We opted to have a traveling animal show come to the house and "WOW" the kiddos. Along with being a big surprise for both Li Lin and the other kids, it was also a big hit. We were visited by a spotted salamander, a bearded lizard, a rabbit, a turtle, a monkey frog, a chinchilla, a hedgehog, a tarantula, a ball python, and a blue-tongued skink. Other than the chinchilla, which was new to shows and could only be petted by the kids, all the other animals could be independently held by the children. Li Lin was even given the 'honour' of feeding a meal worm to a the lizard.
|Li Lin entering cloud nine... she held the calm rabbit on her lap unaided and just loved it!|
Seeing the look of pure excitement and wonder on the faces of the children was priceless. Li Lin was also quite excited by the Strawberry Shortcake cake and the balloons.
|Hudson's face says it all...he thought all the animals were super cool!|
I would be remiss to mention the big help Rykauna and Logan were in keeping the kids occupied while the animal presenter was setting up. Or, at least the presenter should have been setting up. She called to say she was running behind due to traffic. Rykauna had found an idea for candy sushi on Pinterest so she taught the kids how to make them. Next, Logan ran a little "stick the berry on the strawberry patch" game. It is nice having older children that want to help out running games!:)
We topped the party off with a child's 'gourmet' dinner of Kraft Dinner and chicken fingers. I think it has been a couple of years since I made KD. I was pleasantly surprised they have now added dried cauliflower to the cheese mix. LOL!
One of Li Lin's gifts this birthday was a "panda bear" hamster. In a nod to her Chinese heritage, Rykauna thought we should get her this colour variation on the garden variety hamster. So yes, we are very likely the only people in our neighbourhood with a hamster named, Beijng! Unfortunately she is a jumpy little hamster that is very fearful of being handled. Our children are wishing their, 'animal whisperer' cousin, Kearta, would come for a visit sooner than the summer.
I cannot end a blog post on Li Lin's first birthday with us without thinking a little about her birth parents. As we enjoyed a lovely, fun, exciting party, I am quite sure that some woman halfway around the world was tossing and turning in bed thinking about the little daughter she delivered four years ago. Wondering, as any mother would, where her little girl is and whether she is being shown the love she was unable to share with her. My thoughts were also turning to her foster grandparents. I am convinced they too loved her. I am also quite sure they had a tough day/night on March 23 thinking about the little baby they fed with a syringe for many months and nursed back to health after two surgeries. I owe a lot to these dear people. So we pray for them all. Regularly. And should we forget, Li Lin is quick to remind us.