We celebrated a 5th birthday in the house last week, but this week it’s a 4th birthday!

Our newest, and littlest, Miss JJ turned 4 today.


Since she saw the whole birthday hullabaloo happen last week, she wasn’t surprised by the decorations or gifts on the table at breakfast.  In fact, she tore into that stack like a pro.


We decided when we were in China to buy as many little things as possible to use as part of her birthday gift every year.  We ended up getting enough things to get through her 16th birthday.  This year was a sweet little yarn doll we got on Shamian Island in Guangzhou.


I think the favorite for the day was the purse.  She’s officially obsessed with it, and carried it to Target today…

chatting on the "phone"...
chatting on the “phone”…

or maybe, it’s the oversized Minnie Mouse we got while AT Target today… who knew I was such a sucker???


We definitely had some ups and downs today.  Lots of fun, but lots of stress added to her body because of the change in routine.  Quite a few mega-meltdowns, but I kinda expected that it might be like that.  Still… to see even brief glimpses of the good, of why we did this, of what our family is now, made it all worth it.


We ended dinnertime with a little cupcake action.  Four cupcakes.  The first with 1 candle.  The second with 2 candles.  The third with 3 candles, and the fourth with 4 candles.

One cupcake for every birthday she has had so far.  This is the first time any of them has been properly celebrated.  Or perhaps, celebrated at all.


Happy Birthday, spunky girl!  I feel like I don’t even know you well enough yet to write an accurate description of what you’re like.  What I do know is that you’re a fighter.  That you have survived times of being lonely and without family.  I know that you are still afraid.  Afraid that you might wake up from a nap or in the morning and find that all of this has disappeared.  You cry out in your sleep, still, worried even at rest.

I know that you laugh genuinely, and that you dance like a crazy person when no one is watching.  I know that you eat like a horse, and never refuse to try a new food.  I know that you have a gigantic sweet tooth, and that you are a little obsessed with brushing brushing your teeth, and with fixing your hair.

I know that you like your siblings, but that you also like to tattle a little bit.  May have been that you were the eyes and ears of the nannies where you used to live.

I know that you are getting used to all of this.  That you’re learning routines, and that you are a stickler for putting your dirty laundry in the hamper where it belongs.

I know that I love you a tiny bit more every day, and while this is all still a little new for all of us, there will be a day (soon) that we will wonder what things used to be like “before”.  We won’t know.  It will be like you’ve always been here.

Happy 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays to you, sweet Julianne.  We hate that we missed the first three, but we’re thrilled we get to be a part of the rest of them.


1 Comments on “FOUR!”

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