Last week was a week FULL of birthday fiestas – from Cristofer celebrating his very first birthday to Grant enjoying his 60th. And Mareli who is now 11 but having her very first party with friends and gifts.
First was Grant’s birthday. I bought a Minion piñata and a cake and smuggled it into the orphanage on Friday before classes. The children spent the morning making cards and letters. Lucio spent all morning using a YouTube tutorial to make a box that exploded confetti when Grant opened it. We had a YWAM team visiting that day, so they joined in with the singing and dancing and piñata smashing. The children absolutely loved the surprise and at this age, our celebrations are more for these little ones than for ourselves. That night we took our weekend girls and headed to a pretty restaurant on the canal for a birthday dinner of flaming fajitas. It was a good day and I know Grant felt the love many times over!
The very next day was Mareli’s birthday. Although her mom had recently moved to Bucerias, we hadn’t heard from her and we knew we needed to make sure Mareli felt loved and special on this day when her family hadn’t showed up. Our good friends Francisco and Anita offered us their home and pool for the afternoon. We bought another piñata – a unicorn this time – another cake, chicken and ceviche tostados and we invited some Manos de Amor friends to come and celebrate Mareli’s day. She knew we were going swimming together, but the rest was a surprise. I loved the look on her face when the doorbell rang and 5 of her friends walked in as well as her precious Tia Laura, a caregiver from the orphanage. Again, face planting in the cake, piñata breaking, and lots of food and drink. She was thrilled with the MP3 player we bought her to listen to her Soy Luna music. A super fun day for kids and us adults too.
And then one more. This week was the first birthday for 1-year old Cristofer. Last year Cristofer was born to his young mom – the second child to the then 16-year-old. If you remember from my blog story last year, 2 or 3 weeks after Cristofer was born, he still didn’t have a name. His mom just couldn’t decide, so she asked for my help and I was honored to name this little guy Cristofer Alejandro. I visit Cristofer every Friday and Sunday – along with his brother Kevin, and cousin Lupita and lots of aunties and uncles and his grandma. His 6 year old uncle comes with me to Manos de Amor each week. It is a full house and although there is not a lot of material stuff in the one room home, there is definitely love and family.
Happy Birthday Cristofer and Mareli and Grant! I never could have guessed that when Grant turned 60, this would be the life we would be living. It’s a weird combo of missionary social work retirement and we are loving every minute of it! So Feliz Cumpleanos mi esposo – te quiero!