53 years ago today, at 6:35 am in Henderson, Nevada, I was born. Today is my birthday.
For 51 years of my life, on my birthday, I would have a personal dialogue in my mind. It went something like this: “Today is the day. My birthday! I know she (my birth mother) is wondering and thinking about me. This is OUR day!” It made me feel good that I could share my day with her in my mind. When I was a small girl, I thought about this and made up all kinds of stories about where she was, the celebration she may have for me and when we would celebrate together.
Then, when I was 51 and 84 days, I found my birth mother. She asked me when my birthday was and where I was born. She had been told to forget me, and she did. My birth mother died on May 9, 2018 . This is my first birthday that she is not alive. It feels weird.
I have always celebrated myself on my birthday. For many years, my family and I have gone to the beach, to Disneyland, and to have fun together for my birthday weekend. I have always felt so happy to just have fun on my birthday. I am working at convincing myself that I deserve the same fun this year.
Many adoptees have a difficult time on their birthday. For many of us, it was the first and last day we were with our mothers. It is a lonely feeling. Many wish the day would just come and go. Many want to ignore their birthday.
Funny story: My birthday is on World Adoption Day. Quick, get your pen and draw a face on your hand and post it on social media! I did not say what KIND of face. Just a face. (LOL) #worldadoptionday #nocoincidences
If you are an adoptee, and you are reading this blog, I want to put out a challenge – draw a face, whatever face you feel represents how you feel on this, World Adoption Day, and post on social media it with the hashtag #worldadoptionday then explain the face.
This would be the BEST birthday present to me – EVER!! DO IT!!
Being born is such a big deal. It takes a lot of work for a baby to make it’s way into the world. It means that it must be conceived, it must grow 10 toes, 10 fingers, a face, a brain and all those parts that grow to be hearts, lungs, and guts. It is nothing short of a miracle of nature. How a woman’s body just KNOWS how to grow another person on the inside blows my mind. And then, how a woman who feels she has no choice, or who makes a choice or is humiliated into a choice can just allow or by force to have that baby leave them and be raised by someone else is something I can not truly and completely comprehend. It is mind spinning and heart breaking.
I think about me on my “coming out” birthday. I wonder about her labor. If I was an easy delivery. If she was alone the whole time. If she was treated with kindness. If she was sad or if she was relieved it was finally over. If my birth father knew I was born. If that nurse who carried me away spoke to me with a soft voice or if she thought I was just another bastard born in the unmarried women’s wing of the Catholic Hospital. It was early in the morning. I was swept away from Barb, my birth mother, and truly I have no idea where I was taken. All she knew was that I was a girl.
But, now 53 years (TODAY) later, I want to celebrate that I have made a life for myself that if full, good and meaningful. I have a wonderful husband. Two beautiful sons who I think the moon and sun rise and set over. I have a wonderful daughter in law. I have good parents raised me and who are still with me at 92 and 86. I have very meaningful work. I have dear and loving friends. I have the CUTEST dogs. I have all I need.
I have biological siblings, cousins, and other family members who love, accept and care about me. This to me is the biggest MIRACLE of my life. To think, I have been welcomed and embraced by so many makes my hear so happy.
I have an ADOPTEE TRIBE that has come to mean the world to me. I have come to love, admire and marvel at the strength and tenacity of adoptees. I feel immensely loved and thankful that I am able to recognize, accept and know that even though the pain, discomfort, restlessness of adoption is IN Me, it is not ME. I feel so in awe of all of us.
And yet, this year particularly, my birthday is weighing heavy on my heart. I wish for things I can never have, nor could ever had. Unrequited is a difficult emotion to carry.
Today I will enjoy the sun on my face. I will take a walk down a quaint street. I will sit in a room with other brilliant clinicians in a training on Gestalt Play Therapy Theory and Practice and Perspectives in Child Development. I will do this for the next 4 days….and I will LOVE every moment.
I will laugh. I will love. I will go to dinner with my husband at a very nice restaurant. I will have dessert.
I will look at every tree and every cloud. I will hear music. I will talk to my inner child and reassure her that she is loved. I will be fully present in my body. Today, of all days of the year, I will allow myself the fullness of living.
And, I will think of Barb, my first mother, with fondness. For today, she is not here, and I hope that, wherever she is in this great big universe, she has the freedom and ability to remember it IS MY BIRTHDAY and I hope she smiles.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! I AM HERE!!!!