The Friday before Christmas we got her birth certificate!!!! I was in a hurry that Friday getting last minute gifts (yeah I'm there with the husbands Christmas eve), going grocery shopping, getting the house perfect for the in-laws and running to the post office (did you know the post office is literally empty the Friday before Christmas and you can ship your Christmas cards out without waiting in line- and most arrived before Christmas!! So I digress). So before I ran out for my errands I grabbed the mail and threw it on the seat next to me in the car. I noticed an envelope from our agency here at home but didn't think anything of it because we get mail from them with some frequency and didn't expect the birth certificate to come from them since all other court information had come directly to us. So after a day of running around I opened the envelope to find Christmas had arrived early!!
I had seen her original birth certificate so I knew what Pennsylvanias format was going to look like but I was still shocked at how empty it was. It made me sad- like so much was missing. My personal birth certificate is full of gems of information- the address I was born at, my parents names, my parents ages, the states my parents were from, etc- I can look at it and I feel like I learn something about my start. Her birth certificate is sterile- blank- gaps- sad. Her date of birth is in January, it was filed in February, it was issued in December- blocks of time unaccounted for. Her gender is listed followed by the time of her birth and the county is listed as her place of birth- real facts- unchangeable. No hospital is listed. Mothers maiden name is my own full name- who my birth certificate says I am. Then a 1" gap. Fathers Name- the name given to my husband the day he joined the world. 2.5" gap. "This is to certify that this is a true copy of the record which is on file in the Pennsylvania Department of Health, in accordance with the Vital Statistics Law of 1953, as amended." The signature of the registrar. Period the end.
Her original birth certificate has gaps as well. Fathers name is listed as "Information Not Recorded." Though her Name is her birth first and middle name with her birthfathers last name. Even her original birth certificate doesn't feel "right." Though I realize her birth certificate does not make her "who she is." It is still that first place we are recorded, defined, numbered.
The document never really was and never truly will be accurate. Its filled with blanks that hopefully I can help her fill. I am glad I have them both so she realizes she existed before December 2012.