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Monday, March 5, 2018

8th birthday! 1st birthday celebration!

My favorite photo by far of the low-key although very special birthday celebration!
It's his 8th birthday. Ru is lucky (Well, lucky isn't the right word. He's not lucky. He's had a lot of loss in his short 7 years, and that is far from lucky.) Ru is unusual in the fact that he was found (when he was abandon as a baby) with a finding note. And in that finding note his specific birth date is mentioned. So unlike most children adopted from China and internationally, we actually know Ru's birth date rather than a guess. And that's a gift that we don't take for granted! 
Birthday celebrations at our house include a mini birthday photo shoot.
Ru reluctantly obliged me. 
So we celebrated Ru's birthday on his actual birth day. (Things you take for granted, eh?) 
Mama, can I PLEASE just open one present right now? PLEEEEEEAAAASE? Just one?
My understanding is that birthday's aren't as big a deal in China as they are here in the United States. And that's most certainly true in orphanages. Lots of kiddos and lots of birthday would mean there's just not enough time and resources to celebrate birthdays. It's very common for children coming out of China orphanages to not really understand what a birthday even is much less understand why it would be celebrated. Ru came home at 7 years old and had no idea when his birthday even was. But again, Ru is unusual in the fact that in his China home, his orphanage, they did recognize the children's birthdays so I assume they recognized his. Again, nothing like we do here, but from his description the child got a cake that he/she shared with everyone else and got to pick a prize out of a box. He told me this with the feelings that is was special to him. He indicated that he was no happy that he had to share the cake with everyone and that is was the same cake for all the children for every birthday.
So you'd better believe that I made him a special cake, or rather cupcakes 'cause they don't call me the Cupcake Lady for nothing! Well nobody really calls me that but whatever.  So for his birthday celebration I was sure to explain to him that he's crazy special and I wanted to make him a special cake just for him and let him pick out the flavors. When I asked him about it, he didn't really know how to answer 'cause he doesn't really have an idea of what kinds of cakes and flavors there can be. 10 months in this new world and there's still a lot of learning going on. But with a little coaxing and ideas suggested he decided he wanted "candy" flavored cupcakes. But what type of candy? Well again the endless possibilities are just too far outside his realm of knowledge. General candy goodness is just a broadly encompassing, amazingly, wonderful, sugary goodness term that needs not be narrowed, right? So candy cupcakes it was! And I decided that candy means M&Ms because I know he likes them a whole lot and green is his favorite color. I could make both of those things happen together.

When he blew out the candles he wished aloud, I wish I can be a math teacher when I grow up. 
Score! Writing and drawing supplies! 
The dryness of his knees and legs here is... really AZ desert dry! 
Ru didn't have any specific things he wanted for his birthday. 'Cause that's out of the realm possibility too. We got him a few presents, nothing huge. A stuffed panda cause this child LOVES stuffed animals and some little cars and a track. His big sister got him same drawing supplies. Jude, Tess and Mimi spent the day doing his chores. And Ru thought he was the luckiest person in all the whole world! Side note: He isn't. I am.

His special day ended with ended dinner of his choice. He picked a Chinese hot pot restaurant rather than my humble attempts at Chinese cooking. I don't blame him. And a very tired boy that went to sleep with a smile on his face. A very older looking 8 year old.
I know Ru felt special on his birthday and that was the biggest gift of all. And he even said that he definitely felt older that day. So his 8th birthday is really his 1st birthday celebration. That face and that smile, it's the start of a whole lifetime of annual birthday celebrations!

Although about 10 minutes later he came to me asking if one grows up (taller) all at once on their birthday or if it happens all the time.

See. I am the lucky one!


  1. I'm sitting here reading this with tears in my eyes. His face! His smile! He just looks so happy. Happy Birthday Ru :) Oh & tell him yes you do grow up on your birthday because to me, at least, he looks older in these pics. He also will make an incredible math teacher.

    1. You know I was just thinking that I think he looks older too. I miss that part of older-kiddo adoption, seeing them grow so quickly when they are really little. But now, I'm seeing it too. But I'm not sure if I really like it all that much!


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