Our boy is 4 tomorrow and 4 years ago we had no idea he existed.

How happy and sad that heading makes me.

Happy for my gorgeous boy to at last be 4, as he has been dying to be for the past few months and so very sad that, 4 years ago, we had no idea he existed.

There was no excitedly prepping a nursery, nor was there the packing of a hospital bag, the charging of a camera or the timing of contractions. However, I guess that there wasn’t most of that for his Birthmom either. Today I feel sad for both of us. Tomorrow I will be happy for both of us because, tomorrow, the boy that she made and that I get to grow and nourish, both physically and mentally, celebrates his special day.

But, for now, today, I am sad. As I write, he is at his Granny’s house, baking his birthday cake, with his cousins. Today school broke up and they are all super excited and happy. I know every inch of him so well and every day I revel in his cheeky, bright and questioning nature. I know where he is 24 hours a day, what he likes to eat/play with/watch on tv, how could I have missed those first few days of his life? His first breath, his first cry. It just really messes with my head that I missed such a big part of his life…the 9 months before he entered this world and then the 10 days after that.

I know how lucky I am that he came home to us at 10 days old, as that doesnt happen anymore in South Africa but I still mourn the time I missed.

This is the first year that these feelings have come to the fore and I acknowledge that every year, from now on, they probably will too. It is part of the adoption process and the emotions that go along with it. I am fiercely protective of my boy, even to the point of walking away from friendships, if I feel that he has been dissed/rejected in any way. I described it to a friend the other day as my mama bear instinct. I won’t be able to protect him from feeling feelings of rejection when he can understand about his adoption, but my God, I will protect his feelings while I still can, with every fibre of my being.

Today, more than ever, I wish I could make contact with his Birthmom, to compare notes about our boy and find out what I missed. I know that she has missed out on so very much more than I have, does she think of it like that? I suppose that she would drive herself mad if she did. I will, however, take some time out of tomorrow, as I always do, to silently thank her for what she gave us and the world. There is no doubt in my mind that very many people’s lives would be that much more dreary without him in it. Ours, my parents, our friends, his teachers and his friends, just to name a few. How could you not smile when you look at this face:

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