At first I thought it was because he’s my baby. The baby. My youngest and my last. Watching transition after transition, milestone after milestone has left me more than a little not to mention noticeably brooding.
But I realized tonight it’s not that at all.
It’s because I’m thinking about her, about his birthmother . . . and how five years ago tonight a very young woman made a very courageous decision, took an unparalleled leap of faith.
It’s so easy to get lost in the mire of stereotypes—of presuppositions and prejudice, to put birthmothers into a single, constricting category. As a society we still have not disengaged from the verbiage that limits our thinking about adoption: mothers giving up their children . . . the phrasing alone speaks of quitting, of desertion.
But tonight, on my youngest son’s fifth birthday, I am struck particularly by the enormous sacrifice his birthmother made, the selflessness of her decision, of my colossal luck that she chose for him this life, his life.
And I am pained by her loss tonight.
Because I know him and she does not.
Because this is suddenly so hard, and I never knew it would be.