Thoughts on My Birthday

993743_10151497194722325_1722371229_nMy birthday was this past week, and my family had a dinner for me.  As we all sat down to eat, my two year old nephew piped up in his lilting voice, “Where Soccerboy?”

The skip of the beat every time I hear his name.

Oh, child.  He’s an ocean away.  And so very close here in my heart.

And I smile, and we carry on and I think about how very different I am.

This birthday was one of those marker birthdays…the ones you make up in your head as being oh-so-important.  “By the time I am such and such an age, I will have…I will be….or my dream will be lost forever.”

More children.  Someone who is knit to me alone.  A family.

And none of those things are true about me.  But at the same time, they are true in a way I never expected.

This year, my life was changed by a child—one that I could not keep.

This year, my life was changed by dear ones who were knit to me—ones who are mine, but not mine alone.

This year, my life was changed as I found a family—one that has no traditional explanation.

I could not have imagined something this wonderful.

This year *was* a deadline, of sorts.  It marks the end of a search, and the beginning of an adventure.  The end of my child’s solitary life, and the beginning of living with bigger-family hearts.  It marks the settling in to a new picture.  A better picture.   And I couldn’t be more grateful.

I’m not saying it hasn’t been hard. The death of dreams is always accompanied by grief and sadness.  And I have lost so many things.  Family.  Friends. Local community.

But what I have gained.  Dear ones.  Unconventional family.

And who am I kidding?  I’ve never been one to do things conventionally.

And so I have a boy across an ocean.

And a girl coming in just 23 days.

And my heart, it will grow.  And it will break again.

I don’t know how I’m going to do it.

But I know why.

Because the things that I lost…they matter.  They leave me broken, smashed into pieces of who I was, raw.   I wrestle with them, and I weep over them, and I turn them over to the One who takes broken bits and makes a mosaic.  The One who loves my sharp edges and my hexagonal fragments and my difficult to define-ness.  The One who loves me.

Before these last few years, my vision was for myself, and my own desire to not feel so alone.  I never thought that it was in my being alone that I would find such communion. Such hope. Such love.

And that makes me want to love these others with all that I am.

I may not have much.  I may not be worth much in others’ estimation.  But I can love.

And that makes all the difference.

2 thoughts on “Thoughts on My Birthday

  1. Phil Gentile

    You have so much more than you ever dreamed you’d have and yet, it doesn’t even scratch the surface of what is store for you and Little Man.

  2. I know, right??? I can’t wait!!

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