This blog post was inspired because I know first hand how hard birthday’s can be for adoptees. There is healing in sharing how we feel so I wanted to seek input from my fellow adoptees and find out how they felt about their birthdays.
I was blown away to see so many of us feel similar ways about this day and the days leading up to the “Birth” day. Many of us are impacted as the days lead up to the month as well.
Some adoptees have no issues with this day.
No matter what experiences are shared here, I’m excited so share the feelings of so many of my fellow adoptees no matter how they feel. Each and every one of you matters, your story matters and your voice matters.
If you would like to add how you feel about your birthday please reply to this thread and I’ll add it to this blog post. Feel free to share with your online communities to help raise awareness on how it feels to be adopted.
Adoptee Voice #1.
- My birthday month is August. I wish the month could go away. My birthday is the 10th. I don’t ever recall looking forward to my birthday. It feels weird when people wish me happy birthday. I don’t even know what the normal feeling is supposed to be.
Adoptee Voice #2.
- It’s not your birthday. It’s your cake day., eat cake.
Adoptee Voice #3.
- August 21st is my birthday so in the back of my mind counting down to the day. Not sure what plans are. I usually try stay positive but by evening the mind tends to take over a bit. I used to think it was the one day she would be thinking of me but found out she never remembered my birth date.
Adoptee Voice #4.
- My birthday is December 21. So I get the holiday blues wIthiBONUS birthday blues. My mom passed just over a year ago, my dad has had a super rough time (wrecked the tractor last fall, other medical problems, depression) and I’m already dreading this holiday season.I’m actually thinking about taking a road trip. I could use the solitude and the break and it just might be the perfect time and place for the crying jag I never seem to let myself have.
Last year I turned 50 and my aunt (my mom’s only sibling) surprised me at work with a big cake. It was nice of her, but it was also sort of surreal.
Adoptee Voice #5
- It’s the time of the year I can’t “not think” of my birth parents. (BF is deceased) My birth mother lives less than 15 miles from me and a mile away from where I was raised. She pretends I don’t exist. If there is one day a year she thinks about me, that should be it, right? I do write her letters and send them, even though I never get anything back.
Adoptee Voice #6
- I have an August birthday (the 28th). I HATE my birthday… As a child, it was never a happy occasion. Adoptive father was a violent drunk, and his drinking never took a vacation, no matter the day.. holidays, birthdays, weddings…. Adoptive monster was an enabler, and fed into his violence and never protect myself or adoptive brother. Birthdays were “family” parties until I was 10. Every year less and less people came, and I finally realized it was due to him. I always wondered what I did wrong.. But why in the world would you subject yourself to that disaster if you didn’t have to? And since I wasn’t blood to them, they just stopped coming. The final straw was at 16. Adoptive monster talked up a Sweet 16 party for years. Told me we would rent a hall, get a DJ, I could invite anyone I wanted… When it came down to it, it didn’t happen. It was downgraded to a house party in my garage. The day of ,I spent HOURS getting ready. Sat outside waiting and waiting. Hours after start time, I heard the adoptive monsters arguing. Adoptive father admitted the night before he called the entire guest list and told them it was cancelled…. NO JOKE. This is the deranged behavior I lived with my entire childhood. That was the last birthday I spent with them. Shortly after this, I fled in the middle of the night and was emancipated.
Adoptee Voice #7
- My birthday is Nov 1 and I always got depressed and angry as it got closer. I’m 53. A few years ago I decided to start making it about others. I’d invite a couple of good friends to go out to a really nice dinner just to celebrate the friendships I have.
I have a loving husband and family who wanted to bless me so I quit being a stick in the mud & let them and chose to enjoy what I have now instead of what I don’t have. Gratitude and choosing to bless others changed how I anticipate my birthday now.
This was before I met my sister this past spring, and learned a lot about my birth parents who have passed. I am now looking forward to this year’s birthday.
It’s all in perspective – I am here, alive, and have many things to be thankful about.
Adoptee Voice #8
- Birthdays are hard for me. I have spent more than one birthday listening to John Lennon’s song “Mother” on repeat…
Adoptee Voice #9
- I know some adoptees hated this, but I loved it. It made me feel special. My Adoptive Mom celebrated my adoption Birthday by taking me out and often giving me a special gift.
Adoptee Voice #10
- The older I got the more I dreaded it. I only want to hear it from my son who I know loves me. And my boyfriend who I know loves me also. Everyone else I still wonder what they really think of me. No matter their loyalty or not….I still question it. It took me awhile to believe my boyfriend really loved me.
Adoptee Voice #11
- Birthday, the day of happiness from all… Ugh it’s just a dreaded day of wanting to be alone.
Adoptee Voice #12
- My birthday is in May and I just think of it as the day I was given to the universe rather than the day I lost my whole family.
Adoptee Voice #13
- I have hated every single birthday I can remember. Everyone always thought I should love them and celebrate them! It never felt like my day or my birthday. Long story short at the age of 38 I found my birth mother 1 week ago. The day I had always celebrated my birthday was not the day I was born! I have no idea how I will feel for the next one….Feb always thought, March actual!
Life literally changed overnight and upside down. I thought being adopted was hard, at this stage being reunited is even harder. My birth mother seems lovely and kinda “gets me” more than my adoptive mother. Huge journey/roller coaster ride about to begin.
Adoptee Voice #14
- Growing up my birthdays were a mixed deal. The birthday party or events my parents had lined up were always fun things I really liked. But there is just something about the day I was born and always feeling like my biological mom did not even love me enough to keep me. Once I got into what my parents had planed it was always a fun day. But the lead up was bad for years. After I became an late teen and adult the day got worse. For years I would just ignore it, spending the whole day doing yard work, even mowing a relatives or a neighbors yard just things to keep my super busy and my mind off my birthday. The last few years have been better. I have dealt with my life much more working through it instead of burying it. I am beginning to feel I deserve to be happy or at least not sad on my day. Like others have sad feelings I have put in the work to earn my day. Wanting to show my biological mom this stubborn, loud, fussy baby turned out just fine!!!!
Adoptee Voice #15
- It didn’t really seem much different than any other non-adoptees birthday, until I found out last year that by birth mother and I share the same birthday. I must have been the worst birthday present ever.
Adoptee Voice #16
- For me I used substances for 26 years, so I didn’t have to process the pain of the realities of adoption. Birthdays were always a dreaded day filled with pain, loss, unconscionable grief and having to celebrate it was possible but only with alcohol in my life. 8/13/12 I decided I wanted to live a sober lifestyle and all the REALITIES of adoption came flooded in. I truly wasn’t prepared for it all. When you run for so many years how can you prepare. In the last 5 years I’ve worked towards handling these emotions in a healthy way. I am not gonna lie, there were birthdays I just couldn’t even get out of bed and it goes the same for the weeks leading up to that day. It was a dreaded day for many years, but recently I’ve given myself permission (because no one else in the world has) to be sad on that day, cry and share my feelings in my blog. I’ve learned it’s perfectly normal to be sad on the day I was separated from my birth mother. I wanted to erase the entire day and erase myself in the process! Thank God it wasn’t possible but I would have done it 100x over if it was. Today after almost 5 years of recovery and sobriety, my sessions of the pain of my birthday is still there, but each year I process and share my feelings and others validate them (THIS IS CRITICAL FOR US!) things get easier. This year, I will wake up on my birthday (Aug 13) and prob play a song that reminds me of my birth mother (My Way- By Frank Sinatra) and cry awhile. Why? Because it’s okay to cry awhile. Once I get that out of the way I might write about what I’m feeling and share it with those who understand, and get on with the day. I plan to go hiking with my kids and go see a waterfall and enjoy the rest of the day. You see, it’s critical we are able to process the pain because leaving it inside only KILLS us inside! Adoptees grow up, and they don’t stay babies forever. I wish someone would have told me it was okay to be sad on this day. If you are an adoptee who struggles with your birthday please know you aren’t alone!
Adoptee Voice #17
- Birthdays for me, are somewhat hollow. There is an entire person who has never been acknowledged, celebrating his birthday, but as a different person. There is sadness and pain in any holiday for me. I still enjoy it. Just is different for me.
Adoptee Voice #18
- We didn’t make a big deal out of birthdays or holidays while growing up. So, it’s still just that…not a big deal. A few people wish me happy birthday, but other than that it’s just another day.
Adoptee Voice #19
- I always thought that the day I was born was the ultimate irony. I came into this world on Mother’s Day. I could never wrap my head around how that must have felt for my birth mother. My feelings towards my birthday fluctuate with the feelings I have for my biological parents. When I was younger, I had deep anger & spent my birthday wondering if they were thinking of me, hoping they were & hoping that it hurt like hell. My anger morphed into depression and my birthday has since caused me a deep sense of sadness & it is the time when I feel the greatest sense of abandonment.
Adoptee Voice #20
- As a kid, I never thought twice about it. In the last 20 years it weighs on me, heavily. I’m now 42. My adopted father left as soon as the adoption was finalized leaving my mom and I. She passed away 4 years ago and I always think she loved me when no one else did. The date before the actual birthday is the toughest. Now that I have my own family I can remember every nuance of that day leading to their birth. Every year seems to be harder than the previous.
Adoptee Voice #21
- I would never think twice about my birthday until I turned 16. I don’t know whether It’s because it’s an important milestone in our culture, or whether it’s because I was finally mature enough to understand the implications of adoption. From then on, a pattern began to develop. Each birthday would start off happy..until it didn’t. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing but out of nowhere I suddenly become overwhelmed with thoughts of my birth mother. Is she thinking about me? Does she get as sad as I do on this day? Has she been longing for me as much as I have been? Etc. Unfortunately, this feeling of loss has only continued to grow with each birthday.
Adoptee Voice #21
- It’s my birthday, that’s all there is to it. I don’t have huge blowout gatherings or what have you, but I’ll do something to enjoy it. I feel blessed that people contact me in whatever manner they do to wish me well on that day!
Adoptee Voice #22
- I remind people who love me it is an anniversary loss day, my body is grieving. I noticed a pattern likely in my childhood, usually crying on my birthday at the end of the day and not knowing why, had a full panic attach at age 19, and generally feeling sad for about 4-6 weeks around my birthday despite the happy celebrations. I love getting older but the loss does not seem to lessen with time, now almost 50, even after a happy reunion.
Adoptee Voice #23
- It’s supposed to be such a happy day and every one wants you to be happy. But for me there’s always been something, something that spoils it. Something underlying that prevented me. It was only when I grew old enough to relate that it was the day “she” gave me away and chose never to see me again. To severe that 9 month bond and drastically change the course of my life without my consent.
Adoptee Voice #24
- Like always, going through the motions, pretending to be happy because that is what everyone expects. Now, I am older, I choose to spend it alone with as little fuss as possible. This was a hard lesson for my natural siblings to learn on my first birthday post-reunion, they staged a birthday bash which I did not attend. It was always a painful period leading up to the actual day but it feels worse now, post-reunion. I was 5 years too late to meet my Mother and now, it just feels like the anniversary of when I lost her.
Adoptee Voice #25
- My birthday doesn’t really bother me. I get really irritable around it, but on the day it’s always the best day. I try to make that day as happy as I can.
Adoptee Voice #26
- I wonder if my ” mother ” thinks about me on my birthday.
Adoptee Voice #27
- I can go into a full blown PTSD episode just because it’s that anniversary.
Adoptee Voice #28
- It is simply the worst day of the year. Nothing fits.
Adoptee Voice #29
- A yearly reminder that I was brought into this world to be given away, nothing more.
Adoptee Voice #30
- I hate my birthday.
Adoptee Voice #31
- It’s the saddest day of the year for me.
As you can see many adoptees share similar feelings regarding our birthdays. If you are an adoptee reading, please know you aren’t alone.
You matter and your feelings matter.
To all the adoptees who were brave in sharing their voices, THANK YOU for helping the world understand how it feels to be adopted. Keep sharing, keep using your voice!
If you are a non-adoptee reading this, thank you for making it this far. Your courage in having the willingness to want to learn how we feel is amazing alone. Please share this post in our online communities to help us raise awareness of how it feels to be adopted.
If you are an adoptee and would like to add how you feel about your birthday, please reply to this post and I’ll add it for you.
Blessings to all & thanks for reading.
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37 thoughts on “How Adoptees Feel About Birthday’s”
I was adopted just a few days after my actual birth date. I recognize 3 birth dates of mine :
1. Real birth date (Unknown)
2. Adoption date (October 25th)
3. Birth certificate date (November 25th)
So my biological parents threw me away and was picked by this “baby seller”, idk lol is that legal or not. And my parents adopted me (bought me). I was okay with the idea that I have multiple birth dates, you can wish me happy birthday in October or November. But what really bugged me is my real birth date. My parents had no idea how old I was when I was adopted (they say I was like a few days old). I need answers! The “baby seller” gave my parents my biological parents’ address though we never really look for them, we don’t know if the address is real or fake. I just want to know my real birth date.
It is my 43rd Birthday in a couple of days and it is reassuring to know that I am not the only adoptee who feels a deep sadness around birthdays. For me and when it comes to my two daughters, birthdays are about celebrating your birth with your parents. My birthday reminds me that I was not celebrated and life could have been different with a nuturing mother rather than trying to fit into a adopted family where I never truly belonged. Love to all adoptees out there x
My birthdays were sad for many years until I imagined what it must have been like for her to surrender me to perfect strangers after bonding with me in her womb for 9 months. When I put her feelings before mine and understood her pain and sorrow it made for a great celebration on my 70 year. I did not have the greatest childhood and am not connected at all with my adoptive family but am happy with the family God has given me.
I commend your kind of thinking, God Bless you
This post made me cry. When I was a kid my family had a horrible “tradition” to pretend they had forgotten about a kid’s birthday until later during the day. I remember feeling so abandoned and crying up in my room until they brought a cake and laughed at lunch time and I was faking a smile.
I’ve been faking a smile at every birthday. I try to be out of town so people don’t celebrate it.
My adoptive mother was with me on my 35th birthday and we woke up, had breakfast like nothing and like three hours later she made up some lame excuse to say happy birthday “on the time I was born”. She never gives me a thoughtful gift she just deposits money into my account.
I just want to spend the day in bed crying. I can tolerate a birthday with just my boyfriend and I. I make a point to remember and celebrate other people’s birthdays but I don’t want to celebrate the day I was abandoned and placed in an orphanage for months before my adoption.
As a kid I liked birthdays..nice to get cake and presents. But now I try to forget it as it irritates me. I wasn’t allowed to inconvenience the adults with choosing my own time to enter the world, instead my biological mother and doctors chose a day I’d be induced. My birthday. Just one of the days my power was taken away for the sake of the adults.
The anniversary of the day I wasn’t wanted. Today is my birthday.
My birthday is Dec 31. “There is always a party on my brrthday.” For me the build up and excitement of Christmas was always followed by a big let down. I spent many a birthday weeping. My sadness was inconsolable. I did not know why.
I recently learned my birth mother was beaten by my birth father which caused me to be born prematurely. As a teeny tiny baby I would have been whisked away into an isolet. The importance of human contact was not known then. Normal mother/baby attachment denied. After 2 weeks in the hospital, I ended up in foster care and finally adopted mid-March that next year.
I never felt bad about my birthday. That was the only thing i knew for sure my whole life. I celebrate every year. My adoption date is a whole different ball game.
As recent adoptive parents, we keep on thinking whether we should celebrate birthday of our twin daughters. Right now they are too young, and we anyways are not planning to celebrate it this year considering that they won’t understand anything. I understand that once they grow old, they can decide what to do. Till then we don’t want to deprive them about anything.
If I may, I’d recommend that you do celebrate their birthday and the day you became a family. Both deserve attention and you can start the dialogue at a young age that this is a day to be celebrated. Make them both a big deal. My parents had a “special day” for the day I was adopted that was just for us as a family and a “birthday” like everyone else.
If I read through all these remarks, I guess I should deem myself lucky. Have had 2 birthdays since I can remember. On my birth date I celebrate with the world the day I was born to an extremely strong woman who had an impossible decision to make. On my adoption date I have a very special closed family tradition of being thankful that our paths crossed on this day many years ago. A very special day for me indeed!
At my 7th birthday party I threw a tantrum because adoptive mom handed out all my knickers so my friends could go swimming in them. After shouting at me for being ungrateful she vowed to never give me a party again ~ and she didn’t.
I’m 48 now and until 3 years ago my birthday was always a low point… I’d usually spend the day in bed crying, eating rubbish and reading.
3 years ago the very toxic and abusive relationship I was in ended very badly. During that relationship my birthday was made worse by an uncaring partner ~ there was never even a small present, just a reluctant ‘happy birthday’ spoken as I woke up.
After that, a friend asked me how I would like to spend my birthday. I always had a fear that no one would be interested enough to come but with her help we organized a beach picnic. My birthday is at a time of year that coincides with a huge festival and most people are away, but 10 women came to my first adult birthday and it was wonderful and healing. I decided I would never again not celebrate my birthday. This year was my 3rd party and we had over 30 folks arriving to spend the day cooking on fires, lazing in the autumn sun and connecting with each other…
My birthday seems to have become an annual event for those not going to the festival. I love my birthday now and am blown away by all the love I receive ~ tears of joy!!!!!!
I just had a birthday and discovered this post because like many, birthdays have always brought up feelings of sadness and a desire to hide from attention. Deep down I’ve always felt like I’m not worthy of the attention even though lots of friends and family look to shower me with affection. These feelings are subconscious and rise to the surface this one day of the year. I’ve decided to change my view. From now on, my birthday will be a celebration of a day that might not have happened, a life that may never have existed. Rather than think about someone giving me away, I’m going to think about how this day was a gift and a chance at life and it’s an amazing life I live. That’s pretty incredible and worth celebrating, right? If you’ve found this post on your birthday, Happy birthday! You are worth celebrating. FYI – I have not reunited with birth parents and I have no plans to at this time.
I’ve always tried to ignore it, even as a child and never knew why. It’s my 50th this year and I’m only now learning this avoidance is attached to a deep grief I carry. Most birthdays I attempt to “get away”, I spend them far from home surrounded by strangers. I guess it’s been my own of replicating the loneliness I feel on the inside, maybe even a subtle way of replicating the truth of that day, a day surrounded by strangers.
I too always hated my birthday. I always hated the celebrations that surrounded it.
I gravitated towards privacy surrounding that day as a child and I still do.
As I have gotten older I feel bad for those that want to celebrate it with me because they truly want to celebrate me as a person. but it’s something that I never felt compelled to enjoy myself.
It seems like most of us adoptees were very aware of what our Birthday represented, even those of us who were adopted directly after birth.
The connection between that day and our relinquishment is always a hard one to face, even though we may not understand why we feel that way at such young ages.
Reading through all of the responses to this post just enforced my belief that for so many of us to feel and have the same experience and emotions ( from the young ages of 5 or so up until our 50’s and beyond ) adoptees have a distinctive life experience from everyone else.
I couldn’t have said it any better than you Tim. I celebrate it with my husband and daughters but it’s still a difficult time emotionally.
The anniversary of the day I wasn’t wanted. Hate the birthday and it stresses me.
Dec 30th 2019
It’s my 53rd bday today…I’m a mess 😦
I’ve done Ancestry DNA & found my birth parents, both deceased. A few months ago I met my half sibs (& their dad) and my aunt for first time & had lunch – good time, very grateful. I have some answers, I’m blessed to have pictures, clothes & some of BM’s ashes (quasi step-dad is an awesome human being). I truly believed that this bday would be better because of this but it’s not, somehow it’s worse…I’ve been crying most the day. I’m so sad, angry & hurt – this sucks!
Big hugs to you! So sorry. I totally understand. 💝 Thinking of you!
I’m going to be 60 tomoro I’ve shared with no colleagues it’s my birthday let alone how old I am …or who I am …
I was adopted at 6 months from a children’s home in to a wonderful family who loved and looked after me and my also non related adopted brother..but even now birthdays are a complete downer. I’ve a fab husband and kids of my own I should be grateful…it hurts although I know the story …the why and all that but even so my existence was never celebrated merely an inconvenience…I feel so selfish for feeling like this when I had a very happy childhood and adulthood…many others have much worse experiences…glad to have found somewhere I hope to be understood.
Thank you for this post & thank you to every brave person that spoke up.
I no longer feel that I am the only person who struggles with birthdays. I try to put on a brave face every year but deep down I cannot forget the fact that no one celebrated the day I was born. 🙁
Thank you so much for taking the time to share this here. We are with you, in the way you feel. Its an adoptee thing. We get it. So much, we get it. (((( HUGS))))
I know my husband’s birthday is always a hard day, actually the weeks leading up to it are hard. No matter what I do he sabotages it and can hardly enjoy anything I do. Reading through this website helped me look at it from a new perspective.
So glad to hear that it’s given you new insight.
I experience the same as your husband every year, and every year seems to get harder. It’s a HUGE gigantic burden to carry, and then we also carry the burden of having to celebrate to make others feel better but that actually makes us feel worse.
I can promise you, it’s really not something we can control. It’s a loss at a cellular level that our body and subconscious memories has stored, forever.
Even many years after posting this article and many years of healing later, I still can’t shake the Birthday thing. I would rather die than celebrate that day. I’m fortunate and have my sobriety birthday (8 years) to acknowledge and celebrate on that day, I call it my RE-BIRTH day. But my actual birthday being the same day is always sitting on my shoulder and the little girl in me always has and always will be crying for my birth mother. Especially on that day. I truly internally loose my sh*t and I’ve accepted it’s here to stay.
I can’t speak for your husband but I can share that I truly don’t think it’s personal. I’m sure your efforts are appreciated even if it doesn’t feel like it. I feel like if I had a choice on that day, without anyone wanting to celebrate I would just take sleeping pills, sleep and wake up the next day. Its either that or die before I have to celebrate I lost my birth mother… It’s hard to explain the feelings but I’m so glad you found this article to help you understand better. 💛🌼😊
P.S mine starts to set in as the month August approaches. And lasts until the entire day is completely over and then like a switch it’s gone the am of Aug 14th. Back to my normally scheduled life.
I finally found the words for why my birthday never felt like a happy day when I turned 62….
It’s a terrible, horrible, no good, sucky day for me. And I dread it more every year. It’s the day I was taken away from my mother as soon as I was born. I wasn’t in the nursery where most babies are placed. I wouldn’t be put in a bassinet up in front, right at the window where family and friends could come in to gaze at me before visiting the new mother. I was in “the other nursery”, the back room with no windows. The room where mothers never were allowed to come in to see their newborn. Only nurses were there to change & monitor me. I don’t know how long I was allowed to stay there before being taken far away, to another part of the state. I’m sure I probably cried for my mother, as all newborns do. But only for a few days. In time I probably gave up crying for her as she never came to console me. Instead strangers came to care for me. They may have talked sweetly to me, but I knew in my tiny heart that they were not my family. In the seven weeks I was in state custody, they said I was a good baby that didn’t often cry. Why should I? It did me no good.
The day I was born wasn’t a “joyous happy day for the family”. My grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins… none of them were there awaiting my arrival. My mother was all alone. No one was there with her as she went through labor all day. Her mother & father were in another state. Her siblings closest to her were over two hours away, even her twin sister. They probably had no idea I was about to be born. There had been no baby showers or gifts given to her. There had been no planning ahead for what should have been a happy day in her life, the birth of her first child.
My father had been told of the pregnancy, but that was months prior to this day. He may or may not have even been thinking about me. He wasn’t in the same state and had no idea where she had gone when he went to look for her. His name did not end up on my birth certificate. Back then, unwed mothers were encouraged to not name the father. That made the surrender of the baby much easier. That way only she had to sign me away. So my father’s name was “Unknown”.
So my birthday only reminds me of sad things. The opposite of how I feel about the days my daughter and son were born. The love, the laughter, family & friends sending well wishes…. That is how a baby’s birthday should be. But mine was not. So how can it ever be a happy birthday for me?
Birthdays always felt artificial. Like no one really cared for the day, because they didn’t have any memories of that day being special, but they had to celebrate because that’s what people do. So I got a very basic birthday party with friends – and after a few years I didn’t want this anymore. It just wasn’t any fun, no true feelings, not a day I felt loved. It was just an obligation to them. When it comes to birthday presents, my amom used to buy me a book (and a sweater or something I needed); what she could afford on her small salary. He (afather) never bought me anything even though he was the one who had money – and lots of it.
Nowadays I get lots of attention on my birthdays because of facebook, and it feels kind of strange being congratulated as I wasn’t used to this before. As I get older, I feel that my birthday is the day I lost my family. Not that I hate my birthday nor my age (50+); I just don’t feel like celebrating it. It’s just a day like any other.
Today is my ” day “. Like so many others, just be glad when it’s over. I’m a young 70 +.
Nobody of my birth family surviving but me and an older cousin in Florida. Again, like
so many others, I evolved out of the whole cake and ice cream thing yrs. ago. Just do
better staying in and waiting for the ” storm to pass “. Will do a modest thing at wife’s
family in a couple days. They seem to understand where I am at this time in Nov. , the
18th to be exact. I am an only kid. Thank you for this site and to all who chose to read
my little missive. ” this too shall pass “
Hi Charles, So sorry for the delay. I am glad you found the article about How Adoptees Feel About Birthdays! It’s def a validating piece for so many of us. I am so sorry for all your pain, and the dynamics that our birthdays bring. It’s so hard, and usually the quicker it passes the better. You aren’t alone! Much love! ❤
I’m turning 20 today.
Ironically, my birthday and adoption day are on the same day.
For the longest time, I’ve never wanted to celebrate my birthday with anyone except my adoptive family (I do not know my biological family). When I was younger, I would celebrate with friends. Sadly, those friends were the flaky, ghost, and noncommittal type of friends (they all are great people, they just have their own troubles). Not wanting to face more heartbreak on my birthday, I stopped celebrating with anyone but my house family (not even my extended family).
Even the thrill(?) of celebrating with family and especially getting presents started to disappear… I don’t know when (maybe it was never joyful, I just didn’t understand the full meaning of my birthday).
After reading these messages and listening to “Mother” by John Lennon (as recommended by one of the other adoptees), I think I’ve come to understand my suppressed feelings a little more. So THANK YOU all for sharing your feelings and telling me that I’m not alone.
Sorry for the delay, but thinking of you! So glad some of these entries could validate your feelings! You def aren’t alone! Much love! ❤
Like the other comments, I hate my birthday. I see nothing redeeming about it, just a source of emptiness, despair, and frustration. My birthday is at the end of March and for as long as I can remember I hated it. I would even would tell my friends a wrong date after the fact so it would just pass quietly. I sabotaged my childhood parties so they would just end. Probably the worst part is no one understands. They can’t fathom the disdain I have for the date, the parties, or even a polite birthday wish. And that is part of the problem inside my own head. I like other people’s birthday’s and want to celebrate them. But when someone wishes me a happy birthday I literally well up with a hyper surreal anxiousness and want to throw up. I deactivate my social media for the days and weeks leading up and cancel or refuse to make plans so as not to be hit with a surprise party. Even have really difficult, somewhat contentious discussions with my spouse who tries so hard to make it a positive thing but I just wish she would leave it alone. I admire her efforts and genuinely feel bad, but the desire to disappear from the face of the earth for the period around my birthday seems to override all sensible thoughts and feelings. I try to explain, no one understands. Glad there is a venue like this so I don’t feel quite so alone with this.
Thinking of you, I’m so sorry. You definitely aren’t alone. So many of us dread our birthdays, and for me one of the hardest parts is no one understands it and I have to pretend, however the last few years something has shifted. I allow grief to naturally set in, however it shows up and I sit with it whatever that looks like to me. Usually crying until I can’t cry anymore. Or sometimes writing, or hiking. This helps me save space for the sadness that I’ve accepted will be here forever. Then, I allow a small celebration with my loved ones because they want to celebrate me. Then I do something nice for myself because I deserve to be celebrated. It’s taken me 47 of my 48 years on earth to navigate the last 2 but I can’t seem to incorporate those into this “birth” day unless I first honor the reality of the day, and it was the day I lost everything! I’ve also accepted that non adoptees just won’t get it no matter how hard they try so this is why I started allowing them the space to celebrate me, because they mean well. Doesn’t mean it’s easy, because it’s not but truth be told you deserve to be celebrated and so do I. We’ve survived this thing, and we’re surviving daily. When I grieve, I am processing the reality of what happened that day. But when I allow myself to be celebrated it’s because I am so tired of the crossed wires with no one understanding it, so I’ve just thrown in the towel and decided I’m going to TRY to separate them all in my mind and it’s helped the last 2 years. But reality, it’s all exhausting AF!!!! You certainly aren’t alone!!! Now I buy the best most expensive cake in the city and I eat it all!!!! But I also grieve and cry usually a few days before my birthday. There is room for all of these things and we each get to write our own stories. Hugs and more hugs as you navigate this difficult time! 💗🏼🎂