Monday, July 2, 2018

Birthdays

Picture this: You're sitting with all of your friends at lunch. All of you are talking, and someone mentions birthdays.

"I was born at 11:46 at night." 

"I was born the same day as my cousin, but I'm six hours older than her."

These are just some examples of things people talk about. I just made these up, but I have experienced this first hand. When I went to school, I was sitting in art class, and someone asked me what time I was born. Most people seemed to know I was adopted, yet they still asked me this question. In the moment, it had irritated me, but as I look back, I realized they didn't even know the impact that this question had.

So, how do you answer? It depends on how open you want to be. It's okay to say, "That is personal, and I would rather not say." But, I do know for a fact that it's embarrassing to say to someone, "Well, you know, I have no idea when I was born, or who my mom is." That would be humiliating.

You may also notice that even when you tell people, they don't understand your feelings; they have never experienced the pain you have been through. 

Even if you're completely honest, it can be upsetting and embarrassing.  I've even been jealous of people who know their exact birthdays and times. Sometimes, you feel like the people around you don't realize how blessed they are to know these little facts.  While some of you may know your birthparents and the time you were born, you still may feel an unfilled void because your birth family is part of who you are, and you have no connection with them.

Birthdays are meant to celebrate you. Every person deserves to have a day honoring them. But these days can make us feel empty, even if we think we shouldn't. We have people around us that care and love us. My emptiness may be different from yours, but mine is because on my birthday, I wish for the parents that I never got to know. And I realize that no matter how much I love my family, the longing to know my biological family is still there. Birthdays can make this longing stronger because your birth parents were the people that gave you life.

Just like you want the people you are close with to be there on your birthday, you also want the people that gave you life to be there, too. It's a natural feeling, and all adoptees must feel or struggle with this at some point.

Your special day can also make you feel like a misfit to your family and friends, no matter how much you love them. And part of you doesn't want to tell anyone because it makes you seem unthankful, but you're not. You instinctively know that your adoptive family can't answer your questions or ease the pain of not being with your birth family.

I felt compelled to write this because as I get older, I feel like more questions seem to arise, and I don't have the answers. And, as I think about turning the big age of thirteen, my heart wishes that my birth family would be able to celebrate the day with me. If you've ever felt this way, I encourage you to tell us in the comments! Have a good day and God bless!

No comments:

Post a Comment