Wednesday, February 1, 2012

... Birthday Denis!

Last month was my angel boy's birthday.

As I was writing the title for this post I was going to write "Happy Birthday Denis!" but it just didn't feel right. Denis did not get to attend a party with all his friends and family. He did not get to eat cake or open presents or delight in his loved ones singing 'Happy Birthday' just for him. Instead Denis likely spent the day confined to his wheelchair, rocking back and forth just to pass the time. He would have eaten the same bland mush as every other day and gone to bed without a single indication that that day was special, a day worthy of celebration.
The truth is, Denis did not have a happy birthday.

But although Denis may not have known it, his special day did not go by unnoticed, uncelebrated. There’s another side to this story, one that reminds us just how much God, who knows the very number of hairs on each of His children’s head, cares about the small, simple things. You see, I knew that Denis’ birthday was in January but the day itself almost slipped by me. I wanted to see when one of my other kids’ birthdays was and was checking the document where I have all of their birthdays written down when I noticed, “Oh my goodness, Denis’ birthday is tomorrow!” – I had almost missed it… I assumed Denis’ family knew when his birthday was and dropped them a quick e-mail to see how they felt about me doing a birthday post in his honour as I know a lot of families like to keep their child’s birthdates private until the adoption is finalized.
Anyway, I e-mailed them to see what they wanted me to do and about an hour later I received this response:

Andrea… you are not going to believe this. I have asked about 4 times, and all different people (RR, etc.) if they could tell me when Denis' birthday is. No one could tell me. I had thought I had asked you, but obviously I hadn't. Lord willing, being his mom in the flesh real soon, how could I not know when to celebrate the beginning of his life?

I had decided back in December that I would just choose a date, but it turned out to be a hectic week, and Chris [her husband] was not here so we did not celebrate on the date I had chosen. This was so sad for me, and of course I felt like a failure...but the story is not over yet, because God is on the move and His plan is even better than mine!

Fast forward to this morning… I was having a hard time and asked Chris to make a cake for Denis. Later this afternoon I made the frosting and at 3:16 got done decorating his cake and took pictures of it. I cried. I sat down to upload the pictures and there is the note from you. [sent at 3:44, just after I realized that Denis’ birthday was the next day]

Tomorrow is his birthday! I have missed his birth, his first birthday, second, third, fourth. But PRAISE THE LORD! not his fifth!!!! AGAIN I SAY PRAISE THE LORD. Tomorrow we will eat a cake that says "Ryan" and has 5 candles on it. And I will celebrate the day he was born and rejoice in this little boy's life. Besides being right there next to him, nothing could be sweeter!

I had goosebumps on my arms and tears on my cheeks as I read Julie’s e-mail several times, in awe of God’s goodness. Denis may not have known it was his birthday but there was a cake, and a party, and two parents and three little girls celebrating their son/brother’s life. The significance of the day was not passed over by them and, more importantly, it was not passed over by God.

Denis turned five-years-old last month. That’s five years too many without a family. I want to make sure that that is Denis’ last birthday all alone. In honour of Denis’ fifth birthday, would you be willing to donate five dollars to help Denis’ family bring him home? You can donate to Denis’ family grant here. After you donate, don’t forget to hop over here and let Jane know that you donated so that you can be entered into the drawing for a beautiful piece of original artwork.

Precious boy… praying that this is a year filled with hope, promise and love beyond your wildest dreams.

I love you!

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