At exactly 6:13 am this morning, my four year-old Little Guy woke me up with a kiss and a whisper of "Happy Birthday Mummy." Very different from my 6:13 am thirty-three years ago.
Thirty-three years ago I was born alone, in an unwed mother's home. No one kissed me happy Birthday. No one took any pictures. Streams of family didn't come to visit. I was alone.
The two plus months that followed are a little murky. I did find out that I was hospitalized for two weeks due to a staph infection probably caused by not having my diaper changed or being bathed. I was severely malnourished and my stomach stuck out. Someone did take the time to baptize me. What did I need more? Food or some holy water?
At two months old I was finally brought home, as I like to say. My parents had been trying to have a baby for years. Finally there was a baby available. Me.
I arrived home to a yard full of cheering neighbors and friends. They all knew how long my parents had been waiting to start a family. A few years ago, a long-moved neighbor dropped by a forty-five second DVD of this homecoming. I treasure these grainy first images of my baby self.
My father was once asked about my birth. He sat and sat and eventually began to worry about early dementia. He forgot. He forgot that he missed my first two months. He forgot that I don't have brown eyes or a flair for storytelling. He forgot that I don't enjoy partying until dawn and I can't throw a ball. He forgot that I like to sing in the car, quietly nurture, have a few close friends and always learn. We have been a family so long, that being adopted has never been in the forefront of his, or any one's in the family's mind. Blood type, DNA, eye color. They aren't the world. Love baby.
I owe a thank-you to my teeneaged parents and their families. They knew that they weren't ready to be parents. They knew that they didn't want to take care of me. They knew that there was a couple, out there somewhere, who wanted me dearly.
Still, every year around this time I feel intensely lonely. Is anyone else in the world thinking about me?
Thank you to my sweet Little Guy for waking me up with the tiniest kiss today. I love you dearly.