I lit a candle tonight and reflected on the fact that we will celebrate my son’s first birthday soon

We will celebrate the laughter, the giggles, the mischief and snuggles that is fully him.

We will reflect on the joy of the last six months of being his parents. The joy of seeing him sit up, cut teeth, crawl, walk and speak his first words to us.

Before we celebrate the sweetness of adoption though, the bitter part of the grief of adoption has shown itself

I told him his basic adoption story again this evening – he has heard it before. It is his story after all, though we are a part of it and he is a part of ours.

His story, the details of which are his to hold onto or tell as he grows.

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Tonight on reflecting on our beautiful son and how awe inspiring it is to see him growing before our eyes, I was reminded of the fact that we can’t pretend that he is not going to have to deal with things.

He grew under his birth mom’s heart

I was reminded that for nine months, he grew under his birth mom’s heart – and as much as people say that adoption is when a baby grows in your heart instead of your womb, this baby grew under a heart in another’s womb and that is a part of his story.

It is a part of her story and now it is a part of our story too.

A friend recently reminded me that the Psalmist speaks in Psalm 139 of being knit together in a mother’s womb and not being hidden from the start. She reminded me that my son was known from the start as much as we didn’t know him from the start. I was reminded this evening that although adoption was always part of how I planned to grow my family one day, of the conversations my guy and I had prior to marriage, nonetheless this plan brings with it a story of loss for two others – but that they are known too.

Tonight I want to make sure that he knows that we will stand next to him in responding to the things that will be his to deal with as he matures into manhood.

So before the candles celebrating a year of his life are lit, there is another life I want to honour tonight and have no idea how to do it

Before we think about candles on cakes, tonight I lit a candle and want to honour his birth mother, who a year ago was preparing for labour and to relinquish (the details of this are hers and his) the baby who became our son.

I want to honour her simply for being his other mother. We don’t know her and she doesn’t know us and yet our life stories are intertwined.

So before the candles celebrating a year of his life are lit, there is another life I want to honour tonight and have no idea how to do it. Other than to pray.

To hold the space with my son and to say to this other mother that you are a part of our story always.

In a respectful way.

In a way which honours a decision you made.

In a way which honours our son.

In a way that honours the unknown between us and yet shares a life.

Tonight I simply want to honour you.