SeptemberOctober 2009 033Each year I’ve approached Aubry’s birthday with trepidation. Around the age of four, after going through months of therapy, she was processing her world and fully understood what adoption meant. Her birthday became a trigger for immense grief. It didn’t last a day; it lasted days. I understand it never went away, but continued to bubble under the surface of her conscious and subconscious spilling over around her birthday.

Aubry shared her grief with me each and every time and it was all I could do to help her cope with the anguish. As much as it engulfed me, I can’t even begin to understand what she felt and still feels. My soul shattered into slivers of aching sick pain as I held her each time, as she cried until there was nothing left and then fell into an exhausted slumber in my arms.

And then I cried for my daughter. I cried because I couldn’t ease her pain and I because I would sell my soul to make it all go away. Because as much as I love her, someone else can’t. You see, adoption is a dichotomy. Adoption is beautiful, but it also hurts. Adoption is joy, but it is also profound loss. Adoption brings a family together, but it has also pulled one apart.

This birthday didn’t trigger tears or grief.  Aubry now understands that everything about adoption is okay to discuss, express and examine – at any time she feels like it. She also knows that there is nothing she can say or ask that will ever cause me to not love her. Just knowing all of this has made the difference.



Filed under Adoption Issues, Adoptive Mom's Perspective, Forever Families, International Adoption, Multicultural Families, The International Mom

7 responses to “Ah…Birthdays…

  1. Pingback: G-Dog’s Birthday « The International Mom's Blog

  2. I was adopted as an infant and I had painful grief in my heart that really became an issue as I hit my teens. I cried every day my 7th grade year. I was so sad. I have carried that with me for years and my birthday was always a stressful time. I can relate completely. I love the way you describe adoption and your daughter is lucky to have such an understanding and aware mom. Processing through that grief is necessary for us to be healthy and strong. Overcoming the abandonment is so crucial to how we see ourselves and develop our worth. The loss of my birth mom defined my life growing up. I was happy but sad. accepted but rejected. Loved but unloved. I wanted to just feel ok inside. For it to all make sense and add up to a great life. I am now finally over grief. I am relatively healthy and strong and am eager for other adoptees to know that the pain doesn’t last forever. I have written a poem I would like to share with you and your daughter if you find it appropriate. I will look for your email address to send it to.
    Your family is beautiful!

  3. I am an adoptee and never went through what Aubrey has gone through but I can understand it. I like the fact that you are working to understand what she is going through.

    I also like that you give her a place to just let it out.

    It is heartbreaking I am sure but what a great way to bond to truly bond with her.

    Keep doing what you do.

  4. One day shy of thirteen months.

  5. O Solo Mama

    What a beautiful and true post. If I could ask, at what age was Aubry adopted?

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