Today is my son’s fifth birthday. The emotions that have coursed through my body regarding this topic have been tumultuous and exhausting. I am not quite sure how it is that my body knows that today is April 15th.
I understand that my mind is capable of differentiating one day from another, but it is a mystery to me how my body knows. But my body does know – I can tell by the physical manifestations of grief written all over my body from head to toe, inside and out. Once I read that our “gut” has as many nerve endings as our brain and this perhaps explains the knots and pit of emotions I can feel in my stomach.
This morning as I was brushing my teeth & getting ready for the day, I was struck by how I am still coming to grips with the permanency and far reaching effects of my decision to place Joshua for adoption. I don’t know where the days went, slipping by so quickly, becoming weeks, months, and years. It’s hard to believe the baby I held in my arms is already 5.
It’s not that I thought that it would be an easy, snap decision – quite the opposite. But it is impossible to fully understand the hard reality and full meaning of permanency until you live it, day after day.
I thought that it would get easier – and some days it is easier. But some days it isn’t; some days I can feel my decision heavy on my chest, as if I am making it all over again. Sometimes the weight of my decision is as heavy as the day I left my son in the hospital to be picked up later that same day by his “forever family” and to go home with a new mommy.
And today this decision feels so permanent, so thick, and so tangible. I can feel the deep emptiness from the piece of my heart that I gave to him and he takes wherever he goes. Does he know he has my heart? Does he know how much I love him? I think he does. When I visited & played with him this past weekend, his beautiful blue eyes looked into mine and I saw the deep, simple trust of a child who knows he is deeply and unconditionally loved. And it’s in that moment that it is all worth it.