Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Paisley's First Birthday Home

Parents throw their kids their first birthday parties all the time.  In some ways, it's also a celebration for the parents for making it a whole year in their new role as parents and trusting they are on the right path to nurture, love, discipline, and care for their chip.  To me, this "first" birthday is more than just a kid turning another year older.  it's about an orphan turned daughter who never has to spend another birthday without her family.  It's about celebrating life beginning at conception and continuing with loved ones.  It's about a mother who gave life and a few days later abandoned that liffle girl's life for a hope of a great future.  Ultimately, it's about a promise being met by our Heavenly Father for our caught to be him before her 3rd birthday.  And He did just that.

I'm not sure I'll ever able to fully express all of the emotions of what her 3rd birthday held. Furthermore I might not be able to tell completely every last detail of our journey to bring Paisley home to her.  What I do know is that over the course of 16 months there were a lot of prayers, tears, and moments of desperation as we longed to have Paisley home with us.  I leaned on His promise He made to us on September 5, 2014.  It was Paisley's 2nd birthday, and she was spending it, her final birthday as an orphan, in China.  My heart yearned to have her home so we could throw her a party to celebrate her beautiful life.  It was a hard day as you can imagine.  My daughter spent 2.5 years of her life away from me.  I haven't seen a lot of her "very firsts":  words, laughs, visits to certain places, baths, etc.  However, God has given us plenty of "our firsts" with Paisley:  English words, genuine smiles and laughs, new foods, her own room, etc.  And this year He gave Paisley her first birthday home.

Saturday, September 5, 2015 was a day filled with 57 different emotions for me.  In true mom-like fashion, I was stressed, worried, and hopeful things would happen easily, which they did.  Beautifully at that.  Not only was I in "birthday mom" mode, but I was an emotional basket-case.  My daughter was experiencing a birthday like she had never experienced before.  Her 3rd birthday was her first birthday as a daughter.  Just knowing and trying to imagine what life was like for her before us sends me into a good ugly cry.  Then I think about how God never went back on His promise and here she is.  Our little miracle!

Paisley's theme for her party was "All-American" theme to celebrate her life as a new American.  She loves America....well, at least we think she does since she love to thank God for America every times she prays.  I thought that a red, white, and blue themed party was appropriate.  Besides how many more years do I have to decide the party theme for her before we have character parties?

It was a beautiful (and hot) day at the park under the pavilion, where we had the party.  We invited those people who Paisley had already been around before.  This way we were not introducing new faces to her at the party.  So we kept it relatively small.  I believe she had a great birthday!  She was a trooper in the heat for so long and never had a meltdown or any other negative behavior for that matter.  She loved to open presents so she could find that one special gift to catch her attention.  This birthday's "attention grabbing"  toy was a toy Dodge Viper car.  A huge shoutout to my aunt for making that purchase.  Paisley LOVES that car!

I'm so grateful for the opportunity and the privilege that God has given me to be this little girl's mom.  She is truly a gift from above.  A gift from her birth parents (mom) that we could never repay.  

Happy 3rd birthday, Paisley!

Happy birthday, Paisley!

The delicious and beautiful cake that Nana made especially for Paisley.

With our little 3 year old

"This is 2 year old Baby Paisley."

Our "Best Friend" shirts from Aunt Sissy and Uncle Josh

The Dodge Viper that Aunt Jane gave to Paisley.   I'm trying to hide my true feelings about this loud and bright toy by acting excited for Paisley.  I get the impression that Paisley doesn't care what I think either way.

Paisley playing catch with Uncle Josh.  He is one of her favs.

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