The first thing he said when he woke up was, "I've waited my whole life for this day!" I've waited almost three years for that day, too. I remember spending his last two birthdays in tears because I was missing it. I was able to visit close to his special day to bring him presents and even had a party in his dorm in Guatemala last year, but it's not the same as having him in our home, in my arms.
We filled the day with birthday adventures that actually started the day before. He's so funny and knows exactly what he wants. I told him I could make him a cake and he said he wanted to make it himself. He's helped me cook before, but this time he did everything himself--including cracking the eggs. (Olivia was on a class trip and missed this messy undertaking.)
We filled the day with many birthday adventures. We went to his favorite playground, then headed to our local pet store and got a little aquarium for Daniel and Brady's room. Daniel picked out two goldfish with those big bug eyes and one algae eater--named Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and R2D2. If we can keep these three alive, we might add a Princess Leah and some Clone Troopers.
Our family tradition is to let the birthday boy/girl eat at his/her favorite restaurant. Daniel chose one of the finest eating establishments in our area--Chuck E. Cheese's.
We returned home to open lots of presents. (He changed into his Darth Vader costume with Mickey Mouse birthday ears. This kid is a hoot.) His siblings wanted him to have many things to open so some of them were handmade or Dollar Store finds, but he responded to each gift with "Oh, I've always wanted this!"
We ended the evening with candles on two cakes--the one he made and a cute doggie cake that my sweet sister dropped off with some birthday goodies.
I cried happy tears through much of the day. Just knowing where he came from, how much he has endured, and now how happy and hopeful he is . . . well, it's perhaps the most beautiful "first" birthday I've ever witnessed.
When he blew out his candle, Ava asked what he wished for. His response, "There's nothing left to wish for. I have it all." (Oh my. More tears.)