Today is National Adoption Day! This is a day that I never ever would have thought would be a part of my life at all, and now here it is, such a huge part of who I am today. Not a day goes by that adoption doesn't affect me in one way or another, good or bad. Likewise, not a day goes by that I don't think about my daughter or her family. Thinking about her family brings on pain, happiness, and gratefulness, all at once. I am so grateful that adoption has given my daughter the gift of the love of not just one mother, but two. That it has given her not two families (mine and G's), but four families plus God knows how many extended families.
Adoption is definitely a double-edged sword. There are days where I feel like I'm being twisted from the inside out because of it; and there are days where I can't help but smile to myself, knowing that my daughter has so much more than I could have given her. But what I do know is this: without adoption, my daughter would have grown up without a stable father figure (this is my assumption, anyway. Maybe he would have proven us all wrong, but I doubt it). and a struggling mother. Because of adoption, she is a mere one year old and already a daddy's girl, and has a mother who did everything right and in order before having a child. I love her family as an extension of my own, and I have faith that they feel the same about me.
It's hard to hear my daughter's mom tell me how she wants to take them to the park this weekend or that weekend, how she took her to her 6 month check-up, how she has to send out a 'quick hello' because our daughter is getting ready for bath time. It's hard to fight off the instinctual feeling that I would give my right arm to be the one doing those things for her when I read that kind of stuff. But then her mom tells me that she was snuggling our daughter in bed that night with tears in her eyes as she thought of all that she has brought to their world, or she tells me that I am always in their thoughts and that they can't thank me enough for the gift of love that I gave to them. There are the times that she tells me that she will always encourage a relationship between Arianna and I, and even G and Arianna, and that this beautiful little girl brings a smile to the face of everyone in her family, from here to California and where ever else they've traveled with her. The way my heart bursts with love, pride, and happiness when I hear those things so greatly overpowers the hurt I feel by not being by her side day in and day out. I trust that she will always know, no matter what, that she lives in my heart and I in hers.
So, Happy National Adoption Day to all birth moms, birth dads, adoptive moms, adoptive dads, adopted children, fostered children, foster moms and dads, and any and everyone else touched by adoption in any way.