Last week my son woke up beaming, “it’s my special day, it’s my adoption anniversary!” As he entered the kitchen I had our “you are special today” plate ready with his breakfast and placed it down by “Daddy’s chair,” which is where he requested to sit on his special day.
After breakfast, we looked at pictures from his adoption day two years ago and talked about how much everyone has grown and changed in the last couple years. I chuckled to myself over his sister in her own Adoption Day dress that she has proceeded to wear to every adoption we’ve attended since.
On adoption anniversaries we make sure to carve out time to read the books we have made from our kids’ stories paying honor to the families they were born into.
Families who have adopted handle the anniversary of this day many different ways. For some kids, this is a reminder of the pain of removal and disconnection from the families they were born into. For my kids, though, at this time it is a day of celebration. It is not lost on me that this is a day of contradictions–that for us it’s a day of celebration but for another family a day of loss. I know there is a loss in it for my kids, too. As much as I am theirs and they are mine, I realize the way they came to our family is through loss.
As mamas we so often want to shield our kids from pain, yet this pain is not something I can shield them from.
So as long as my kids want to celebrate their adoptions anniversaries, celebrate we will. I will gladly bring out the special plate, make cupcakes or pick out a toy they’ve been wanting. It is a day of loss but it is also a day of celebrating and we will embrace that for as long as it is the healthy choice.
We will soon celebrate our youngest’s adoption anniversary. I will honor his first mom for giving him life and thank God for the gift of his life. I’ll make him cupcakes with a Lightning McQueen theme (or whatever his favorite character of the hour is that week), we will reaffirm yet again that he is loved and safe and home and that we will never stop loving or fighting for him.
Our kids’ adoption anniversaries are filled with complex emotions that we are sensitive to, but they are also a day of celebrating. We celebrate their life and honor the moms who chose that for them and we celebrate family and the forever we have to together.