To my birth mom–
Today’s my birthday.
But, you probably already knew that, didn’t you?
While today’s the day that my friends and family celebrate me, you’re probably reliving–or maybe forcing yourself not to relive–one of the hardest days of your life.
I won’t speak for you, because I don’t know you. I know some of your people, some of the ones who’ve had the privilege of loving both you and me. They’ve told me that giving me up was incredibly hard for you. I can only begin to imagine.
Over the past few years, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to think of you on this day that’s supposed to be all about me. I think about how hard labor must’ve been–I know I was two weeks late. Sorry about that. And that I wasn’t exactly the smallest of babies. You’re a champ.
Really. Instead of doing what some may call easy when you found out you were pregnant, unwed, and well, frankly, alone, you chose the hard path. You chose to carry me to term and to hand me over to someone else to raise because you knew that’s what would be best for me. You chose to eat healthy, take care of yourself, go to the doctor, and protect me while I grew because you wanted me to have a life that was better than what you could’ve offered me at the time. That’s pretty awesome.
And pretty selfless. I really can’t even begin to imagine watching your body change, telling your friends and family, and experiencing this crazy miracle of a thing called birth yet not getting to reap the benefits. Every mama I know who talks about labor being hard says that it was so worth it when they got to look into their baby’s face, got to hold their child, got to become a mom.
But you did something radical. You gave me up.
I’m writing this to you, on my birthday, to tell you thank you. You may never read this. I may never know. But, if you do read it or if you somehow come across this, I want you to know how thankful I am for what you did. You chose life for me–an incredible life, by the way–even though it wasn’t the easiest decision.
You gave me the opportunity to have birthdays. To be celebrated and loved and cherished by the people I do call Mom and Dad and by the people around me. You gave me this day. I can’t go by another year, another birthday, and not publicly thank you for the selfless act you made twenty-four years ago.
So, dear birth mom, thank you. For every single birthday I ever have. For the life you gave me when you chose to continue an unwanted and unplanned pregnancy.
I’ll always be thankful, today and everyday.