This is our third guest post written by Jenna Myers, a birth mother who placed her daughter with an adoptive family in 2009.
So, it’s been a year. Or 2. Or maybe even 5. Not only does that time signify your child’s birthday, but it also represents the anniversary of the time you placed your child. It’s not easy, and I won’t lie to you, it still isn’t easy for me — nearly 5 years later. But I have learned ways to make it easier to get through that day (or week).
I find that I spend that week, and much of that month, reliving my time in the hospital.
Julia was born December 14th by c-section, so I spent about 4 days in the hospital. The entire week for me seems to be difficult, even almost 5 years later. Actually, to be completely honest — the entire month of December sucks for me. But today, we focus on the birthday. It can be a tough time, especially since many of us don’t get the opportunity to spend our child’s birthday celebrating with them. We may get a nice phone call or e-mail or photos, but it’s not the same. And while that may fill the void that we feel somewhat, it doesn’t help too much. The first year after placement, I spent that day crying. The second year, I chose to spend that day in PJs watching Gilmore Girls, wishing I could live the life that Lorelei and Rory live. By the third year, I decided to celebrate. Don’t get me wrong, I am still emotional during that week, but I just choose to hang out in my PJs with some good friends and celebrate. I bake a cake, watch some movies, drink some wine and keep my mind off of the time I spent in the hospital. It’s not healthy to relive such a difficult and emotional time anyway.
So, my advice to those who still struggle with the birthday is not to spend the day reliving that day. Don’t spend your day wondering “what if” and thinking about what he or she is doing. Be happy that your child is happy on this day, be happy that your child is being thrown an awesome birthday party and is surrounded by loved ones. And celebrate! Celebrate the life you gave to your child, celebrate the joy you gave to their family, and celebrate the sacrifice you made — for whatever reason you made it. You did something amazing and truly blessed a deserving family and that is something to be proud of, and something to celebrate.