The first part of this post was written several years ago, but I wanted to share it again. And add an update.
I know, I know…it’s not October 27. I just wanted to share with you what October 27th means to me. It’s not my birthday. It’s not one of my kids’ birthdays. It isn’t a day filled with big celebrations. I don’t even remember my first October 27th, but the first one is what makes the day significant. I actually don’t remember any of the October 27ths before I was an adult. I’m sure they were mentioned, but I guess I didn’t see the significance in them at the time. What is so important about October 27th? It was the day my parents got the call that they could come and pick me up from the adoption agency. That’s right…I am adopted. My mom got the call in the morning and then she called my dad at work. They picked me up later that day. October 27 was my first day as Natalie Frances Owen. My first day of life was August 4th so by October 27th I wasn’t a newborn anymore. The adoption agency/baby home where I lived for my first 2 months and 23 days of life called me Anna. That name was chosen by my birth mother. She was 17 and unmarried. She chose to have me at a christian center and give me up for adoption. I am so thankful she made that choice. Abortion was illegal at the time so my odds for being born were pretty good. Every year my dad calls me on October 27 to tell me how much he loves me. The conversation is the same every year.
Dad: Do you know what today is?
Me: Yes, I thought about it earlier…or…Oh, yeah. I hadn’t realized it was today.
Dad: (a few years ago) 38 years ago today we brought you home.
Me: I know. I’m getting old!
Dad: Well, think about how old I am.
And then he tells me about how he and Mom talked about me at breakfast. It’s so sweet.
This year my dad didn’t call. I wondered if it would be the day he would finally initiate contact with me. I haven’t gotten a call from him in well over a month so I didn’t really have my hopes up. If you’ve read here lately you know I’d decided to text him once a week just to let him know I was thinking about him. I first texted on October 5 and got no response. I texted again on the 12th and he responded with the words, “We all love you, too.” I texted on October 20 with no response. Then it was the 27th. I didn’t know what to do. It was my adoption day. Would he be able to say anything to me?
I had dreaded this day, because I knew it would probably make me sad. At school, I avoided changing the date from October 26th to the 27th. I kept the kids busy and nobody noticed that I never changed it. When the school day was over I walked over, erased the 26, and wrote in 28. The entire day I managed to push any feelings aside and concentrate on doing my job. On the drive home I briefly thought about it, but I listened to music to push the thoughts away. Once home I avoided the thoughts altogether, until Sweet Tea and I started talking. We were discussing something else entirely. It wasn’t a pleasant topic for either of us, but it was something that needed to be dealt with. Then the tears came. And once the floodgates opened I couldn’t stop them. I had no control. Thankfully Sweet Tea was discerning enough to realize that the tears had to do with much more than our conversation. I had shared with her the week before that my adoption day was coming up. I hadn’t mentioned it again though. When I was finally able to tell her why I was crying she just held me and let me cry. Long before the tears were spent I decided that if my dad couldn’t text me I could still, at least, text him. I sent him a message telling him that I was so thankful that they were my parents. That I had truly been blessed when I had been given to them. That was it. It was 9:47pm, and I was going to be okay. I had done what I needed to do. I recognized the day. Nineteen minutes later my dad responded saying, “You have been a blessing to us. Even through our pain we love you.”
And so goes the first of the major days in my life since the discovery of the girlfriend. Thanksgiving is next month. And then Christmas. I’m sure those will be hard as well, but everyone, everywhere will be celebrating them. I know I’ll feel the absence of my parents, but the kids will be around, Sweet Tea will be here, and it will still be festive. The adoption day belonged to just me and my parents. It won’t be the same without them.