I love my birthday. I simply love the attention, gifts and parties. It’s never not fun for everyone to celebrate me! But, my 28th birthday wasn’t about me at all. Before you start feeling bad for me, I need to clarify. My birthday this year fell on one of the best days of my life – the day I got to (finally) adopt my daughter.
It had been almost 2-1/2 years since this precious, smiling baby was brought to my door. She was almost 7 months old and sadly, very developmentally delayed. Looking back at the day I met this beautiful girl, I realize it was the day my whole life changed. She was a priceless gift from God I never thought I’d have – a girl who would one day become my daughter.
I hope to never forget the weight I felt lift from my shoulders when the judge finalized our adoption. I never realized the fear I had been carrying for so long. Her birth parents loved her, but couldn’t take care of her for several reasons. Yet, I feared that the courts would one day remove her from our home – that they would realize we were imperfect people and give her to someone who looked more like her, was related to her or who had it all together. No. God chose Ben and I to be Tashari’s parents. She is our daughter, not because we look like her, are related or perfect (obviously), but because we already had become her parents.
The day we met Tashari, she became part of our family. Thankfully, a child can be in two families at the same time, because she was spoiled with gifts and adorable clothing and way too much attention. I was able to stay home to help her catch up to age level.
She became our legal daughter the day the judge acknowledged our love and commitment to Tashari. If she could have returned to her birth family, she still would be part of our family. We didn’t need to adopt Tashari to know she was our daughter, but we loved that her adoption allowed everyone else to see her as we did – our little girl.
It took me a while to realize she was legally ours now. We had loved and considered her our child long before it was official. Now, I can cut her hair, pierce her ears and take her out of state if I want. While all of this was exciting and her birth certificate with our names on it is now one of my most treasured possessions, my birthday was special to me simply because I got to spend it with my daughter.
~Jill Ng, licensed foster parent