Today is your eleventh birthday. With all of my heart, I wish I could be there to give you a hug and tell you how glad I am that you’re alive. I wish I could tell you how much I love you, how much I have always loved you, and how much I will continue to love you, every moment of every day.
But, alas, I cannot be there. It seems that your parents forgot to forward me a current address when they moved, so I’m not sure where you are right now. Honestly, that makes me a little sad–no, that makes me very sad, because although I would never do anything to endanger your happiness, there is a sense of security in knowing simply that you are safe and okay and happy. I am still struggling with the idea of what I might say to you if I ever get to meet you again, but I know this is simply my overactive imagination giving me things to chew on instead of focusing on the fact that you’re not here.
And, interestingly enough, I don’t think you *could* be here. You are exactly where you are supposed to be, and there is no reason to not think that it’s the most perfect place in the world for you. Amazing things came together to bring you and your parents together. I’m not sure if they ever told you the story of how we came together, or of when you were born. There is still a fear in me that they might not have ever found the right time to tell you that you were adopted, but that is something else that I’m trying to have faith in.
When I found myself pregnant with you, I was scared – terrified, really – and I thought of all the options and choices that are available to young women who find themselves in serious trouble. The only reasonable option was to find a good home for you – I knew that you’d have amazing things awaiting you, incredible things to do, mistakes and messes to make, skinned knees to experience, and feelings to feel. While I was going through a weekly paper one week, I found the advertisement that your parents had put in there, but the really interesting thing was, it wasn’t supposed to be there at all. Their ad had expired two weeks before, and the people at the paper just put in their listing to fill the space.
I’d tried calling a number of other couples before I called your mom, and by the time I got around to their ad, I was furious. I couldn’t believe the audacity of those people! Most of them clearly didn’t have the presence of mind to understand what being a parent was – even the ones that already had kids – and I was ready to just call anyone for the sake of venting. I called your mother, and I asked some pointed questions, and then something amazing happened.
My anger disappeared, and I realized that I was talking to the mother of my baby. And she realized she was talking to the mother of her baby, too.
Over the next several months, we talked at least once a week, and I fell more and more in love with your parents, knowing that they were the right people to take care of you. I admit freely that there was a big part of me that wanted to take care of you myself, but I also knew that it wouldn’t be fair to subject you to the hurt and healing that I knew I still had to go through. Here were these people that had built their whole lives to have a baby right at that moment, and there I was completely out of my depth and frustrated with the prospects that were thrust upon me. It was only common sense that said that if I loved you – truly and really and completely loved you the way I do – I would make sure that the people you were raised by would have every resource available to give you ever chance to be happy.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Now, time has marched on. You now have three half-siblings – an 8-year-old sister, a 6-year-old brother, and a 1-year-old brother. You may even have another one soon. I’m married to a wonderful man who holds me when I cry because I miss you, and doesn’t try to make the hurt go away – he just lets me feel it, and helps me back up when it’s over. We live in Wyoming, near the capital, and we have a large house with an extended spirit-family (people whom we love unconditionally without the blood relation), ten cats, and a large black dog. I still wear the nose ring I got on my first Mother’s Day, lo these many ages ago, and my hair has gone from black to red to natural blonde to blue with purple and green streaks back to black and now it’s red. I still look pretty much the way I did after you were born with no extra weight or anything, and it is my sincerest hope that you inherit some of my metabolism.
In about an hour, we’re going to have a big turkey dinner to celebrate this beautiful day, and I’m going to tell the story of your birth again. We’re going to toast to you and send you all the love and energy and happiness that we can, because that’s what families do.
And you are the luckiest girl in the world, because you have two families that love you and would do anything in the world for you. As you approach the rumbling mess of adolescence, I know that it can be hard to see how much your parents love you, and it is my birthday wish to you that you never completely lose sight of that.
Birthday wishes are very powerful things, you know. These days, I don’t think of myself so much as your birth mother as your “faery god-mother”. I graced you with the greated gift any person could want, full of every possibility and pitfall, and let you go to enjoy it. It was my honor and pleasure to carry you for your parents, and if I sometimes get sad, it’s only because I want to know that you and they both know that.
I love you, Cassidy. Happy Birthday.