“One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.” ~Lewis Carroll
I love my birthday. Always have. As a child, I made sure everyone knew my birthday was coming up. And the day after my birthday, I would start planning for my birthday the following year. So it will probably come to no surprise that at one point, I tried to convince my parents I should celebrate my adoption day as another birthday (at the very least in Alice in Wonderland unbirthday fashion). My parents didn’t buy it.
My parents married in 1972. Shortly after my dad graduated from college a year later and was commissioned as an Army officer, my parents decided to start trying to have children. They went through a lot of ups and downs during their early years of marriage. They underwent numerous fertility tests. Experienced multiple home visits after they started looking into the adoption process. In 1977, they adopted my brother from a Jugendamt in Germany. In 1979 they began that process again in hopes for a second child. It took two years before their next adoption; and July 13, 1981 they brought me home (come back later for more posts on my parents’ decision to adopt).
Adoption isn’t an easy process. It takes patience and determination. Some adoption agencies require strict requirements (age, race, income, etc.). My mom said that Catholic Family Services (CFS) was hesitant to even consider my parents because of their age at the time (they were 30!) when they adopted me. They could have given up. They could have explored another adoption agency. Instead, they never lost hope, and as a result we ended up together.
So even though July 13 is still just another unbirthday; as an adult, I have made a point to acknowledge the day every year. And in honor of my 31st adoption day later this week, I dedicate this post to my amazing parents and family. Here’s to 31 more years of still calling mom every time I get sick, even though she’s more than a thousand miles away, and expecting my dad to make my favorite meal every time I come home, even if it’s only once a year.