I think I say all the time on this blog that I am not an adoption downer, but an adoption realist. There are some very real and raw emotions that encompass adoptions, and birthdays are one of them.
As a mother, there is not a birthday that goes by for any of my children, birth or bio, that I do not reminisce about the day. I remember the weather, the clothes I wore, the smell of the operating room, the first cry, the first feeding, and the first time their eyes open.
I can throw myself completely into nostalgia as I remember all those things with my bio kids. My adopted children....not so much.
It hurts my heart that I wasn't there. It hurts my heart that I can't tell them the same kind of happy happy joy joy birth story like I can with their brothers and sisters. It hurts my heart that there were some pretty tough, life altering decisions being made in that delivery room as my baby took his/her first breaths. It hurts my heart that I couldn't have grabbed them up out of their bassinet and whisper sweet words of love and hope as I sniffed their newborn heads.
As much as I boo hoo about not being there for their firsts on the day they entered this world, I can only imagine what their birth moms are feeling on their birthdays. I always feel this connection to their birth moms on those days, because without a doubt you know they are thinking about the baby they said good bye to that day, just the same as I am. They got their first cry, snuggles, diapers, and feedings.....but I get all the rest...for the rest of their life.
On the same side of the coin, you have the adoptees. Imagine growing up and celebrating the day you were born, while it really was the day that you said goodbye to your biological roots...forever. You didn't have a choice. You didn't have an inkling of the gravity of the decision that was made. All you knew was the smell, voice, and touch of your Mama.....and then it was gone.
I can tell even here at the young ages that our kids are, birthday week is a tough week for them. They can't place words to what is going on with their emotions. It is not something that is discussed or brought up, but it is there lingering over like a puff of smoke during the days before and after a birthday.
With all that said, I'll take a thousand happy sad birthdays and a thousand different emotions on those days just to have my two sweet babies curl up in my arms and say, "Where's my presents, why aren't there balloons out, and can I have cake for breakfast?" :)
This is the absolute best book for anyone interested in adoption, knows someone who is adopted, is an adoptive parent, or just want some insight on what a person who was adopted may feel like. There are really good nuggets in this book about birthdays and milestones. Good stuff.