I want you to know that you have been surrounded by love since the moment you were born.
My dad made a video of your birth day. Not the birth itself, but the first few hours after. I wish you could see the video, understand that the day you were born was a swirl of great joy, of openness, of possibility. My entire family and many of my friends visited, even though they knew you were going to live with another family -- they still wanted to see you, celebrate you, and welcome you into the world. They said so, on the video, with squeals and smiles and laughter. They thought you were amazing, every yowling ruddy 5 lbs and 10 ounces of you. So did I.
You may not know that you stayed with me in the hospital for the first 24 hours after you were born. I wanted some time to hold you and be with you before handing you to your parents. And I did, you know. Hand you to your parents.
I've never regretted it. Your parents were good people, and I'm guessing your dad still is. They cocooned you with love and pride, and gave you everything your biological father and I weren't mature enough to offer.
But I did watch that birth day video, frequently. And today, on your 20th birthday, I went to watch it for the first time in ten years.
I couldn't find it. I spent an hour looking for it.
I have no idea where your video is. I may have gotten rid of it, during one of my infrequent but earth-scorching sentimental paraphernalia purges, perhaps to honor my children by severing ties to maternal conflicts of interest. It may have gotten lost during one of our moves -- I could have sworn that we put together a box of video tapes when we jumped houses three years ago, but that box is currently imaginary.
I cried, hard, when I realized your video was lost. I felt ill. It was the only video I ever had of you.
So I hope you'll forgive me. I had hoped to show you just how loved you have always been, and what an amazing entrance and first act you had.
You'll just have to believe me.