CutiePie's 5th birthday was actually a week ago, but the Wordless Wednesday I just posted and also Rachel's post about her boys' birthday today got me thinking more about CutiePie's actual birth day.
I don't actually know much about the day, but I can imagine it. It was February in Siberia, which means cold. Really cold. Like 30 below zero Fahrenheit cold. His birthmother may have given birth at a hospital, but it's more likely that she gave birth to my baby at home. All we know for sure is that, two months later, she took him to the hospital and left him there, sick, cold, malnourished and unwanted.
It pains me to think about those first two months of his life. How his tiny cries weren't answered. How his birthmother (according to the court testimony) would leave him alone in the cold house for hours while she was out drinking and carousing. How he wasn't rocked to sleep or held or sang to or cuddled or even fed regularly.
It's really not fair in some ways to say "Happy Birthday" to him. The day of his birth wasn't a happy day. Not for him. Not for his birthmother. I've scoured my old calendars and have no idea what I was doing the exact day my baby entered this world. All I know for sure is that I was just discovering that I was pregnant for the first time. I had no idea then that the baby I was carrying wouldn't actually be the baby I would hold in my arms. I had no idea that my baby was already waiting for me on the other side of the world, already crying out for me.
CutiePie's first "Birthday" (i.e., the first anniversary of his birth) in 2003 was better, but not by much. He was about to be moved from a failing foster care situation into the orphanage. Meanwhile, I was discovering that I was pregnant again, after months of trying after our first loss the previous spring. Once again, I couldn't have known that my baby was still waiting for me in Siberia, not growing inside me.
By the time of his second Birthday (i.e. the second anniverary of his birth) in 2004, CutiePie was well cared-for in his orphanage and receiving love, attention, food and basic medical care on a regular basis. It may not have been a family, but at least it was stable and nurturing. Here in America, we were busily at work on our dossier, dreaming about our children in Russia. Because we were not requesting infants, we were pretty sure that our children were alive somewhere, waiting for us. I was already getting frustrated with the process and the many delays and had no idea how much longer it would be before we were united with our children at last.
How time changes things and heals all wounds. In February 2005, CutiePie had been our son for f0ur months and had blossomed into a bright, funny, silly, smart three-year old boy. In just that short amount of time, we'd watched him transform from a giant infant into a toddler with a huge and charismatic personality.
Last week, we celebrated his birthday for the third time together -- it's hard to believe how quickly the time has gone! On that birthday, and probably on every other birthday I will celebrate with him, there were tears, only these are and will be tears of joy, of thankfulness, of gratitude and wonder.
Happy Birthday, CutiePie. I promise to try to make this and every other day of your life a happy one. I'm so glad we found each other.