Our Little One turned one over the weekend. We like to celebrate birthdays around here. I want my kids to feel celebrated and know that we are so grateful for they days each of them were born. I don’t think birthdays have to be events or elaborate. My hope for my kids is not that they have the coolest party with the most creative decorations, but that they feel celebrated. That they know their mom and dad are beyond overwhelmed with gratitude for their lives – for the incredible days they were each born.
I knew I had a couple of options regarding Little One’s first birthday. I could spend the day in tears – probably not even wanting to get out of bed. OR I could celebrate her. I could celebrate the day she was born and do something in her honor. I chose the second.
Since the birthday girl wasn’t going to be in attendance, we made it more of a family night with friends and family. An Outdoor Movie night in our field. Thank you to those of you on Facebook that gave me movie suggestions…we went with Honey I Shrunk the Kids! We asked friends and family to bring donations of diapers & underwear for local children in state custody. Kids separated from their parents…like our birthday girl separated from us.
I spent a lot of time thinking about her first mom…the one who gave her the gift of life. There are so many things I wish I could tell her. I wish she could have seen the party in our daughter’s honor. I wish she could see how our girl is a blessing to so many. I wish I could tell her how immense and deep the love of our family is for our Little One.
On her birthday we drove to the local children’s shelter to drop off part of the diapers and underwear. (The other half will go to our church’s foster care ministry – which supports foster care families within the church). The shelter is supposed to be a temporary place for children placed in state custody while they wait for to be placed in foster care. Sadly, there are often not enough foster care families and many children (birth – 18) spend far too long at the shelter. The Children’s Center is often in need of a variety of items – including diapers and underwear. I’m not going to get into the political side of why or why not the shelter needs these items. What I care about is that fact that for reasons that are not their own fault – there are children in need and I have the ability to help meet that need. And not only do I have the ability, but I have the gift and honor of helping alongside my family and friends.
In May, as part of The Incubator Project, diapers were donated to my daughter’s orphanage. A month later on her birthday diapers were donated to a local children’s shelter. Granted there are very start differences between where my daughter is and the shelter in our area. However, in both reside vulnerable children separated from their families.
It was horrible to spend my daughter’s birthday away from her. Last we heard there are 42 babies and 2 nannies in her room at the orphanage. We don’t know if anyone even realized it was her birthday there. But…goodness did a lot of people know here. She was honored and celebrated…and so deeply missed. We found out last week a final approval we were waiting on (related to citizenship and immigration) was granted. Now we just wait on various pieces of paperwork to be mailed from country to country. Hopefully by the end of July we will be waiting for an approval to travel.
Happy Birthday Little One, we are fighting to get to you.