June 23, 2017. There is no legitimate reason for me to celebrate this day. But if there was a reason, that reason would be my son’s Golden Birthday. The day Joseph turns 23 on the 23rd.
But, since he is the child I placed for adoption 23 years ago, I gave up my right to celebrate. Another family has had the privilege of these festivities every year. Even so, each year on this day I would take time to reflect on the memories of the day I gave birth to a beautiful boy.
It’s always been a bittersweet day for me, but even more so the past five years. Once he turned 18 I had hoped he would look for me. As the years passed and I didn’t hear from him, I had to accept that that wasn’t going to happen. A couple years ago I found him on Instagram. I made contact with him and he told me “it was a lot to take in”. I haven’t communicated with him since, nor has he with me.
This year his birthday sits even heavier in my heart. On January 7, my high school boyfriend, my first husband, the person who also had to sign away his rights to this baby boy passed away. I always knew, no matter how long it had been since I had talked to him or how many miles apart we were, that on this day, he also felt the same as me. That June 23rd was special to him as well. And now he’s gone, and the solitary, bittersweet sadness is mine alone.
I still have hope that one day Joseph will want to know me. One day my kids might have a relationship with him. He might be willing to take on a whole entire family that will love him. But that is his decision to make, his story to write. Just as this story is mine.
Happy Golden Birthday, Joseph. Thank you for choosing me to bring you to your family. I hope to know you someday.