Posted by Rebecca Bingham, Special Needs Mommie | Posted in The Special Needs Mommy | Posted on 21-07-2010
Tags: adoption, birthday, Milestones
Today my tiny dancer turns 4. I feel like my heart is torn in two. On one side is the fierce mamma pride for her. She was my first official “special needs” child (and the one we made all the rookie mistakes on). This same child just officially got kicked out of the system this week because she is all caught up. I marvel at the child who sings and dances and teases and runs and does all the things that we spent hours in therapy working on. She is a living advertisement for how important early intervention programs are — and how well they can work. Not every child will end up catching up on all fronts, but I am promise that every child who gets early intervention will do better than they would have without it.
The other side of my heart is sad today. I know that there is another family who has very different memories of this day. Adoption can be a tricky beast sometimes. I am acutely aware today of how her other family might be feeling today. In our family we have a tradition the night before a birthday. At bedtime we tell the story of the day that they were born and joined the family. Nori has never asked about it. Ever. I got to see her little face as I told her about the day we found out that we were matched with her and how we got the call that she was on her way just a few days later. I explained how she just couldn’t wait to be born and decided to come early. I ended the story by telling her about her first family and what we know about her other mom. I was very happy to see that she had lots of questions about her mom and I was equally as happy that I could answer most of them for her (hurrah for open adoption). I dread the day that she starts to understand the whole story. Too soon she will have the ability to understand the sad and hard parts that come along with her story. For today though, she is thrilled to have cake and look forward to bringing treats to her school class. As she marched off to school I heard her call her new baby doll by her birth mom’s name.
In four short years she has come so far and made some many changes. She went from being a preemie that didn’t engage or move. This was a kid who spent her first two years officially diagnosed as failure to thrive. I have half forgotten the hours I spent with her in every kind of therapy (with a newborn in tow). Crawling, standing, walking, feeding herself, talking; all the large and small milestones that she earned. I also marvel at the people we met because of her. At my very first parent support meeting I met some amazing women who have remained friends (except now we go to dinner without the kids…..).
I am thankful for my kids. I am thankful for my life. I am thankful for the hard choices that one special woman made to allow me to raise this daughter that we share. Now, I am off to make a pink cake with yellow frosting and wrap some presents. Have a great week everyone!