Sunday, November 2, 2014

Celebrating Cava


On Tuesday, Cava will turn ten. It's hard to believe he will be in double digits.

On Saturday, we threw the second birthday party we have ever thrown for Cava. His birthdays are bittersweet in that we weren't there for the first eight of them, but we cherish the ones we do get to have with him because we are so thankful that this precious boy is now a part of our family.

For his theme this year, Cava broke from the expected super hero one and went with Phineas and Ferb, though this was mainly due to his love of Perry the Platypus (although you can call him Agent P).


As I began to decorate the house, Cava would come up to me, hug me, tell me that he loves me, and then thank me for putting these decorations up. He was grateful that, to what most of us would not seem that big a deal, was, in fact, meaningful to him. These weren't just party decorations, these were acts of love and another way of showing him that he is special and that his life should be celebrated. For a kid who spent eight years of his life never having his birthday acknowledged at all (not even someone simply wishing him a happy birthday), it means the world to have someone to publicly tell him, "We are glad you are here. You are important. You are loved and wanted."


The party was to begin at one, but long before the appointed time, Cava was watching out the window for the possible arrival of any guest. He was so excited when he spotted the first vehicle - his Aunt Tiana's van. As 1:00 drew closer and closer and most of the guests hadn't arrived, he became anxious and I had to calm his nerves. Each time he saw someone pull up, he was out the door to greet them. And once our friends and family were there, the festivities began!

There were games aplenty! First up: Pin the Tail on Perry!


No Phineas and Ferb party would be complete without Dr. Doofenshmirtz trying to put an end to it with one of his "inators" and, true to form, he brought his Birthday-inator in the hopes of sabotaging Cava's 10th birthday party. But Agent C, as we called Cava, and the other agents at his party, each took aim with a Nerf gun to hit the self-destruct button (Why does he always put those on his inators?) and put an end to his dastardly scheme.


Fortunately for our party, we had two dead shots (Camryn and Shane) who hit the "Self-destruct" button.

For those who know their Phineas and Ferb will remember the song "My Undead Mummy and Me," which played as the kids raced to wrap their "mummy" first.



Jack and I even got in on the act, but, alas, we did not win!


This was followed by our Candace-inspired game: Busted! Kids had to pop as many balloons as they could sit on. It's amazing how much longer it took me to blow them all up than it did for the kids to pop them.


Of course, games are a lot of fun, but any true Phineas and Ferb afficionado knows, a day (or a party) isn't complete until you build something. So all of our agents sat down with a table full of craft items to build whatever their imaginations could come up with.


Once their creations were done, it was time for some cake and ice cream.


With Cava, I have come to realize just how meaningful hearing "Happy Birthday" being sung. His birthday's have gone from silence to celebration. To see those people who truly love and cherish him gathered around to let him know this is overwhelming. 



Putting together a birthday party is a lot of work. It takes a lot of time and thought. Yet all of that is worth it when Cava comes up to me and tells me, "Papa, that was the best birthday ever. Thank you."

When I look at Cava, I don't see an orphan, I see my son, my child. All I feel is love for him. When he smiles that big Cava smile, I can't help but smile. I love that there is joy in his eyes and not the deadness that they first had when we met him. One of my favorite sounds is the sound of his laughter. 

When I look at Cava, I see a child who no longer thinks of himself as worthless, but sees from the outpouring of love, that he has great value. He went from being ignored to being embraced. Since today is Orphan Sunday, I pray that next year, there will be one less orphan and one more child who is celebrated the way we celebrate our son.

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