Anna turned 11 and as usual, it brought about memories and emotions that I don’t usually have on a daily basis. Usually, I am very much at peace and content that we have 2 separate lives that occasionally intersect. However, birthdays trigger memories to come flooding back as if it was just yesterday, making the piece missing in my heart feel just as raw as it was after placement.
After her birthday party on my 2-hour drive home, I couldn’t help but just cry a little. As I listened to the worship music on my iPhone, I let the floodgates down. I miss her. I miss the daily presence she would have in our lives. I kept thinking of all the things I have missed over the last 11 years. The little things. The things like tucking her in at night, making her food, knowing who her friends are, taking care of her boo-boo’s, or taking her shopping. What killed me inside was that she obviously feels that loss too, as does my oldest daughter that I parent. They both sobbed when having to say goodbye. Goodbyes seem to be getting harder as they get older and understand more. It kills me that I basically am the cause of this, by my choice years ago. These are the things you don’t think about when making an adoption plan years, looking ahead to what it will be like later on and the challenges ahead. Would I change my decision if I could go back? No. I still know I did what was best at 16 years old for her and I. Life was different then. I can’t deny that adoption is always easy though and it has constant new waters to gauge as it affects more than just the 2 of us. And honestly, if I had kept Anna, my children that I parent wouldn’t exist anyway as I wouldn’t have met my husband. Our life would have looked very different.
But, oh, how grateful I am to have her in my life at all. I know we are blessed in our open adoption. Her parents are amazing and nurture her desire to know us and allow us to be together when we can in our busy lives. Having the relationship we do certainly helps because I can see what a wonderful life she has and I love knowing that she is being raised how I would raise her if she were with me now. God hand-picked the best parents possible! So, as we move into this 11th year together navigating this new territory of her curiosity and deeper understanding of adoption, I’m glad I have my God as my guide and comforter. He has never failed us before. He won’t now. After all, He is the one who put all this into motion. He, and our mutual love for Anna, have been at the center of our adoption and it has created a beautiful thing. Reminding and resting in that truth helps the feelings of loss.