A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The deep and brooding birthday post

This morning, I went into Hannah's room and started singing softly, "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Hannah, happy birthday to you."  I rolled her little, bundled form into my arms and sang again.  The third time through, a voice comes out from under the mop of hair obscuring her face and says, "Is it almost my birthday?"  I brush back the fluff and smile at my sleepy eyed girl and say, "It IS your birthday!  How old are you today?"  "SIX!" she says, waking up more now.

I set her down and start picking out her clothes, when a voice from the top bunk says, "Strawberries." I look quizzically up at Brianna, who explains, "Strawberry outfits."  Ah, got it.  I can do that.  I select Hannah's strawberry outfit and debate red shoes or brown shoes and then leave her to get dressed as I go take my shower.

The reality is, I was feeling very emotional the whole time I was in there.  With a moment to myself in the shower, I started to sort out why that is.  With my other children, I can say things like, "Good morning!  This time X years ago, I had no idea today would be your birthday" or "This time X years ago, I had been in labor for hours and was so anxious to finally hold you."  There have been discussions like, "You were born in the evening, so technically you aren't X years old until X o'clock."  

I don't have any of that for Hannah.  I don't even know what I was doing on the day she was born.  Oh, I've looked at our 2007 calendar and I can get a general idea from the appointments listed what our life was like that day, but there's nothing on that day to mark it as a meaningful occasion.  Nothing to anchor it in my memory.

I can't help but wonder what Hannah's birth day was like.  Was her mama young or old?  Was she hoping for a son?  Does Hannah have any siblings?  How long was she in labor?  Was it a beautiful spring day?  Was she born in the day or at night?  What time?

And now?  Did she spend yesterday remembering her little girl?  Would she want to know that Hannah is well and happy now?  Would it surprise her to see her formerly crippled daughter walk, run, and play with her siblings?

Strawberry outfits

These thoughts and more swirl around in my head as I start the day.  Fortunately, there are plenty of things to distract me from my musing, and I soon find myself covered in frosting, enjoying the more light-hearted aspects of birthday celebrations.

Panda cupcakes for school

Later, when dinner is over, and presents have been opened, and my little surprise has happened, I'm sure there will be a Light and Fluffy Birthday Post with lots of smiling pictures.  But I couldn't let this day go by without acknowledging the sense of loss inherent in adoption.  If *I*, who clearly won the most, getting a great child as my own, can see and feel the losses, how much greater will Hannah feel them as she gets older and develops a greater understanding of what it all means?  

Vote For Us @ Top Mommy Blogs  Thank you for clicking for us!


  1. The cupcakes are darling!

  2. It is a lot to swallow. I think the times I most overwhelmed by the enormity of it a have actually come in everyday randomness. It's enough to give this busy Mom pause. Our kids have a lot to sort out. I'm thankful Hannah had the chance to hear from her Mom (you!) first thing on her birthday. Sounds like she has a safe place to process things.

  3. Love this. Thanks for sharing it. It resonates in my heart as well.
    Happy Birthday, Hanna!!