I didn't know until Theo's first birthday that I would spend his birthdays thinking about not just him but his birth. I think about how it went, what time I went to the hospital, when he was born, what Kelly said, how it felt to wake up with the sun rising over Lake Superior shining into my room a few hours later. I do this every year. I wonder if I will think about his birth when he is a grown man, on that particular day.
On Zane's birthday I mostly think about him. I didn't give birth to him, I didn't know about him on the day of his birth (although Kelly remarked that day, four months before we even knew about him, "I bet our son is being born about now.") I don' t know what the birth was like, how he cried, or what the nurses said. So every year I come to his birthday thinking only about what a gift he is to us. At least the first few years, until Theo turned one.
Then I knew that every year on Zane's birthday someone else would be thinking about him, how he came into the world, what it was like. I hope she feels at peace for making the decision to give him up for adoption. I hope she knows he is a beautiful, bright, delightful child. I hope someday I can thank her for her generous gift.
Now I know every year on Zane's birthday (it was yesterday) to pray for this woman, halfway around the world, and to give thanks.