Friday, October 10, 2008
Thoughts on a Birthday
I have been having trouble finding anything of "worth" to post. Then I remembered that this blog is for me! It is to work through the frustrations of life; the happiness and joys of life; the struggles of life. Sometimes it's just the everyday struggles in life that tell the story and not the huge "look at me" moments. This seems to be a common thread in most of my thoughts and in my writings. Trying to find my worth is woven throughout my life. Having the best birthday for my kids is my latest trial. It is so insignificant in the grand scheme of things but, at the time, huge for my kids. Birthdays have always overwhelmed me! I'm still trying to figure out why it is that they conjure up such anxiety for me. It's not that my childhood birthday parties weren't fun or fulfilling because they were. I had many parties where it was just my family and I having dinner and singing happy birthday to my sister and I (I'm a twin after all!) I remember, fondly, the times that we would get to be the center of attention and we got to decide what's for dinner and what kind of cake that we got - it was awesome!
Hmmm...I wonder if it's the whole attention thing that has me "stuck." As a mother, I tend to put myself last or, at least, second (or third or fourth) It has been many years where my birthday meant that I was going to be spoiled and indulged - well, maybe not indulged but at least humored. As an adult, we are expected to kind of put our selfish wants behind us to make room for our children's needs or the needs of our spouses. That, then, puts the huge burden of fulfilling all of those childhood memories on our loved ones and that is a big shoe to fill.
As I think more on this birthday "thing" I got going on, I am reminded of perhaps the most poignant gift that I have received, Murphy! My 11 year old son was gifted to me just after midnight on my birthday. The back story of his birth on my birthday is a miraculous confirmation of God's love for me. In 1990, I was a freshman at Purdue University and was dating a guy - so not my type but that was what appealed to me for some reason - and I got pregnant. It was shortly after my second semester (naturally, it was after the deadline for tuition reimbursement!) and I came home to my loving parents that forgave me and loved me through the mess. As my pregnancy progressed, I went in for an ultrasound where the doctor informed me that my due date was October 11th - my birthday! I had been planning to place for adoption and I was thrown for a loop when I saw the due date! How on earth could I go through with an adoption with a baby born on my birthday? So, right then and there, I made a little deal with God (isn't that funny how we do that?) If I had the baby on my due date, I would know that I was to keep the baby and if I had the baby on another day, I would know that it was in God's Will that I place for adoption. Well, I had my little boy on October 17th - side note: my jersey number all through high school was always #17 (just a little tidbit) He was beautiful and I loved him instantly but I knew that he was not mine to keep - God had another plan for me. It was very painful but very peaceful at the same time. I signed the papers a week later and began to pick up the pieces of my life by transferring to the University of Saint Francis on a volleyball and softball scholarship. In 1996, I married my husband Bill and in 1997 I got pregnant with our first child. My due date was October 9th (another October birth) and yet, I gave birth to Joseph Murphy on my birthday October 11th! It was as if God had confirmed our "deal" by gifting me my son on my birthday just as we had agreed upon back in 1990 when I placed my first son for adoption.
So, as I work through this aversion I have to my own birthday, I am reminded everyday of the gift that God has given me in my sons and my daughter. Someday, I hope to be reunited with the beautiful boy that I placed for adoption. It is wonderful how God works if we let Him! Now, I just need to remember to LET HIM WORK!
Happy Birthday Murphy - Happy Birthday Kerry!!! I love you both as big as the sky or as the Irish say "Bi da kye!"