By Sometimes Mom
Follow her on Instagram @sometimes_mom
I turned 30 this month, a milestone birthday that I was lucky enough to celebrate with family and friends as well as our foster son. The little guy that’s with us now, marks the tenth foster child I have parented by age 30.
Of those ten foster children, we have been able to celebrate birthdays with 5 of them. And because we never know how long a child will be with us, and because frankly, they deserve it, we always try to make their birthdays extra special.
We throw a party for each foster child’s birthday and even when COVID dictates the party be small, we still pull out all the stops. One of the special things we make for them, that I take absolutely no credit for, is a homemade cake. Luckily, my mother-in-law was a professional baker who is often called out of retirement to make the most beautiful cakes for us. And when she isn’t available, my husband, who has clearly inherited this talent, has stepped up. Even my younger sister is an amazing baker and has been known to whip up some impressive creations. With an unusually high number of gifted bakers in our family, the cake is usually the centerpiece of any party. But what I lack in culinary contributions, I try to make up for with elaborate party themes and coordinated outfits.
Some of my favorite, most treasured memories with our foster children are from their birthdays. And for those old enough to remember their birthdays with us, I hope those are some of their favorite memories too.
After celebrating the first birthday of one child in our home, we had the honor and privilege of celebrating his second and third birthdays too, long after he left our home. I am grateful every day for the opportunity to stay in his life.
And for those children that we have not been able to stay connected with, we celebrate their birthdays too! This past summer, when our former foster daughter’s birthday rolled around, we celebrated with cupcakes (store-bought this time) and took a few minutes to look at pictures and talk about our favorite memories with her.
My mind is always full of milestone dates. There is the date a child was placed with us, the date they left, and their date of birth. For many, I can tell you the (approximate) date they started walking, and for one bad sleeper in particular, the miraculous date he started sleeping through the night.
These children all deserve to be celebrated, even if those celebrations sometimes happen from afar.