Today is my birthday. There will be cards, presents, and a special dinner with my wife. There will be hugs, kisses and best wishes for the occasion. There will be a family get-a-way weekend to the mountains in Breckenridge.
Until recently, I took the actual historical date for granted. There has never been any uncertainty that I was born on this date in a hospital in Bedfordshire, England during the late 60’s. It’s nothing I had to doubt or question. A birthday celebration was just that – a celebration of current blessings with family and close friends.
My eldest daughter, Faith, has a designated birthday of December 9th, 2000. When she was abandoned on December 19th of that year at a governmental building outside of Wuhan, China, authorities ascertained that she was about ten days old. That approximation was simply the nearest round-number that could be arrived at. It is just as likely that her true birthday is on the 7th or the 12th.
Faith’s situation is rather mild in comparison to many other cases I’ve seen. She was likely born within four or five days of her allotted birthday. On the other hand, I’ve encountered many orphaned and abandoned children that have no idea what year they were even born in. There’s been quite a few times where I have asked the age of a specific child, only to be met with a pert sideways nod, grimace and the words, "We don’t know."
Imagine if you didn’t know the very day you entered into this world? Imagine that you have no idea about the time, place and circumstances of your birth? How would that affect your very perception of being and identity?
We often dwell on the present conditions that young orphans try to survive in or are lifted out of. We sometimes think of the future events they will struggle through as they come to further grips of the losses in their lives. We often forget that the very ‘starting point’ is lost to them also. In many senses the un-rescued children have been robbed of their pasts, present and futures. They don’t know where they’re going and they don’t know from where they have come.
I therefore dedicate this birthday, and any to come, to those who don’t have birthday festivities…who either have no knowledge of the date or simply have nothing to celebrate.