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On Birthdays


     Sunday is Sawyer's first birthday as an official member of my family. He turns seven years old. He missed the age minimum for indoor soccer by 17 days. He's excited because he gets to bring donuts to Sunday School to celebrate.

     I'm sad his birthday is on Sunday. Before he was adopted, we weren't exactly sure which day his birthday was. We had a three-day span when his birthday could have been. We let him chose the day he wanted to celebrate. He chose the 16th. After getting his birth certificate, we know it's the 17th. My mom had to break the news to him that his birthday wasn't on the day he had chosen. I don't know about you, but most families don't have to explain the complexities of such birthdays.

     I haven't gotten the chance to share my birthday with my whole, 10 member-large, family, and I maybe won't for a long time. My birthday is at the end of August, already a couple weeks into my college semester. This past birthday was my 18th. It was so early in my college experience, that I didn't have many friends. And, it was in the middle of the week. Nothing exciting.

     Birthdays are highly valued. Every child anticipates the arrival of "their" day for months and months. Parties are typically planned out in advance with great detail placed in the event, the budget, the cake, the favors, the presents. Where I live, all the birthday parties of my friends are almost the same. A crowd of kids from church and school celebrate with cake and food in the fellowship hall of my church and then play games throughout the darkened building. The other option is the same people doing the same thing at a school gym. The only thing that changes is the person whose birthday is being celebrated. Birthdays to us was more about enjoying each other than the lavishness of a party. My point of this blog post isn't to argue about what a birthday party should or shouldn't be, even though I have a lot of thoughts after doing some quick google searches. My point is to show you that birthdays mean something to us.

     The day we are born holds a huge amount of significance for the rest of our lives. We carve it in stone when someone dies to show everyone that that was their birthday. Even after friends and family die, we remember their birthday. My little sister Julia died before I got a chance to hold her, but my parents still turned her would-be birthday into a day of celebration. We celebrate the joy of family on that day. When Anna was separated from us, I missed her forth birthday and hurt so much.

     Through a few quick google searches, I got a good idea of how much our nation values birthdays based on the average cost of parties. Although, I can't imagine spending a huge sum of money on stuff for a party, I wasn't surprised. It's a birthday, it's a celebration of life. Of course some people would pour into that life that's being honored, even if it's largely financial. A birthday party is a way of saying, "We celebrate the life you have that is marked by this date! Today is a milestone in the life of you!"

    If I asked you, "Do you believe that everyone should have a birthday?" what would you say?

    My guess, is that you'd say, "Yes."

    Well, I agree. I believe that every life should get a birth day. Everyone deserves to have the chance to have a day that marks the day they were born. I wonder what would happen if more people considered that the consequences of abortion was that a little life will never get a birthday, a milestone marking their life, a day to honor them.

     ~ Alyson


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