Today is my birthday. It may not be important to most people, but it's important to me because I almost didn't have one.
Thirty-six years ago a scared but brave fourteen year old girl gave birth to me. Her parents had only known she was pregnant for the last three months of her pregnancy. She was afraid of telling her dad as most pregnant teens are. If she had told them sooner they would have made her have an abortion. Instead, she kept me a secret eliminating one of the three choices she had. Eventually those two choices were whittled down to one, to put me up for adoption.
For as long as I can remember I thought about the girl who gave birth to me, especially on my birthday. I wanted so much to be able to tell her that I wasn't angry with her decision like so many other adoptees are. I understood the difficult choice she had to make and was always glad she made it. What kind of life would she have had if she kept me? She was just a child herself trying to get ready for high school.
Last year I was blessed to finally spend my first birthday with my biological mom. The seventeen long years of searching had paid off just a few months earlier. We celebrated at Busch Gardens with several family members including one of my half sisters whose birthday is tomorrow (which is more than a little weird, plus another half sister's birthday is on June 3rd). The next day we continued our celebration at my biological grandfather's house for my uncle's birthday. It was an incredible weekend and one that I had been longing for my entire life.
So, I thank you PaPaw for being a big, scary, military dad. To be welcomed and loved by you means the world to me. I thank Nanny, too, who unfortunately developed Alzheimer's before I found her. I especially thank you, bio mom, for being afraid to share your unfortunate condition and being brave enough to let me go. Love you, Angel.
I'm not doing anything special today but as I do every year, I'm taking some time to reflect on the fact that I was born and for that, I am grateful.