Each 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.