We kept the celebration pretty low-key. Over the weekend we did the usual and invited the cousins over. We did sing and have cake, and she seemed to enjoy it all.
One of the highlights of the night was my brother-in-law and nephew showing up in these shirts (which they made about 5 minutes before arriving). They like to refer to Vivian as "the Viv" and we cracked up when we saw this
Opening presents (she had a lot of help from her siblings and cousins). Try to ignore the random dress up outfits and wigs the big kids are sporting. This is how we roll at family get togethers.
Singing and eating cake. Also try to ignore the cake. Martha Stewart I am not.
On the actual day of her birthday, Rob and I took her out to lunch. We continued our work of trying to fatten her up by taking her out for a hot dog and French fries.
While we feel sad about the two birthdays we missed, we are so grateful we get to spend every birthday from here on out with her. Of course, her birthday brings some of those lingering questions to mind: where was she born?, what time of day was she born?, what did she look like (can you even imagine how beautiful she must have been)?, and what was she like as a baby. What I would give to know these things. And one day I know Vivian will want to know these things. But, we will never know, and that is just something we all have to live with and find a way to come to peace with.
I spent a lot of her birthday thinking about her birthparents. I wonder what this day is like for them. Do they remember the day? Do they wonder about her? Do they miss her? I feel like the answer to these questions has to be 'yes'. And this makes me feel a mix of guilt and appreciation for what I have. I have, because of their sacrifice, a fourth beautiful child. I realize the chances are very high they have only one child and can't imagine a world where you get to have FOUR. I have TWO BEAUTIFUL daughters. I realize the chances are also high that I have Vivian because she was a daughter, and her mother most likely does not know the joy of having a little girl. This is why I feel so uncomfortable when people say that Rob and I did a great thing by bringing Vivian home. Yes, we agree that she is much better off here than in that orphanage, but it was a selfish thing. It's not like we sacrificed and worked hard and took this risk to get nothing in return for it. We got to bring home a beautiful, wonderful child to love and take care of. We get to have four children. We are so lucky and we feel that way every single day.
Vivian is doing great, by the way. She is still not talking a whole lot, but she gets a few new words every week. She is eating great, sleeping great and is really just such a joy. She has become very comfortable in her new world and we go out and about all the time now and she does really well. Hard to believe how far she has come in 3 months. She is just awesome.
Happy birthday sweet girl.