My Mom had her 75th birthday on Oct. 16th. That's 74 previous birthdays and not one of them involving a surprise celebration…until now!
Beth and I put together a little poem to invite friends and family:
My Dad sneakily got addresses, arranged a place and ordered food.
Just so she wouldn't be suspicious, the kids and I went to see her for her birthday.
And surprised, I believe she was!
Several friends and family came to celebrate my Mom's birthday.
Since Beth, Greg and Evie couldn't make the long trip, Layne held down the great-grandchild fort.
and got lots of love from Mimi and Papa
(this is grainy, but I love her expression)
With all her guests, she still had time for some Nana snuggles with Elijah
All of my big kids wrote about how much their Nana meant to them. Anna read hers,
and I read the others. My mom was touched and got a bit "misty-eyed" when she heard them. They all said very sweet things about their special relationship with their Nana.
Then Mom gave a little speech where she shared that she had told my Dad, after her birthday this year, that next year she really wanted to have a surprise party.
My mom bleeds Carolina Blue, so what kind of cake did I make??
My brother, Dad, Mom and me.
It was a great day and such a privilege to honor my mom. She's always given so much for everyone, it was nice to give back to her for a change. The queen of giving birthday parties finally had one for herself.
She's been a wonderful constant in my kids' lives. They all think the world of their Nana. Even though no one but Anna could be there, they all were there in spirit. They love her dearly! As for me, it was a super pleasure to do something for my mom. She's always been there for me any way she possibly could. Whether it was planning and working a birthday party, babysitting or just listening, my Mom's always putting our family before herself. We are so lucky to have her!
Happy, happy birthday Mom, and all our love always !!!
You can learn a wide variety of things just by listening to the conversations that take place in the backseat of the car, especially when the little people don't realize the big person is listening.
This weekend, as we were returning from swim practice, we rode by a church. Outside in the side yard, the wedding party was taking post ceremony pictures. I pointed out the group to Abbey and Elijah.
Then I heard this conversation…
Abbey~ "I wonder when I can get my first kiss? I can't wait! You can kiss when you are married."
Elijah~ "When I get married, I'm going to ask my wife if we can have babies."
To which Abbey responded, "Why would you ask?"
Elijah then came back with, "Because it's nice to have lots of love. The more people you love the more happy you get to be."
There's a lot that can be extrapolated from my brief eavesdropping session. I can see bits of both of their personalities through their comments. I also can see some of myself reflected in their observations. This is sweet, but also could be terrifying. Sweet, in that some of what I want them to know has been "caught". Scary, because they are also always catching things that I might have inadvertently thrown. Chinks in my armor that I don't want to pass on. They could emulate my actions in times of stress, when I react in a less than Godly way. The good, the bad, and the ugly…all there for the taking, and kids are rapid takers of what they see and hear.
One thing's for sure, I'll always be listening for more words of wisdom from the backseat, while trying to make sure the front seat comments they hear are wise enough to shape my little charges into the people I hope and pray they become.
My husband, John, and I have been blessed with 6 marvelous kids. The path to each of them, whether by birth or adoption from China, was orchestrated by God and we are grateful for each of them. This blog is about our family.
Elijah, John, Me, (BR)Beth,John,Jr, Anna, Daniel and Abbey July, 2012
"The Bible calls debt a curse and children a blessing; but in our culture, we apply for a curse and reject blessings. Something is wrong with this picture." ~ Doug Phillips
"I can not change the world but I can change the world for one person" -Mother Teresa
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and proclaiming, 'Wow, what a ride!!!'"
"Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphan and widows..." James 1:27
"Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.” - Martin Luther King Jr
"To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways: we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sigh of sadness. It should rather be an expression of breathless expectation."- Oswald Chambers
"All that we call human history--money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery--[is] the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy." -C.S. Lewis
"One can give without loving, but one can not love without giving." Amy Carmichael
"The past effects the future, but does not have to determine it" -Dr. Karyn Purvis
"Time and experience have taught me a priceless lesson: Any child you take for your own becomes your own if you give of yourself to that child. I have born two children and had seven others by adoption, and they are all my children, equally beloved and precious" ~ Dale Evans
"How can there be too many children, it's like saying there are too many flowers." ~ Mother Teresa
“ The most precious jewels you’ll ever have around your neck are the arms of your children.” ~Author Unknown
September 2008 Announced to family that we were planning on adopting from China for the second time October Started homestudy November Finished all our homestudy visits, but had to get extra clearances for Daniel and Anna January 2009 Send I800A to USCIS in Chicago February 20 USCIS agent called and said approval was ready, but we might want to consider having Anna fingerprinted(she would soon turn 18) February 26 Dana, our advocate, called and we first saw Eli's precious face March 23 I 797C- USCIS approval March 24 Dossier sent to our agency, A Helping Hand April 4 Dossier sent to China!!! Praise the Lord! April 15 Log In Date!! April 22 Nurture and Care Plan, formerly LOI sent to CCAA April 29 Pre-Approval July 2 Letter of Acceptance, or Letter Seeking Confirmation July 6 Mailed in acceptance July 10 Sent in I 800 July 12 I 800 received in Chicago July 13 First Pre-Travel Meeting July 24 Email notification of I 800 approval July 28 Received I800 in the mail July 29 Documents sent to Guangzhou August 4 Cable sent from NVC to Guangzhou August 10 Article 5 done and picked up by courier August 31 Travel Approval September 10-26 Travel to China