OK, this is not a great post to have after not blogging for so long, but I’m gonna share it anyway, because I know some other people who can relate! Please allow me to wallow in self-pity for a few minutes. Yesterday I experienced another first in the adoption process…I have my first public cry. (Not counting the happy cry in the corner room at Michaels.) (Or when I got choked up reading the Toddler Adoption book at Chipotle.) This was a real one–a sad one–and I didn’t like it one bit!

It’s time for us to send Asher’s second care package. We’re trying to follow the guidelines and keeping it simple. We’re sending another disposable camera, more pictures of our family, and a lovey for Asher just like the ones his brother and sister have. But next month is his birthday, so I knew I wanted to send a birthday card too. (I have no idea exactly when our package will arive in Thailand, or when the social worker will visit him, but I’m hoping it’s somewhere near his b-day.)

But as I was standing there in Target, looking at all these special birthday cards for a one-year-old, I just lost it. Usually those silly sentiments don’t do a thing for me…most of the time I skim them and look for the signature. But as I was reading things like “Your first cake! Your first candle! Your first year has come and gone…” Yeah. I was just overcome with sadness that I am missing it. Despite the truth that other families hold to, that the first few birthdays really aren’t THAT big of a deal, since the child won’t even realize what’s happening, we’ve still had a nice big shindig for both kids’ first birthdays.

I want to stay up late to make Asher a special cake…and watch him eat it! I want to snuggle him and laugh as he is mesmerized by the candle. I want to watch him attempt to grab at wrapping paper, then let his anxious siblings actually do the unwrapping for him. I want to sit back and enjoy the glow as our family and friends celebrate this first year of life and look at how much he’s grown.

That’s it–that’s the thing. He’s already grown so much. He might even be walking right now, and I’ve missed it. First words? I’ll miss that too…and I probably wouldn’t even understand them. I know in my head that he’ll be home before his second birthday and we’ll have every other birthday of his life to celebrate with him…even until he is tired of making a big deal about birthdays. But I don’t think I will ever get over my mourning for missing this first year and a half. We got a call that we probably will not travel until April, which seems another world of wait away.

So, I chose my card. It’s not especially significant or meaningful, just one that didn’t make me cry too hard. And we WILL celebrate his birthday, even though he won’t be here to eat his cake. And I probably will hit a major speedbump of sadness…maybe even after he’s home? But right now, I’m snuggling up on that little lovey and sending my love with it, and I find a smile thinking about him sleeping with it a world away from me. And I know most days will be better than this.