Sunday, July 8, 2018

Lily Grace's 2nd Birthday Celebration!

So back in MAY (oops!) Lily Grace had her second birthday!  And first birthday (most likely) celebration and party!  We had the best time spending the day celebrating her big day!  She was the grand finale of Matt and all three girls whose birthdays all fall within a couple of weeks of each other!  Unfortunately she had a nasty cold on her actual birthday but she didn't let that slow her down too much.  She had a low grade fever which got her out of a dentist appointment the morning of her birthday, so she just tagged along while her big sisters had their teeth cleaned.

After getting the big girls to school, Lily Grace and I had a fabulous Chick-fil-A lunch date.  Her first few months home, she wouldn't touch a french fry.  We offered them to her multiple times (very nutritious I know!) and she rejected them repeatedly.  Well, I'm happy to report that she is now a fan.  So she enjoyed her lunch.  And in true, "mommas-got-to-get-a-cute-pic" fashion, I brought a birthday headband.  One of the employees saw her headband and brought her a cup of ice-cream complete with oreo topping!  She loved it!

Once everyone got home that night and we ate dinner we had birthday cupcakes to celebrate as a family.  Even though we were having her birthday party a few days later and she wouldn't know the difference, I wanted her to have a special treat on her actual birthday.

That weekend we had our family over and Matt cooked fish with his dad and we had a party for her with all of our sweet family!  She had so many gifts to open!  She had a great time opening presents and had lots of "help" from her sisters and cousins.

I was determined to get her a smash cake so she had one just like our other girls did.  Even if it was a year late, I still knew she would enjoy it and it felt like a rite of passage that I didn't want her missing out on.  She loved it!  Her daddy had to show her what to do at first but it didn't take long to jump right in and go to town the cake.

She is a pretty clean girl and doesn't like to be dirty and there was some daintiness to her cake smashing!  After cake time she enjoyed going outside and testing out one of the THREE (yes three!) bubble lawn mowers she received.  The girls loves bubbles and she will definitely use them.

It was a great day of celebrating Lily Grace!  Even though she wasn't aware of the magnitude of the day, so many things went through my mind.  I kept thinking back to the same time a year ago.  We had just seen her face for the first time and we were working so hard to get to China to go meet our baby girl and bring her home!  We couldn't be with her for her first birthday so we celebrated her birthday without her as a family by eating PeiWei takeout.  I remember looking out our kitchen window and seeing the day lillies blooming right around the day of her birthday.  Her first name in Mandarin is Ya Xuan, which is now her middle name.  And Xuan means "day lily".  The Lord is so gracious to give us signs of His love for us in life and that was one I will never forget!

I remember wondering so many things about her.  I remember going to bed and praying for her and her caretakers.  I remember wondering what she was like.  I remember feverishly looking at the calendar and calculating dates and drop offs and pickups of paperwork to try and figure out when we would be in China.  We were so close yet so far away.  And now here we were, 9 months later with nothing but the rest of her life ahead of her surrounded by so many people that love her.  I often look at her and think about how different her life is now.  I can't help but get emotional when I think about it.  But more than that, I can't help but think how much the Lord has taught us through her life.  He has taught me so much trust in Him and His plan.  To be grateful for birthday parties, and bubbles, and family time, and kisses, and french fries, and giggles, and His sovereign plan for our lives.  I hear it time and time again from so many fellow adoptive families when people tell us how lucky their children are to have been adopted.  So much more, my friends, is the gift she has given us.  We are the blessed ones.  The Lord has used her life to teach us so many things that I am forever grateful for.  Our children are such a gift!

So happy birthday baby girl!  Here's to many more years of 4 birthday celebrations in 2 1/2 weeks with you as the caboose!

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