I’m never going to be able to capture a record of every important event in our family’s life on this blog, but there are some that are too important to miss, even when I can’t get a post up about them until almost 2 months later – and this is one of those events!
This August we celebrated our little Madeleine CaiQun’s third birthday!
This was her first birthday home with us and thus extra special 🙂 We tried to make it truly about celebrating her, who she is, what she loves, and what we love about her, as opposed to about our (my) ideas of what a birthday should be. To that end, instead of dressing her up in one of my favorite outfits for her, I let her wear her favorite shirt – “the baby shirt!!!”
She was delighted with her gifts, even the smallest of them. She has such a sweet heart.
We knew she’d be overwhelmed by a big party, but we invited our friends Aarik and Brooke to join us for CaiQun’s birthday dinner, pizza being her choice. We attempted to go the partly-home-made route (crust and sauce and toppings from the store but assembled at home), and alas, it was not very good, but we still enjoyed our evening celebrating our girl 🙂
Thankfully the cupcakes were more of a hit 🙂
My mother, along with some long-time family friends (think cousins except not really related) arrived soon after her birthday and brought along what may be her favorite gift of all – twin beds (handed down from my brothers) to allow for the girls to begin sharing a room again, along with new bedding, of course!
Both girls are happy to be sharing a room again, but CaiQun loves it. She loves the new sheets and bedding that Grandma brought especially for her, and she loves having her jie jie nearby. She has slept so much better since we put the girls back in the same room, and she just loves it overall. I’m really glad we did it.
I think our little MCQ enjoyed all her birthday celebrations 🙂 She asked us to sing to her over and over again and seemed delighted to be the center of attention, and yet she was also willing to share her new toys and experiences with Miranda. Everything was a joy to her. She’s such a sweet kiddo.
At Miranda’s birthdays, I find myself reminiscing about pregnancy, remembering what it felt like to anticipate labor and birth, how I reveled in those first few hours of holding her and studying her and rejoicing over her presence in our lives. And as Matt and I wrapped presents and prepared for CaiQun’s big day the night beforehand, I found myself wondering about her birth family and about the circumstances of her birth and about so many questions to which we will probably never know the answers. I don’t understand the juxtaposition of the sovereignty and goodness of God and the specific interplay that led to this tiny girl-child, born half a world away, celebrating her third birthday in a living room in Missouri. But I trust Him regardless and cling to the reality that while there is of course loss associated with CaiQun’s joining our family, there is also goodness. He is there. And she is here. And I get to have her as my daughter forever, and I’m oh so thankful for her presence in my life.
Happy birthday, Madeleine CaiQun, our little mei mei. I’m so glad you’re my daughter.