Today my littlest lovie turns 2, three days ago my oldest turned 9 and nine days from now my second youngest turns 3. It’s birthday season at our house. I don’t know how we managed to have three of our four kids all have birthdays in the same two weeks but we did. Today we are having a family party for them all. Birthdays always make me feel sentimental. I can’t believe how fast my kids are growing up. One minute you are holding them for the first time and the next they are 9 years old already. Birthdays for us are a little different though. Having adopted children, birthdays take on a new meaning. Joshua was born on March 18th, but we first met him March 26th. March 18th is the day he was born, but it’s a day with mixed emotions really. With my birth children we celebrated their births and were thrilled they had arrived safely, with Joshua we weren’t even present for his birth. I don’t even know that much about that day, just what I have gleaned from hospital records, but I don’t know what the feelings were for his birthmother on that day, although I can imagine. I imagine she was scared and confused not knowing what to do with this little baby who arrived 11 weeks early, not knowing if he would survive or not and then what she would do with him if he did. She spent the next week making the decision to allow him to be adopted and on March 26th she choose our family for him. For us, March 18 of 2010 was just another day. We had no idea our son had just come into the world and that we would meet him just a week later. Now we recognize it as his birthday and we celebrate his life and accomplishments, but somewhere out there his birthmother remembers this day also. I imagine she may feel a lot of different emotions. Sadness about not being with him but also, hopefully, happiness that he is doing well and loved. Birthdays are not simple anymore, they mean so much more than just happiness. They mean sacrifice and longing, love and sadness. I feel the same way about our daughter’s birthday. Adoption brings strange emotions and honestly, it’s a fallen world and we have to deal with these emotions because of it. Adoption isn’t what God had in mind when he created us, but it’s a great solution to the problem of orphans. I would never want to go back to simple birthdays, I like our complicated emotional birthdays because they mean we have reached out to love the loveless. God doesn’t call us to simple uncomplicated lives. If you are going to live for Him your life will be messy. But it’s well worth the mess.