Every year on their birthdays I desperately try to remember what I was doing... I wake up and think, "Shouldn't my heart have known that my child, from my womb or not, was born today?" It seems impossible to me that a day that changed my life forever could be lost to me forever.
Did I wake up and have my morning coffee? Did I have a good day? I am inclined to think I did. Somehow I know that God must have whispered something into my heart the day both girls were born... I like to think that I spent those days being hopeful instead of heartbroken.
Later during the day, my mind always turns to their birth mothers. And I always come around to the realization that the fact that I can't remember their birthdays, but their first mother's can, is just right. (I'm speaking just for our family, not for anyone else's. I am definitely not generalizing for all adoptive families. Everyone's journey is different.)
The days my daughters were born were between them and their birth mothers. I've come around to being thankful that they had that day together. I know despite the outcome, their birth mother's loved them that day, and still do. I imagine they held them on that day, just the way I held my children that came from my own body on the days they were born. We have learned so much about how hard it is on our girls hearts that they did not get to grow up with their original families. I can't help but be thankful that they got this day with them, a day full of that joy and discovery between a mom and child. We know from research that though they may not cognitively remember that day, their body remembers.
While part of my heart will always wish I was able to birth all my children or be there the moment they entered this world... I've come around to accepting the actual events of those days. I've come around to knowing that their stories, our stories, have played out just as God intended. I've come around to being thankful for their birth mothers, who chose life for my girls. It definitely didn't come naturally, it was something that I worked at - for my daughters' sake.
Today, on my daughter's 9th birthday, I think of her birth mother and I pray that she is ok. I pray that she cherishes the moments she had with our little girl. I hope she knows that her daughter is loved and well cared for. That she's part of a family. She's a big sister and a little sister. I wonder if our daughter got her natural talent for anything sporty from her birth mother, because she so did not get it from anyone else in this house! I hope her heart doesn't ache too much, but I imagine that it does. I hope she knows we tell our daughter that her birth mother did the best she knew how, and that no matter the outcome - she loved her then and loves her still now.
I may not have gotten the first day, but I get so many amazing days. It's a privilege I try, like every mother, not to take for granted.