Thursday, May 5, 2011

Love is a Special Thing - The Mother's Day Song

The Olivers - early 1980's

Composer Janie Oliver always wanted to write a song for Mother’s Day. But for the longest time it was much too painful. You see, at the same time Janie yearned to honor her mother and the love her mother had for her family, Janie and her husband struggled with infertility. Janie and her husband chose adoption to build their family. They adopted their son, Jeffrey and nine months later, a second son – Christopher, appeared on the scene. Yes, after adopting, Janie and her husband found themselves pregnant. Two children nine months and two days apart kept Janie from her composing, but the desire to write a song honoring mothers still lingered in the back of her mind and on her heart.

Their two sons were extreme opposites. Jeffrey was an easy child, loved to snuggle and rarely cried. Christopher was extremely active, always in motion, rarely slept soundly and didn’t like being held closely.

When Christopher was a few months old, Janie walked into his room to get him up from his nap. He was blue, not breathing and unresponsive. He was in the middle of a SIDS episode. Janie rushed him to the hospital and waited as the doctors worked on him. He survived the episode and the doctors called Janie into the exam room. She rushed to pick up her son and when she did, he just snuggled down in her arms – the first time he had ever done that. Janie rocked him back and forth and as she did, her Mother’s Day Song began to form. She later laid her sleeping baby in the crib, and while he slept peacefully and still, she wrote the words and music to “Love is a Special Thing” . It was in honor of her own mother and grandmother and with graditude for her two precious boys that came to her in different ways to make her a mother twice within one year.

The boys are all grown up!
That was 30 years ago. For many of those years, the children of Park Cities Baptist Church and their mothers have performed Janie’s song on Mother’s Day, as they will do again this Sunday. Children singing the first verse, mothers singing the second verse and everyone joining together on the third verse and ending chorus. There isn’t a dry eye in the entire congregation. In honor of all our mothers, here is that song - “Love Is A Special Thing”.

Love Is a Special Thing
by Janie Oliver
Lorenz Publishing Company  GGA-382

A mother’s love is a very special thing.
Gentle and soft as the lullaby she sings.
Warm and embracing with power like a king
Love is a special thing.

The love of a child is a very special thing.
Fragile as snowflakes and butterfly wings
Simple and trusting, and promising as spring
Love is a special thing.

This love that we share is a very special thing.
It fills my heart and it makes me want to sing.
Sharing and caring, such happiness it brings
Love is a special thing.

For love is of God
Love is of God.

And God’s love for us is a very special thing
Full of compassion and boundless as the sea.
Holding me close and yet, letting me be free.
Love is a special thing.

So cherish it and treasure it
For love is a special thing.

Hope Cottage is the oldest nonprofit, non sectarian adoption agency in Dallas. Since 1918 Hope Cottage has been building and nurturing strong families through counseling, education and adoption services.

If you have questions about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 214.526.8721.

If you are a woman facing an unwanted pregnancy and would like to talk to someone about adoption, please call Hope Cottage at 1.800.944.4464 or 214.404.4546.


  1. SOOOO Sweet! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Paige - you ought to HEAR the piece. I sang it for several years with my boys and could never really get past the second line without just boo-hooing!

  3. Leslie, you are so not alone in struggling to get through this song! Since Larry & I had been married almost 15 years when we had Ross, and had been on the waiting list for adoption for a while at that point, Janie's songs really touch my heart. She honored us by singing another song she wrote (the one she sang at Chris and Erika's wedding) for Ross and Meredith's wedding.

  4. Oh my, Leslie, the memories of singing this song on many Mother's Days! Thank you for sharing this article.

  5. We sing this every Mother's Day in our church. All of our school children and their mothers sing from the front of the church.