Somewhere halfway around the world, we are turning 26.

This was written last week on a particularly emotional and difficult evening. Every year as my birthday gets closer and closer, a heaviness comes over me—a heaviness that only adoptees seem to understand.

Aai, I went through my wedding photos today. I looked for you in every single one. I searched my face for features that might have resembled yours. Some moments I feel my heart can’t handle the agony of knowing you will never see me in my bridal saree. Other moments I am comforted because I felt your presence all around me every moment that day. I felt like a true indian bride and I longed to see what you looked like on your wedding day. Maybe we looked the same. I ache for you.

So many milestones you’ve missed, and I have missed many of yours. There will always be one we share. 26 years ago I was still a part of you. You were my first home. We only had a week left to be together. I so wish I knew your thoughts during those last few weeks and days. I can only hope you were not alone.

We are turning 26, and each year that passes adds more and more distance between us but I will never give up on trying to find you. You are forever in my heart, my aai. Please don’t forget me.

pranali

To My First Mother on Mother’s Day

I recently found out that Birthmother’s Day exists. It is traditionally celebrated the day before Mother’s Day. What a weekend full of pain for those whose mothers are only a memory (or lack thereof).

Although there are good days where the crushing weight of your absence in my life is a little less heavy, and although there are days where I don’t stare in the mirror trying to find traces of you in the reflection, today is not one of those days. Today I can hardly move. Today is a day where I ache so deeply for you.

To the woman who carried me, bore me, and saw my first breath in this world, you are with me today. I wish you could’ve been here with me through every stage of life, but that is not how fate would have it. I look back on the files in my possession from the agencies and I can’t help but stare at the photos wondering what traces of you I’m seeing. If I could turn back time I would go back to the day we were together–my first and last day with roots.

Not a day goes by without thoughts of you, but today they run rampant throughout my mind. I have come to the realization that I won’t get to meet you again in this life. I will never know your face, nor the circumstances surrounding why we were separated. That is a weight nobody will understand but those who are experiencing this journey with me.

On this weekend that is meant to recognize mothers and birthmothers, I remember you. I will never forget. I carry you with me everyday. Happy Mother’s Day.

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