one year old

This time last year, we were excited at the thought of becoming parents any day. There was so much anticipation. Uncertainty too, yes. But a lot of excitement and anticipation.

A year ago this weekend, K went into active labor Saturday night after eating some delicious Indian food at one of our favorite cafes. On Friday night, we had all walked through a labyrinth together before heading to a concert. In the middle of the maze, K stopped and clutched her side. It was her first real labor pain.

In the birthing class we took together with K’s mom, we were asked to draw a pattern through a labyrinth. The instructor said the labyrinth was symbolic of labor. Just when you think you’re there, she explained, there’s usually a whole other set of twists and turns before you can reach the center. And the only way out is through.

The next day, Saturday, K and I attended our monthly open adoption support group gathering. We never pushed these meetings on K, but she was always welcome and asked to join us. She appreciated the network of support where people understood what she was going through. She was able to talk with other birth parents and hear stories about issues arising in real life open adoptions, as well as stories about expectant parents who decided to parent. Everyone there had her best interest at heart. She felt a lot of kindness and support.

Meanwhile, what none of us knew at the time was that K had been in early labor all day. Beginning the night before at the labyrinth.

Baby J came into the world soon after sunrise on Sunday morning, surrounded by loved ones. It was a beautiful and gentle birth, in K’s home. Being present was such a privilege. Witnessing our daughter’s birth was I believe the most profoundly moving experience of my life.

Those early moments and hours were precious. We each had time alone with the baby, and we spent time together too.

When K placed our daughter in my arms the next day for forever, I felt more love, compassion and gratitude than I ever thought possible. My heart was so full. How could it be expanding and breaking at the same time?

Every day since then I have told myself how fortunate I am to have this child call me Mama.

first photo in our new home together, one day old

On Monday this amazing little girl will be one whole year old.

She has grown so much. She is almost walking. She laughs freely and when she grins she scrunches her nose as if she knows how cute she is. Her favorite word is “bye!” She is sweet and funny, strong and determined, smart and clever. And I suppose it is fitting that we now know she loves Indian food. (She had her first saag paneer on my birthday, and oh my, she scarfed it down and begged for more. She must remember all those meals in utero...)

Every day she makes me smile and laugh. Every night I tell her how much we love her, how happy we are that she’s here, and how lucky we are to be her parents.

Every night we say goodnight to K along with Mama and Papa. Some day she’ll begin to understand what that means, what the pictures on her wall and in her book mean. Today, we just know that K makes her happy.

So imagine our joy to learn that K is now able to make it to Baby J’s birthday party this Sunday! A month ago, it appeared that K would be far from home and feeling torn. Both of her parents plan to attend the party, which is great, since (sadly) they’ll be the only grandparents there. But now K is coming too! What a wonderful way for us all to remember this beautiful girl’s birth and celebrate her first wondrous year of life, together.

Happy 1st Birthday, sweet baby girl. Mama loves you more than you will ever know.

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~ by luna on May 28, 2010.

20 Responses to “one year old”

  1. Happy birthday, little J!!! May every year be as wonderful as your first.

  2. wow a whole year already. You know how i feel about you, i think. i have so much respect for you, for K, for baby j and your whole journey to becoming parents. as i’ve said to you before not knowing much about adoption, let alone open adoption, what you share has made me so admire your strength and courgae and love for your daughter. yours is one of THE most amazing stories ever and i celebrate your first year with you this weekend. happy bday baby j, what a lucky little girl you are and so are your mommy and daddy. they love you more than you will ever know.

  3. I hope you had a great day to celebrate. Happy Birthday baby J

  4. Happy birthday! its amazing a year has went by. How wonderful for you all to celebrate together again!

  5. What a beautiful photo of baby! I have to agree with you – a year can make a world of difference…

    Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!

  6. De-lurking to say what a beautiful post this was. Thanks for sharing … and Happy 1st Birthday, Baby J!

  7. Happy Birthday little girl!! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend and I’m so glad that K will get to come to the birthday party as well. Hugs to you all and smooches to the sweet little girl.

  8. Love LOVE the presence of the labyrinth and the sunrise in your story.

    Happy birthday, J! So glad that you’ll be surrounded by so many people who have so much love for you! You are adorable, by the way.

    Love, Auntie Lori

  9. Happy Birthday, J! (No longer “Baby” J?)
    What an amazing year for all of you.
    Glad that K can join you!

  10. Happy birthday to your beautiful little girl–hope the party tomorrow is a great one.

  11. Happy, happy birthday to your beautiful girl! What a wonderful journey its been this past year–so glad Ive been able to read along!

  12. Happy birthday to your sweet girl. I’m so glad that K can be there with you guys to celebrate and all the people who were there for the birth are coming back to celebrate that first birthday. This post made me weepy–but in a good way.

  13. Happy first anniversary of mamahood to baby J, Luna! It is a privilege to read your story and follow your journey – thank you for sharing so much of your life with us.

  14. You guys have embraced this so fully and completely, and hearing things like how you say goodnight to K? It’s just plain awesome to read. Happy birthday J!

  15. Awww, Happy Birthday to baby J!

    What an amazing open adoption story you have.

  16. Happy first birthday to baby J. So sweet- hope the party went splendid.

  17. What a momentous occasion! I can’t wait to hear how the party was :o)

  18. Beautiful post… Happy birthday, little girl!

  19. Happy birthday, Baby J! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year! (And if that’s the case, I can only imagine how you must be feeling, Luna…!!)

  20. […] One year ago, Baby Jaye was on the brink of walking. She had just a handful of words and a couple of signs. Her first birthday was an amazing day, as was the whole weekend. We remembered our time with Kaye before Baby Jaye was born, grateful for the chance to build a strong foundation for our future relationship. Jaye’s first birthday was also a full circle of sorts, marking the revolution of her first year of life, our first year as parents, and Kaye’s first year living without her daughter. […]

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