This week is my birthday. That alone is not cause for a blog post, though I do, in general, love my birthday.
It just so happens to be the perfect time for me to remember where I was exactly one year ago. Last year's birthday was rough. Really rough. My birthday last year happened to fall on a Jewish holiday, and not a fun one. That alone wouldn't have been so bad, but it also just so happened that we were in the middle of one of our first times being presented to an expectant mother through our adoption agency. We had been on the wait list for three months. The waiting was already simply awful.
So as my birthday rolls around this year, I keep thinking back on what it was like last year. Looking back, I am pretty sure that I was in a bit of a depression. The adoption wait was as hard as everyone had said it was going to be and at moments, it was harder. And the not knowing. It was killer. Every day of that waiting felt like our real lives were on pause, like we were just kind of waiting around for someone to come and hit play again. And my birthday happened to fall right in the middle of some of the worst of it all.
But, here is the amazing thing, the thing that I cannot believe is really true, the thing that I would hope gives some small bit of hope to anyone in the midst of a wait themselves, the thing is that one year later, I am happier than I have ever been before. All that waiting, that stuff is still very present in my heart and mind, I didn't forget it and it didn't go away. It seems no less awful looking back on it than it did while I was in it. I would never pretend that it wasn't that bad because that would simply let people know that I was lying. The thins is that it was that bad and I still remember how hard it all was AND...it was all one hundred percent worthwhile.
All that we went through was so very much worthwhile because now, one year later, I know what it feels like to love your own child and I have never experienced anything like it. Now, one year later, I know what it feels like to be proud of the tiny person that your child is becoming right before your eyes. Now, one year later, I get to come home from work and pick up this precious little being who is always happy to see me. Now, one year later, I am a mom of a kid who makes me laugh even after the worst of days. And it hasn't even been a whole year of being her mom yet.
You know how people say that every hard thing that you go through, every insanely awful and terrible thing that you have to endure, eventually brings you to the exact place that you are supposed to be. I have to say that, now, I believe it. This is the exact place where I am supposed to be and if that situation, one year ago, on my birthday, had been a yes instead of a no, then I never would have made it here.
So this year, when my birthday rolls around, I don't need much (though I will always accept cupcakes) because my true gift is already here. This family that I am a member of, this child that I get to call my daughter, the waiting that I went through but that is now behind me, all of this is my gift. And that is more than enough for me.