It has often been acknowledged that birthdays are tough for some adoptees. Rather than a celebration of their lives, birthdays can be perceived as an anniversary of loss and a time for grief rather than joy. It saddens me to realize that this is the annual reality for some individuals. Although how we celebrate (or don't celebrate) is a choice which I feel should be respected either way..
I figured all this birthday talk would be appropriate seeing as I recently turned 24. Where do I weigh in on this adoptee birthday anxiety? On a scale of 1-10, 1 being carefree and 10 being deeply depressed, I'd say I'm about a 2. Every year, about the night before, I do wonder to myself if my parents in Korea (if that's where they are, if they're still alive..these questions are for another post entirely) think about me. But I've never felt very broken up about it. I always had birthday plans with family and friends which I found quite fulfilling. Even this year, when I feel more keenly aware of my losses than ever, I did not experience any sadness related to being adopted. Maybe that's just how I am. There's certainly no right or wrong way to feel anyhow. The most difficult birthday was my 16th, simply because that is how old my Korean mother was when she gave birth to me. When all is said and done, I've had basically a lifetime of birthday experiences to be grateful for and which I genuinely enjoyed. Only next year I turn 25, or a quarter of a century old..not sure how enjoyable I will find that.