors will rise up and call YOU blessed. Because of you, they will celebrate your nurturing in their lives through your time, talent, and treasure.

From one mommy to another………..I love you. Becky

You Heard Our Battle Cry and Joined Us in the Fight!


YOU HEARD OUR BATTLE CRY! A primal roar went up from the House of WAR’s Team of Lions. A sincere thanks to all of you, we not only met our 911 Giving Tuesday goal, we surpassed it! The Staff of WAR were doing a jig (an Irish one to be exact), ringing bells of joy! We’ve never set a goal this high before. But then the need has never been greater than under COVID’s escalation of risk. We DON’T RUN, HIDE, OR FEAR…we embrace it with HOPE!

ONE CALIFORNIA DOCTOR is how this started. For two years, he encouraged us to do a match on Giving Tuesday with his generous promise as the jump start. This year, it started a small flood of three other matches. We hit our goal only $3,000 short and when this doctor sent in his match, he made up the difference! I woke to pray at 5:00 am and opened my computer to see his note. I’ll admit it. I wept. I wept for the heart of a doctor, a healer who we have never met. Yet even still, his heart is for healing those we lift done in honor of his own mother! I wept that we have a Good, Good Father who hears the cry of the broken-hearted allowing us the privilege of wrapping arms of love around them. I wept that each one of you so faithfully and sacrificially empower us to be a safe place.

THEN WE GOT ANOTHER SMALL MATCH, promising to go through the end of the year. This means the barometer of giving on our website will stay up. We’ll watch with wonder again at the House of WAR!! I’m blown away (as usual) by the House of WAR. I NEVER take for granted – even for a minute – your sacrificial gifts. I know that a match is such an encouragement to those of us who give smaller gifts knowing $100 = $200 and gives twice…Each gifts is being doubled AND being deployed, bringing hope and healing in crisis, offering a hand up to inherent dignity! I see these gifts. I know some of you who send them have little to give…single moms, widows, kiddos bringing coins, even sometimes incarcerated. Yep…they write precious notes saying it is time they sacrificially give back from their tiny earnings. Whether big or small, these gifts gut me and honor those they lift. Ancient Scripture says, “When you GIVE to the poor, you LEND to the Lord.” You’re paying it forward, giving out of a heart of love and will be repaid on the “other side”. Thank you for trusting us to lift theleast of these.

THE 911 FUND LETS US RUSH TO AID THOSE IN DANGER, even ‘prevent’ the danger. It takes emergency calls from friends, family, or the victim in evil’s cross-hairs, bringing life-saving rescue, stitches, X-rays, and all kinds of interventions. At that moment, there is no time to ask for donations. This fund can respond in an instant. So, it is critical we keep it replenished, ensuring funds are available on a daily basis.

YOUR GIFTS LIFT THOUSANDS, rescuing a three-week old, three teens, two runaways, seven women, two men, one family on the run, as well as helping investigations into murders of trafficked, legal fees, medical care for domestic abuse situations, refugees…those are the ones I know off the top of my head and am personally involved in for 2021. Thousands of calls are handled by staff. Most cases we will never be free to talk about…but because of you, these are real stories.

WE SURPASSED OUR $80,000 GOAL RECEIVING $81,135…and still counting since today’s mail hasn’t been opened yet! We will watch with wonder until the end of 2021 to see what this Mighty Army of the House of WAR…YOU…will do! Check our progress here:

From our house to yours this Holiday season, Peace, Hope, and Joy as we march into 2022!