The Birthday Bust...Or Was It?

For each child's birthday, I try to write a deep, insightful letter to their soul... that they may or may not ever read.

As I began drafting Daniel's this morning, I realized his birth had launched us into another life, a fresh ministry, an unstoppable force.

I'm often asked if we're afraid we've lost Daniel in the mix of this crazy life, more than I'm asked about any other kiddo.

Maybe because we met with Lifeline the Monday before we discovered he was growing in my belly.

Maybe because we began foster care when he was two years old.

Maybe because he's only known a life of chaos and sacrifice.

I was writing him this super deep letter explaining all of this, when he wandered downstairs, looked at the kitchen counter and saw his cupcakes for class.

Downtrodden, he turned to me and said, Mommy, you don't know me at all! Don't you know I decided last week that I don't like cupcakes anymore?

Score, Mom.

From there we flew through Daylight Doughnuts as my new six year old determined he would only accept doughnuts for birthday treats.

When your baby has been lost in the shuffle of some thirty plus kiddos for more than half his life, you have a tender spot.

We reached homeschool co-op to have my dear anonymous friend take our unwanted doughnuts off our hands because she had forgotten to bring anything for her daughter's birthday. Love you, Girl.

As I dropped Daniel off in his classroom, I counted heads to only realize every boy but one had been invited to his afternoon party, and the one happened to be Benj's best friend's little brother.

I whispered something to Daniel about it, only to have him reply, Mommy, I love you, but did you really hear me when I told you who to invite?

Score Two. Sorry, Jen.

After school we loaded six, five-year-old boys and the two little girls to head to iIJump. James swung through Chick-Fil-A on the way so that we could have a picnic outside in the parking lot. We're high class, Folks.

While eating, our sweet friend Clay continuously said, Mrs. Catie, I don't think they're open.

It's okay. They open at noon, Buddy. Never once did I notice it was 12:30.

I went to open the doors only to discover that iJump is now closed on weekdays.

I turned to face eight little faces staring at me, and Jamie laughing at me shaking his head and FLASHBACK...This past January I planned Raina and Raegan's going away carousel parties at the Galleria only to discover there was no carousel when we showed up. But at least the Galleria has escalators. That's all you need.

Score Three, Mom.

I darted my eyes around quickly to realize there were no escalators or elevators for a detour. I thought about us driving doughnuts around the parking lot.

Haha! Daniel, I love you so much I played a trick on you! We're really going to Chuck E. Cheese. I just brought us here to look at iJump.

NOOOO! Chuck E. Cheese is where people go to throw up! Our wise friend Clay screamed.

Mrs. Catie, I'm sorry, but Chuck E. Cheese is one of those inappropriate places, and my mom doesn't let me go inside inappropriate places, little gentleman Lech explained to me.

Haha. I'm joking again. We're getting in the car, and it's a surprise!

At this point, Daniel was looking at me out of the corner of his eye with that look...that, Please, Mommy, don't go your crazy self on my friends right now, look.

I smiled.

The entire drive Clay gently whispered the words throw up, and Lech murmured inappropriate.

And finally, we reached Treetop.

Laser tag was the only thing open. They rocked it.

Daniel never left this during our arcade time.

And there's my boy and me.

The big brothers
Daniel chose to take the gang to Moe's for dinner where the tribe attempted to persuade him to hit us up for ice cream.

Jamie smiled and told Daniel that he could choose to take everyone for ice cream, or choose to take us all home and get his own chocolate bar.

He picked the chocolate bar. Nice.

We came home, and I stole my little man for a walk.

And he said it...

Mommy, I love our life. 

You do?

It's really crazy and funny. And you're crazy and funny. Our life makes me love God. I'm ready to walk home, okay?

God designs families. God calls families. God is writing His story through our children, not just us.

And, it's beautiful.

We ended the night saying what we loved most about Daniel while he stood in the center...

I love that he tells God how much he loves Him when he prays. ~ Jamie

I love that he's humble. ~ Caleb

I love that Daniel always wants to play with me. ~ Benj

I love that Daniel laughs with me. ~ Peppermint Patti

I love that he's my foster brother. ~ Buster B

I love that he's my best brother. ~ Cinderella

I love that he's my special brother. ~ KBug

I that He loves Jesus so much and that he belongs to Jesus. ~ Me

Not the special day I planned for my boy, but just the day His Creator crafted for him.

Looking ever to our Savior ~