Arms of Adoption – Birth Day

The thought slipped from my unconscious to my conscious mind for the first time when I was almost fifty-years-old and in the process of falling in love. I was sitting in a chair holding my newborn granddaughter while the nurses fussed around and tended to her mom — my daughter. My heart was so full it ached as I held the perfect baby in my arms, stroked her perfect little hands, drank in the features of her perfect little face, and softly stroked her reddish hair.

My eyes moved back and forth between the flawless baby girl in my arms and my daughter in the hospital bed in front of me, my daughter exhausted from the effort of birthing this baby but with the unmistakable glow of a new mother.

I considered how the events of this day — and of months since we first learned that my daughter was going to have a baby — would be talked about over and over again throughout the years. One day we will share with this child the ultrasound pictures when the features of a baby were first identifiable, and together we will watch the video taken while she was still in utero that shows her moving and even sucking on her thumb.

In the years to come we will tell her about the months when she was growing in her mommy’s belly and how the countenance of her mommy softened during those months she prepared to welcome her baby. We will tell her how her mommy and daddy and those of us in her extended family anticipated her arrival. And we will tell her about this day — January 2, 2009 — when her mommy placed an early-morning phone call to her grandma just before her mommy and daddy went to the hospital, and how her grandma paid an astronomical price for last minute airfare, and how she prayed she would arrive in time to welcome her grandchild into the world.

And as these thoughts flashed through my mind in the space of seconds I realized I had no sense of myself ever having been born.

It is the place where confusion first starts for those of us who have been adopted. There are no stories shared about the day we were born because that day was not a day of celebration for anyone. Instead, we are told about the day we were adopted, the day we were chosen, the truth of our birth is ignored and never spoken of. It’s why I, like many adoptees, have a sense of having been dropped on the earth from outer-space and why, as I now realized, I had no concept of having been born.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.
  1. […] Visit site: Arms of Adoption – Birth Day […]

  2. *oh so beautiful* — the baby, momma, your words . . .

    You know – the funny strange thing is – I know my bio mom; I’ve visited her; talk to her; etc, and was with her until I was 3 or 3 and a half or so – but, I have no memory of ever asking her about my birth or what I was like as a baby – I wonder why? I don’t know why I never ask her things. It’s as if what you described is true – My life as a child began at 3 and a half or so and all before that is some . . . ? I don’t know. I should ask. I really should.

    1. It’s interesting, isn’t it Kat. Complex and interesting.

  3. Linda, what a beautiful description! So happy to have you join our All-Adoptee group with Sherrie Eldridge…it has really helped me in the process of allowing my feelings about my adoption to come to the surface…looking forward to the plans, the hope, and the future God has planned for each of us.
    Many blessings to you,

    1. Hi Beth, thank you for stopping by. I’m looking forward to getting into the group.

  4. Linda, that must be hard. But thank the Lord you have a lovely grand daughter and daughter. Blessings**

    1. Amen to that, Mevans3133!

  5. I’ve had a few interesting experiences with a birth that was going to become an adoption…I work in surgery and we do c-sections. When we know the baby is going to be adopted there is a different feeling in the room than for a regular birth. The tone is quiet, no asking about the baby’s name, no joking with the Mom..a sadness is felt for the Mom who, many times is not even shown the baby. Then I had a different experience where the adoptive parents were in the OR for the birth of their baby. The joy on their face, and their excitement of finally being parents made everyone smile. But there was a minute when the birth Mom wanted to see her baby for the last time…and tears were shed…but the happiness of those adoptive parents helped us understand the gift that was given that day. I cannot comment on your feelings about being adopted, but I hope the joy of the gift that you are was felt by your adoptive family. It’s too bad that the stories of your birth and all the many adopted children isn’t shared.

    1. Thank you for sharing another perspective – you are right, there is joy amidst the sorrow.

  6. Dear Linda,

    Such a beautiful baby and a poignant reflection of your understandable longing for your own birth story. May you find some healing and peace in this beautiful new life. Sending blessings your way.


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