Today is a birthday day in our home. It is not the birthday of the daughter that I relinquished for adoption. It is the birthday of my first parented child, my oldest son. It is a happy, celebratory day even if there is a cold seemingly making its way back into our house. I am so proud of my big boy and am constantly amazed with all he does and so, on his birthday, I feel very blessed to be his Mommy.
But his birthday is also a reflective time for me.
Birthdays really are for most parents. Time is spent remembering the day the child was born or joined the family in the case of older child adoption. Memories are discussed. A few tears (of joy!) might be shed. It’s just a very nostalgic day, that birthday.
As a birthday, that nostalgia brings up some adoption related memories. Three years ago, I was in the hospital giving birth to my second child… but was being treated by those who didn’t know my history as if it was my first. I was, for the first time, being treated with respect in a delivery room since I wasn’t wearing a wedding ring the first time around. (To be fair, while delivering my older son, I also wasn’t wearing my wedding ring as I developed pre-ecclampsia and my fingers were too swollen to wear my rings. But, alas, my husband was by my side.) It was such a different (as in better) experience.
And then, that night, as I showed the freshly fallen snow to my brand new baby, I sat in the rocking chair by that window and told him about his older sister. I didn’t wait. I had no need to with our fully open adoption. I wanted my son to know about his sister. I wanted him to love her. And bless that boy, he does love her.
While I will never do anything to take away from my son(s) on his(their) special day(s), I think of their sister on these days as well. I imagine what it would be like if she was here this year. And I give thanks for her presence in our lives just as my oldest does every night when he says his prayers.
I know I’m not the only birth parent on the planet who thinks of a relinquished child on a parented child’s birthday. Tell me your story.