Birthday Blues

Have your ever imagined what it’s like to celebrate your birthday when you didn’t know exactly when or where you were born. Many of us are impacted as the days lead up to the month as well. Some adoptees have no issues with this day. For most people birthdays are a happy time, built on the foundation of being welcomed into the world. A time for cake, parties and balloons. Now consider an adoptee’s birthday. What does it represent for them? It represents the day of their greatest loss, the day they lost their birth mother and all that was familiar. It was not only their birthday, but their loss- day. Personally for me this day is somewhat hard for me- it definitely’s got me thinking. I think about all the information on that note my birth parents left me (was a note pinned on my clothes when found with my Chinese name & birthday). I will never know. I like to think it’s all real but part of me doesn’t believe it, I don’t know why. This day is overwhelming in a way because I feel a loss. The hardest part about my birthday is, the inescapable truth that adulthood is in fact a reality, is wondering how my birth mom copes with the day. A number of questions come to my head such as: Does she even remember my birthday? Does she celebrate it somehow? Does she wonder how much I change with every passing year? For me birthdays since I have been adopted have been fairly good and filled with unconditional love but there have been times when I just felt pure sadness, like something is missing. I am a year older and wiser as I continue to deal with my issues of being adopted. This is a process and if every seventeenth of April I shed a couple of tears, then so be it. I am accustomed to the feelings of loss, and my sense of early rejection. I accept them as part of who I am and do not need the “I am sorry” This underlying feeling of sadness is something I work on every day. I love and appreciate my adoptive family, but celebrating my birthday will always be a struggle. Finally, I would like to thank those who wish me happiness on my birthday, but please allow me to take a moment and grieve another year for not knowing who my birth mom and birth family are. Furthermore, if you know an adoptee who’s birthday is soon, wish them a happy birthday, celebrate with them if they choose to do it. But keep in mind not all adoptees are are okay. Adoption will always be attached to us. Sometimes like a ball or a chain, and other times like a badge we wear proudly.

One thought on “Birthday Blues

  1. First I want to say that I appreciate this blog being a transracial adoptee myself. I always knew I was adopted, but the past 2 years have been extremely difficult with my identity because I am just now realizing what it’s truly like. I agree with the comment, but I also wanted to add a few comments. Something that I would always, and still do, feel embarrassed or comfortable about is when people talk about zodiac signs. I know my birthday, as I was told, and I read my horoscopes characteristics which seem accurate. However, sometimes I wonder if this even relates to me or if that was just the closest date they could put. Also, I never know the exact location or time when I was born and it’s uncomfortable when I explain that I’m adopted.

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