Today is my first baby’s birthday, so I wanted to acknowledge it by celebrating our relationship and the road we traveled to get here.
When I was 17, my first serious boyfriend and I – both complete virgins – had sex and immediately got pregnant. We were both terrified and traumatized, but I immediately knew what I had to do. It was devastating, but I knew that I needed to give the baby up for adoption. My brother and I were adopted, as were a few friends from school, and we all had great lives and great families. It was still a giant leap of faith, but I was resolute in my conviction that I was doing the right thing, so somehow, I got through it. Eighteen years later, my daughter and I found each other through the adoption agency with whom I had placed her, and we began the long road to healing. I’m thrilled to report that she and I are now great.
I still consider giving her up to be the single greatest act of love I’ve ever committed. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and the only reason I was able to make the sacrifice was because I wanted her to have everything I knew I couldn’t give her. I took the (very) hard road out of love.
And it turned out to be exactly the right thing for both of us. Her adoptive parents are great, she had the stable childhood I couldn’t give her, and I had some time to finish growing up. (I’m nearly done.) (Maybe.)
She’s 33 today, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Both of my daughters are lovely young women, and I’m really grateful for them both. I’m also very grateful for my gorgeous grandson and for the new grand baby expected early next year!
So this is a love letter to us all. To Liz, to her parents Rita and Dan, to her birth father (who remained supportive and kind through the whole process, even if he did chicken out when it came time to get back in touch), to my mother from whom I learned the strength I needed to stay the course, and to the countless people who helped us all through it.
Happy birthday, baby girl!
By the way, in case you’re new to my blog, you might want to check out my post “Wednesday’s Child” about my experience of being an adoptee.