After we adopted Jaynie, Cassandra and Mark in September 2001, Mark was the first in the trio to celebrate a birthday. On November 28, he turned six... an amazingly cute six! He had never had a birthday celebration before. Nor had anyone showered him with gifts before. So when we brought him birthday gifts he tore into them with a gusto that made us both joyful and sad. Joyful because we had been able to give him a special celebration... sad because no one had ever done so before!
Orphans are often neglected in horrific ways. But even the mundane neglect they face is tragic. Simple things we take for granted with our biological children are often completely missed in the life of orphans. Besides missing birthday and Christmas celebrations, they often have no knowledge of the family history, medical conditions, traditions etc. And one of the saddest things we've noticed is their lack of baby pictures. We've had more than one tearful encounter with a former orphan who said, "I wish I knew what I looked like as a baby."
Mark's sixth birthday celebration was an occasion full of "photo ops"...his beautiful blue eyes shone as his new family introduced him to the birthday traditions of gift giving and birthday cake.
|Mark, newly adopted, turns six|
Today, ten years later, we celebrated his 16th birthday. Now Mark is growing into a fine young man, growing like a weed, and growing out of 'little boy' things.
|Mark at 16|
We love you. We pray for you multiple times each day. We're so glad that God has let us be your parents. We look forward to watching you grow into the young man the Lord has made you to be.
Mom and Dad