THE FIRST BIRTHDAY
"Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you"
"They say it's your birthday!"
"A Happy Birthday to You! A Happy Birthday to you!"
There are many renditions of the birthday song. Some families I know even have their own special versions or traditions that go along with birthdays. Right around my birthday, I was receiving cards, text messages, Facebook posts, etc, and I started to think how birthdays are such a huge deal here in the United States. There are even special birthdays that are even a bigger deal than others. Jeffrey and I have been so blessed to be a part of many first birthday celebrations. We are at the age where many of our friends have babies or are having babies, and we are so blessed to celebrate with them the first year of life.
As an adoptive mommy, I have come to the realization that I am going to miss many first. The first cry, the first coo, the first smile, the first feeding, the first diaper blowout (maybe I'm okay with missing that one-JUST KIDDING), the first bath-okay I think you get it. I did not however think I would miss the first birthday. This is something that I have really been looking forward to. Since Jeffrey and I are adopting an infant, I assumed that we would still be able to have the big first birthday celebration. You know the one with the little cake and the messy baby. I am not trying to be super negative here, but trends that I am seeing are telling me that there is a huge possibility that even though we may meet our baby before he/she is one, we may not bring them home till after.
Last month, I just couldn't shake this. I was lying in bed the day before my birthday and just sobbing. Jeffrey maybe assumed I was freaked about being another year older, but still of course asked what was wrong. I told him how I had been thinking about birthdays, and I was doing the math with the current adoption trends in Ethiopia. I was literally a mess that night thinking about our baby's first birthday. Sure, I know that we could celebrate afterwards if we really wanted to, but that is so not even the point. The point is my baby is special and loved, and it breaks my heart so incredibly much to think that there could possibly be no cake, no songs, no presents, and no mommy and daddy on his/her special day.
Lately, I have really had peace about waiting and just trusting that the right baby will be matched with us at the right time, but there are little things that I never even thought about that totally hit me. This time the little or not so little thing was a birthday. As I sobbed in bed, I knew at that moment that I would give up anything to celebrate my baby's birthday with him/her. This adoption is really revealing many things to us, and one of those being God's love. I know that my love for Baby W doesn't anywhere compare to His love for me or for Baby W, but as a mommy I am learning how a parent gives everything because of love.
I tried to tell myself that it is just one birthday out of many. Maybe I was overreacting. But when I started to think about first birthdays and who deserved to be celebrated I couldn't think of anyone more deserving. ( I KNOW....Of course any mom would say that about their child, and I never want to be that mom that thinks my kid deserves everything and is perfect or more deserving than anyone else's) However, living in a country where AIDS, poverty, and Malaria are so prevalent, and many babies don't see their first birthday, I feel like yes, this child deserves to celebrate life.
Many people constantly tell me that I don't know and that things can change. Though I don't want to be labeled the pessimistic mother, I also need to be very real with myself and not set myself up for more heartache. Some of you may call this not having faith, but I absolutely have faith and I am trusting that all will go according to the way it is supposed to. I know that it is so out of my control, and like I said I really do have peace. Some days are just harder than others. If we happen to know Baby W's birthday and not be there, we will of course send presents and try to do something special here. I will of course pray that Baby W feels loved and extra special on that day. I know that Baby W will be okay because even if his/her mommy and daddy won't be there, Jesus will.