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2020 Recap. How I Think About My Birthday as an Adoptee

Téa Tamburo

Originally published November 28, 2020

Amongst the birthday cake, wax-dripping candles and familiar faces singing “Happy Birthday,” there is another thought in my mind: what is my birth family doing to celebrate or acknowledge my existence on this day?


I was born November 28, 2004. The exact time is unknown, and I’m lucky to know the date. I don’t even know if I was born at home or in a hospital. There are just so many unknowns surrounding my birth. At a day old, I was left at the door of the Yiyang Social Welfare Institute, never again to see the person that gave me life.


Even though I have only assumptions as to why I was placed for adoption, I have no concrete answers. One of the main questions is “why,” which is often followed with wondering if they even remember me.

"One of the main questions is 'why,' which is often followed with wondering if they even remember me."

My birthdays are usually spent surrounded by family and friends, but I always wonder if my birth family remembers me or if they also think about me on this day each year. I’d like to think they do, since I am still their child, even if I do not know them.


As I celebrate the day with my family, I pause for a moment and think about what my birth family is doing to acknowledge me as their biological child. There’s always a thought in my mind asking, “what would they think if they were here?” This is especially prominent for major milestones or days centered around family or my existence. So while they are not physically there, and I do not even know them, I can’t help but wonder if they remember and think about me the days I think about the life they have given me.

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