The mission of is to promote the advancement of new midlife mothers through voice, face and forum. NURTURE is a collection of stories, told through words and photos, of women who chose motherhood over 40.

Cyma Shapiro
By Cyma Shapiro

Writer and Creator

Nine years ago, while sitting in the Moscow Marriott at age 46 with my newly adopted year-old daughter, I realized that I was going to be old when she graduated from college. The "old" was nearly my grandmother’s age – old! This was the very first time I’d ever felt my mortality and had ever even stopped to consider my chronological age. I had long ignored the biological clock theory thinking that it was mere hyperbole. I always looked, felt and acted much younger than my age. Although it came as a shock to me that I had not previously become pregnant, on that cold winter’s night nearly 9,000 miles from home, I finally felt my life begin. My age was a nagging problem, but at that moment I was filled with pride, joy and the fullness of starting a new family. I could see nothing but rosy times. Or so I thought. Little did I know that I had just joined a new club – moms over 40 – with no dues-paying members and no glue to bind them. Little did I know that in reality, I was one of them.

Arriving home, we expected the rest of the world to share our joy. However, the reactions were puzzling -- jealousy, disbelief and confusion. We were middle aged, had launched my two stepchildren into adulthood and had finally achieved time to ourselves. Although our decision seemed perfectly logical, it seemed like the rest of the world didn’t agree. Why would we do this? Adopting a child in middle age had suddenly left me isolated and lonely. Why had we done this?

Seeking answers, and perhaps subconsciously, support and comfort, I decided to network across the country to find other new older mothers. I was inquisitive: Why did they do this? How did they do this? What did they need to do to do this? How did they feel? How did their family and friends feel? Were they to live their life over again, would they do it this way?

Within months, my phone started ringing. Women from across the country began reaching out to help me find new mothers over 40. The networking was incredible; the women amazing: story after story, endless hours of discussions. All of this prompted me to look further (and faster) for more: the oldest, the most amazing; the most poignant, the most joyous, the most spiritual, the most life-altering, and on and on. I would go to the furthest reaches of this country (and beyond) just to find the most iconoclastic women I could find. Pioneers, leaders, followers...Little did I realize that all along I was just looking for me.

I found women like: Shirley Pollock, a married mother of two adult children, who at the age of 55 saw a television documentary about the number of available children in Chinese orphanages and, after much prayer, adopted three Chinese children. Esther Torres was the only unmarried and childless woman in her large Latino circle of family and friends. At 39, she accidentally became pregnant from a "friend with benefits," and went on to form a friendship with the father and an inseparable bond with his family. She stands as a role model to women choosing a career and later motherhood. Ellen Schumey, 49, and Shea Novak, 52, had been in a 17-yr. relationship before determining that they, too, were missing out on having children. Now, eight years later and despite all odds – physical and relational -- they are the adoptive parents of two beautiful daughters. They recently were married. Vicki Smith, 49, "GrammiMom," took on this title to her grandchild after her daughter was murdered. Despite six other adult children, her grandbaby is now her own.

Love. This is about love and life choices. It is about strength, guidance, conviction, perseverance, determination, willpower and a breaking down of all relational obstacles – be they physical, emotional, spiritual, financial or psychological. In many ways, each woman in this show has broken down some barrier in pursuing her own path, her own destiny. In all ways, these women have shown courage, fortitude and resilience.

This is the newest chapter in the women’s movement – the emerging new face of older motherhood. The women in this show represent nearly every conceivable family unit. Their one common denominator is that they are over 40. Three quarters of a million strong, with approximately 100,000 new births each year, these women are pursuing their lives not collectively, like "soccer moms," but singularly and without fanfare – the result of medical breakthroughs, greater socio-economic freedoms and the breakdown of cultural barriers and traditional family structure.

NURTURE is intended to dispel myths about middle age; introduce society to the increasing number of women choosing midlife motherhood; provide support for future generations of women to make life choices irrelevant of age; and simply give this group a voice, a face and a forum. It is my desire that in viewing this show, women will find the hope, inspiration or support necessary to make personal changes in order to live fulfilling, truthful lives. In my case, I felt I had no choice but to find, pursue and finally get my children. My journeys to Russia became a spiritual epiphany, which ended in the adoption of my children who I believed were meant to be mine and were just waiting for me to claim them.

It is my hope that my journey and the journey of these brave women will resonate with you as you read of their honesty and courage. We expect that the subjects will change as time progresses. As with all things, the addition of new women will reflect the ongoing, never-ending quest for (new older) motherhood. Please join us as we navigate the waters together...I look forward to doing this together with you.