Thursday, May 16, 2013

Isaac turns one

On monday our son had his first birthday. This has been a crazy three weeks. We are overwhelmed by the blessings that we have been given. April 26th we saw our son for the first time. April 30th we passed court and Isaac became our son officially. May 1st we took Isaac into our arms forever. May 5th we celebrated our 7th year wedding anniversary. May 8th marks our 4 year anniversary of our file arriving in Ethiopia, this is when our official wait began. And then monday, May 13th, our son celebrated his first birthday.
We had planned to have a party for him at the orphanage. We more wanted to throw a birthday party for all the kids since we know they don't ever get to have a birthday party. We wanted to give them a day were they could just be kids and have fun, eat junk food and get presents.
Before we left for EThiopia we met with an Ethiopian friend in Canada to get a few ins and outs of Addis. We asked a lot of questions, where to buy cake, where to eat, what we should see, etc. My last question I asked, I said he probably could not answer and it was probably an insane question, but did he know where I could rent a bouncy castle. He laughed at me and said, "Of course, call my friend Tib!" Tib is a man he told us to connect with when we got here. HE imported two bouncy castles from the states and rented them out in Addis. A week after we got here we decided to give Tib a call so we could set up meeting with him. When we asked where he lived, he described a place one minute away. He is literally down the street from us! What are the chances of that. So we met him for lunch and made bouncy castle plans.
The idea of the bouncy castle came to me in January. Suzie and Ronnie had rented a room in Edmonton for my nephew, Rollie's birthday. This was not just a bouncy castle but a Tiki island inflatable play land. IT was crazy, everyone went nuts. Ronnie, Arnie and Robs went nuts. They would hide throughout it and chase the kids down. All you could hear were squeals and shouts for four hours coming from inside this Tiki island. But I got to thinking... our kids, Canadian kids, get to have parties all the time. It seems there is always a birthday party happening every weekend. Swimming, play lands,  bowling, parks, you name it and I'm sure every kid in Canada has experienced it. I mentioned to Arnie how cool it would be to have a Tiki island at the orphanage and have one big party for all these kids. So we thought we would try. God gave us the blessing of being with Isaac for his first birthday, so we wanted to give a blessing to the children he spent his first year with.
So on Monday, there was a big party. It was for Isaac... but not really just for him. In fact his feet touched the bouncy castle one time and that was it. The party was everything we hoped for. The kids all wore birthday hats and sang the longest Happy Birthday song I have ever heard. We ordered the best cakes we could find in Ethiopia and the children devoured. We had asked the kids on our second visit with Isaac what their favorite foods were and they responded, "Coke, Miranda, bananas, chips, cake and Doritos!" We laughed so hard when they said Doritos because you can not buy and name brand chips in Ethiopia. Apparently two of the older boys had been to the States for some awareness conference and had eaten Doritos. We figured we could fulfil all the other requests, but the Doritos we couldn't. I mentioned this to an adoptive friend, who is waiting for a court date for her daughter. SHe knew of another couple who was about to leave for Ethiopia and planned for them to bring Doritos and gifts for all the girls!!! We met this couple and they were able to come and help out at the party. What a beautiful community of adoptive parents I get to be a part of. So the kids ate everything they had asked for. We handed out balls, skipping ropes (donated from more adoptive families at home), coloring books (donated from Isaac's baby shower), t-shirts, bracelets, chap stick, dolls, and more. I can not brag when I say all these things, because we did not buy all these presents. They came from you. Most everything had been given to us to give to these children. This is why I am writing all of this. I want you to know that you blessed these children and gave them a day to just be a normal child. They laughed, ate, squealed, ate, played and ate some more. I could not be more blessed than I was to be a part of this. It was truly beautiful.
I can't post any pictures of the kids for confidentiality reasons, but I can give a glimpse of what went down.

1 comment: