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Dear stranger, thank you for being the ‘other mother’ in my life

Posted at 3:40 PM, May 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-09 12:37:03-04

(CNN) — She’s the woman who raised you. Walked you to school on the first day. Cheered louder than all the other parents as you played soccer. Wiped the tears from your face when your heart broke for the very first time.

Each lesson she’s imparted upon you has been stored away so that one day you might pass it on to your own children when the time is right. Except there’s one thing, she is not your mother. She’s not even biologically related to you.

They say that blood is thicker than water. But perhaps that proverb doesn’t always hold true. Every year we celebrate the remarkable mothers who have taught us right from wrong — but what about the other women who stepped up to the plate when times were tough?

Ahead of Mother’s Day on May 11, CNN is honoring the world’s “other mothers.” Women who have provided care, guidance and support for children who are not biologically their own.

From stepmothers who made incredible sacrifices to teachers who sought to inspire beyond the classroom, we highlight your iReport tributes to the women that made you who you are today.

Continue the conversation in the comments below and share the memories of these wonderful women.