Sunday, May 07, 2006

birthday 2: a not quite jesus-like boogaloo

The great thing about being adopted is that you get an extra birthday. It wasn’t quite on the same level as the regular birthday, as I never got a second skating rink party, but there were still the extra birthday cards with tens or twenties from aunts, uncles, and grandparents. My mother would buy a cake or bake cupcakes and bring them to me when I was in kindergarten, the same as she and most mothers would do on regular birthdays in our small class. I would get a couple of presents and then there were only about six months to wait out before the next birthday.

I highly recommend being adopted. I don’t want to tell you how to raise your kids, but those of you who are parents should do what is best for them and trade them with another set of parents just so they can get that extra birthday.

Everyone knew that I was adopted, obviously. It was the early eighties, and my folks were really big into the whole Free Will Baptist lifestyle, though their churchgoing now consists of showing up at the Methodist church every Christmas and Easter. Back then it was all about that little Falwellian community, and I attended a school run by our church from kindergarten until fifth grade. These people knew me from the time my parents brought me home from the adoption agency in Montgomery.

I mention this to preface a strange thing that my Sunday school teacher said when I was seven years old. I don’t remember the exact wording of his comment, as I paid even less attention in Sunday school than in regular school, but it was something along the lines of, “Jesus loves you even though he doesn’t have to, and that makes the love greater. It’s like (Rex’s) parents love him more than most parents love their kids because they didn’t have to love him. They chose to.”

I got two things from this:
1. My friends’ parents only loved them because they had to. They secretly wanted to hate them, but couldn’t.
2. I was like Jesus in a way.

Again, I really wasn’t paying attention.

This didn’t embarrass me, but I did feel embarrassed for the Sunday school teacher. My situation was way more like Superman than Jesus, and anyone could plainly see that. I was born with a different name and spent my first six months as an orphan baby, essentially a ward of the state of Alabama, and everything before that was really up to my imagination.

I let it pass, as it was church and things at church always had to be about Jesus, but I knew in my heart that I was either Superman or maybe Luke Skywalker.

I knew that I was nothing like Jesus…or Annie.

Anyway, today is my second birthday. Ma and Pa Camino called and sent a card but neglected to make any cupcakes.
Really, I’d be passing them out if they had.


Blogger newscoma said...

Happy whatever birthday you may be having.

1:37 PM  
Blogger melusina said...

Awww, that's a sweet story. Happy double birthday!

Now if my husband and I adopt, we'll be sure to give our child two birthdays too. We'll call the second one his "Rex L. Camino" birthday.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous eric said...

Happy B-Day Rex.

9:41 AM  
Blogger mapgirl said...

Happy birthday (squared).

I am godmother to a wonderful little girl who has two birthdays. So I suck twice at gift-giving. (On a more serious note, I think her birth mom is a hero, as that woman made my best friend's dream of motherhood come true.)

Your weblog always makes me laugh out loud. Thanks for that.


9:15 PM  
Blogger Rex L. Camino said...

Thank you, mapgirl.

6:32 AM  
Blogger Vol Abroad said...

Melusina - I think you should call 2nd birthday - the Birthday of Doom - and there should be a waterfull martini and realkinkajoos.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Vol Abroad said...

oops that should be a martini waterfall - you see, I've been on that ride too long.

2:47 PM  
Anonymous Joseph William Perry said...

I never heard of your adoptee birthday thing. My little sister was adopted into our family and we didn't do it. My wife was adopted into her family and she didn't have it.
Although the thing about choosing you, she had that.
I'm kind of jealous of you because of all the loyal commenters you have. I write but no one comments. I guess it's cuz you are a part of a community. Maybe I should join. On the other hand if I join everyone might figure out I'm too earnest and stay away because of that.
Did you see my "Dear John in a Squeeky Voice or Bent on Self-Immolation" blog?
Click on my name above.
See you.

7:28 AM  

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