Today my first son celebrated an important birthday, but I was not there.
Eighteen years ago I placed him for adoption; I was fifteen. It was the single hardest decision I ever made. When I signed my rights away, I did so through tears. I could barely make out the line to sign my name upon.
I spent every minute with him that I was able, the two days I was in the hospital. I rocked and sang to him. I told him why I couldn't keep him. I hoped he wouldn't hate me when he grew up.
I will never forget that day...cold, gray and wet. It was as if the universe was mourning with me. I kissed his sweet face goodbye and whispered "Mommy loves you" when he was just two days old. I still remember the way his head smelled...so sweet. Leaving the hospital took all my strength, like a giant magnet was pulling me back. I wonder if I passed his parents that day.
I've had many questions over the last eighteen years. I hope one day I get to ask them.
Is he like me at all? Is he artistic? Does he sing or play an instrument? Does he love to learn and read? Is he adventurous or cautious? Does he scare everyone who rides in the car with him?
What does he look like? Is he tall and thin like several of the men in my family? Or is he short like me? Does he have blond or brown hair? Green or brown eyes? Is he athletic? Does he like to run? Is he addicted to the PS3 like my 12 year old?
Is he addicted to Starbucks? I can't get enough of the Espresso Truffle this season.
Is he in love? Will he go to his senior prom with her? Or is he so focused on graduating and entering his favorite college that he isn't interested in girls? (Fat chance, right?!)
Did he have a safe and loving childhood? Did his parents love him and cherish him as they promised me? Did they give him all he needed and some of what he wanted? Is he emotionally healthy?
Most importantly...does he love the Lord? Has he given his heart to Jesus?
I pray one day I get to meet him and his parents. His mom was so sweet and kind to me. She had the most gentle voice...always asking if I was okay, did I need anything, how was I feeling. The following year, when I turned sixteen, I received pictures of him on my birthday. One of the photos was of him just a couple weeks old asleep in his infant seat next to the Christmas tree. I couldn't help but think what a wonderful Christmas they had that year all because of me.
God bless my sweet boy, wherever he is. Guide him in the decisions he'll be making in the next year. Keep him safe. I hope he's celebrating with those who love him dearly. Happy Birthday Justin!
Thank you Mark Schultz for writing the song Everything to Me for all of us birth mothers. You have captured our thoughts and prayers. This was truly inspired by God!
Note: I had to remove the You Tube video of the above mentioned song due to some obscene content when a friend tried to access the video. If you would like to view the video, look up Everything to Me by Mark Schultz on the web. It's a great song!