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Adoption Blog: Adoption: Not Just My Profession, My Life

Reflections on My Daughter’s Second Birthday

Today is a special day. Our daughter, R, is turning two. Today has also brought with it a lot of reflection. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about her birth mother in some way, but today I spent quite a bit of time in deep reflection about what she must have been going through two years ago on this date.

Looking back on my son’s birthdays, I recall knowing that “today was the day” I would meet them for the very first time, and remember how I felt. As we all know, it’s just not like that with adoption. Two years ago today, I had no idea this beautiful little girl was entering the world. And I was completely oblivious to the fact that, two days later, my social worker would walk into my office and say, “This is it.”

As we celebrate R’s birthday, I can't help but reflect that it was two years ago on this day that a woman we had yet to know and would come to love intensely was struggling with the most difficult choice of her life. She chose to break her own heart for the love of her little girl.

My arms and heart are full, yet hers have an empty spot. I saw R's first step, heard her first giggle, and was the first to hear her say Ma Ma. I get to be the one to scoop her up when she needs to be consoled and the one who snuggles with her every night just before bed. The privilege of being chosen to be her mother by her mother will not be lost on me. I want to help R understand the importance of roots and wings. To know herself is to look both backward and forward at the same time.

Together we are her mothers. Each with a different role, but both with love that pours out of our souls for the same beautiful little girl. This is a day filled with pain and joy for R’s birth mother, Momma J, and yet I received the most loving message from her today.

When people speak about adoption, their focus is often on the beautiful aspects, and the sadness and loss are brushed under the rug. To fully grasp what adoption is and the impact it has on adoptees and birth parents, it’s important to acknowledge and examine that loss and brokenness.

People mistakenly tell R how lucky she is. They certainly have it all wrong, as I'm the luckiest of all; I've hit the jackpot in having both her and her birth mother in our family.

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Kristy Hartley-Galbraith

Kristy Hartley-Galbraith


I have recently adopted or am adopting from...
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