Yesterday was my birthday. If you know me in “real life” you know how much I LOVE my birthday. I’m like a kid. I look forward to it, and as soon as the calendar flips to March, I pretty much go crazy. BIRTHDAY MONTH!!!! I celebrate Birthday Week, meaning that the whole week is MINE haha We go out to dinner, we go to the movies, we celebrate!
I love my birthday.
I also understand how blessed I am to be celebrating another year. In March of 2010, I worried I may not see another birthday. Diagnosed with a spinal lesion that could have been any number of truly terrible things, including cancer, I thought that birthday could be my last. Thankfully, it wasn’t.
So many people do not get to celebrate another year. Think of those who would do anything, ANY THING, for one more year (or even one more DAY) with a loved one who has passed. What a kick in the gut it is to them when you say “UGH! I hate my birthday! One year closer to death!”
A birthday is not one year closer to death, a birthday is one more year of LIFE. Celebrate the hell out of it!
So, I LOVE my birthday.
But, my Birthday is not just the day of my birth. It’s the day of a trauma. A day of loss. My deepest wound. The day I was given up for adoption. Abandoned.
While I have never felt bitter, or angry about my adoption, there is absolutely no denying that it has had an impact on me in the deepest way possible. A primal wound. A wound that cannot be seen, it cannot be treated.
For adopted kids and adults, birthdays can bring up such mixed emotions. For me, I never even thought of my birthday as being the day I was “given up” until I was an adult, and had a child of my own. It wasn’t until I became a mother that the deeper emotions surrounding my adoption started making their way to the surface. The boiling point.
My birthday is the day I was born. It is also the day I was taken from my biological mother, into the arms of a social worker, and then put into the arms of a foster mother. It was a day that my life changed course in a dramatic way, before it had even really started.
It is the day I lost the first and only person I knew. My source of life. The person who, for 9 months, carried me, protected me, and I have to believe, loved me.
Now, as I’ve written before, I know my birth mother didn’t throw me out like trash. I know she didn’t abandon me. I know she made a good choice. A hard choice. The best choice. For both of us. But, despite knowing that, the wound is still there. There are still feelings of abandonment. So many feelings.
Since I do not know her, I have never been able to ask her Why? To hear, from her, why she did this.
Without hearing it from her, it is very hard to reconcile the feelings I have. Though, I suppose, even hearing it from her, even knowing, the wound may be too deep to heal. Perhaps knowing why would just be a band aid or worse, it could open the wound even more. I’ll probably never know.
On my birthday I celebrate, but I cannot help but think about that wound. That loss.
On March 8th, 1982 I was born, and suffered a great loss. On April 19th, 1982 I was reborn into the most amazing family, filled with love every day of my life. A family that taught me to celebrate life, a family that loved my birthday, and loved to celebrate me. And because of them, I love me, I love my birthday, and I will always celebrate the hell out of it!!