Yesterday was August’s birthday; and, boy, did we ever honor the day: A birthday shirt proclaiming “It’s My First Birthday,” a hat declaring “I’m one!” as well as balloons, a birthday banner, and squished cake all over the place (wait, that might have been Edgar . . . but I digress).
When you form your family biologically, a birthday carries with it the added significance of what the word implies–a day of birth. It’s also the day you meet your child–after nine months of waiting–for the first time.
When you form your family through adoption, a birthday carries with it no less but decidedly different meaning. It is, of course, a day of birth–but also a day of loss for a birthmother who has made the most selfless of decisions and formulated an adoption plan. And for the adoptive parents, it may or may not be the day you meet your child (for Oscar, it was; for Edgar and August, it was not). It is also the day adoptive parents begin metaphorically (and sometimes literally) holding their collective breath. Nothing is for certain until Adoption Day; and so your child’s birthday is the day you begin waiting.
Many adoptive parents celebrate what is sometimes called “Gotcha Day,” the day your child came home. And while the term itself is occasionally met with controversy, the sentiment is undeniable: The day your child comes home to you is arguably of as much significance as his or her birthday.
So, lucky us . . . So many reasons to celebrate. On June 19th we will celebrate August’s birthday; and on August 25th we will celebrate the day he came home. Happy Birthday, August Farias! Were you ever worth waiting for!