The Nordstroms' children stayed with us again last night (see most recent post). This meant that this morning the large group had the blessing of wishing FIVE year-old Peaches, "Happy birthday!" over and over. Each time any of us did so, she'd get a shy smile, look down and quietly say, "Thank You."
We took Peaches to the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor in Le Mars for lunch. The former orphan glowed with happiness as she was bathed in attention. A year ago she was living in an orphanage in eastern Ethiopia, near the Sudanese border. Today was probably the first time anyone has ever celebrated the birthday of this precious child who was created in God's image.
Peaches with her friend and fellow former orphan, Daria. The two were adopted about six months apart from two different continents into the families of close friends.
Amy and Peaches heading up the grand staircase in the parlor to find the older girls.
When we located them, the girls insisted Peaches take center stage on a sofa on that second level. She seemed to like her lap-top throne.
Soon the boys, who'd been in a second car and run an errand, joined us. Then party began in earnest!
When we sat down at the booths, Peaches was eager to learn Wells' Dairy history.
Soon though, it was time to order
...but Lissie helped her. Peaches choice on her fifth birthday??? "Dirt and Worms!"
The wait for the ice cream wasn't long considering there were 20 of us. (The two families were joined by visiting CollegePlus! friends Robbie and Megan, as well as my niece Amanda.)
When the server brought Peaches' candle-topped dish...
...the surprised little girl...
...blew out the flame before the rest of us could jump up to sing her happy birthday.
When we began that tune, the face of this child, whose short life has already been marked by such hardship and pain, took on a far-away wistfulness that was inexplicable to those watching.
The look deepened as the song continued.
However, when the singing finished, Peaches was ready to grab the candle...
...thrust it to the table...
...and get on with eating her "Dirt and Worms," while sitting in her sister's lap.
Whatever the reason for the cloud that crossed the birthday girl's face, her fun was dampened for just minutes, and then she was beaming again.
I'm so happy to report than Peaches' mom was released from the hospital late this afternoon. The family was then reunited for the rest of Peaches' first birthday as part of a family. Our God is so good!