On Zoe's first birthday, there were no precious frosting-all-over-the-face pictures taken. Presents were not opened and played with as family oohed and ahhed at her cuteness. There were no special birthday outfits or blowing out of candles. I'm not even sure if anyone in the orphanage remembered or knew that it was her birthday, let alone sang "Happy Birthday" to her.
Zoe did have a family on the other side of the world praying for her, wishing desperately that they could do all of those things with her on that very special day. We made her a cake, set her picture next to it and sang "Happy Birthday," dreaming that she could hear our heart felt, teary-eyed song. We took her picture and cake to House Church to celebrate in her honor. It still felt so empty, so meaningless without her here.
But... on Zoe's second birthday, all was right in her world. She picked out her pretty Chinese dress to wear. She chose to have Minnie Mouse and elephants featured on her cupcakes. She actually ate frosting for the first time (she's not much of a sweets kinda gal). And when we sang "Happy Birthday," that girl soaked up Every. Single. Note. She savored every moment of her party. She shared every toy that was opened. She hugged each friend and family member as a thank you. Zoe knows now that she is special, loved, remembered.
I love you Peanut. So. Very. Much. Happy birthday.