What does a birthday mean to you?
So my childhood was rough. There are some things that I remember though that always brings back the feels.
Birthday’s weren’t always celebrated with parties or gifts. However, one thing I remember happening every single year was that my mom would start telling us the story of our birth the minute she started labor. So my story starts 48 hours before I was actually born and goes like this, “Sondra, you were a TOUGH labor. I started contraction around 2 in the morning. They were hard and hurt. I finally woke up your Aunt Sheila and made her take walks around the trailer park. We (exaggerated breaths given here) walked and walked and walked. Did I tell you we walked? Ugh, you just would not hurry up. I suffered like this for two days. TWO DAYS. 48 hours of labor. Then the doctors tried to send me back home to walk. That was not going to happen. Finally, after 48 long excruciating hours, you were born. Then I told your Aunt and Uncle I was going to name you Penelope.” (This is my favorite part of this story because I do not want to be called Penelope) “But, your Uncle Dennis said ‘no’. So, your Uncle named you after his most current girlfriend and your middle name came from his. That is how you became ‘Sondra Lee’.” I am still grateful today for his intervention in my life.
So, why do I tell you this story? I tell you this because every year I tell my boys the story of their birth. I share with them the fears and the joys of what occurred around that wonderful day that they entered into this world. Today however, was very different for me. Today, we celebrated our foster son’s one year birthday. So much fun to have him in our home and to share this day with him and our friends. Yet, there was a lot of sorrow in my heart. You see, I do not know the story of his birth. There is another momma out there with this story. I woke up with this on my heart. I looked at him all day and even though I was very happy to have him here this momma’s heart had a touch of sadness. A burden for his birth mom. Does she remember the events that led up to his birth? Is she sad? How sad would I be if my biological children were away from me on their birthdays? What story can I share with him if he is with us as he grows up? As the party came and went I snuggled him and prayed over him in my heart. Praying for the loss he has endured. Praying for his heart as he grows. Praying that he will understand how much he is loved. Praying that she will one day get her life straight so that she can have some kind of relationship with him that is healthy. Praying that he knows that she chose life for him. Even in all her mistakes she chose to give him life. For that I am so grateful.
You see, fostering and adopting does not come without great loss. The celebration that he had was amazing. He played and ate so much cake his belly grew. He had friends and family here to surround him with love and laughter. But, behind that joy there was a loss of broken family. I do not go a day without that knowledge that a family is now broken. Whether or not they get fixed is up to his parents. Maybe they be able to get their life right for him but maybe before they have more children they will. Or maybe they will get life together for him. I do not have the answer for that. What I do know is that for today, he is safe and loved.
Today, we will celebrate. Today, he will know what it means to be a part of a loving family that will fight for him. Today, he turns one. I do not have a story to tell him of how he grew in my belly and how nervous I was when the time came for him to be born but I have a story of love for him. I have the truth that though his beginning was rough he has a Grandma and Grandpa loved him enough to ensure that he was safe and loved. A story of how much he has blessed us since the first time he graced our home. Our story with him began when he was born. We just didn’t know it until 8 months later how that story would connect us. #fosterhope #fosterlove #fosterdestiny #everychildisworthitTweet
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