Little Boo is Six

Boo turned six today! She chose Froot Loops for her birthday cereal. For dinner she chose Twelve Boy Curry, rice, toppings (nuts, coconut, pineapple, etc.), carrots and dip. She surprised me by choosing a Chocolate Bundt cake with mint chip ice cream for dessert.

I called her to the kitchen to put the candles on her cake.

“How many candles do you need?” I asked after we frosted it.

“I don’t know.” Boo grinned.

“You don’t know?”


“You need one for every year old that you are, so how many do you need?”


“That’s right, you need six.”

Then as she was putting them on the cake, she was placing them close together, so I said, “You might want to spread those out because you only get six.”

“I think I’m going to need some more.”

“But you only get one for every year old that you are. Do you remember that?”

“I do now.”


I may have hit upon a solution to some of Dimples’ difficulties with her sisters’ birthdays. She always struggles when other people receive gifts, so this year I let Dimples wrap Boo’s gifts. She didn’t spend the evening worrying about what Boo was going to get and how good it might be, which then would make her sad that she didn’t have the same things. Instead, she had the inside scoop, so she was excited to watch Boo open the gifts. It seemed to reduce her anxiety and increase her happiness which made for a good evening.

In the past I have told the children the stories of their births on their birthdays. I haven’t done it since our new children came home, but tonight I was talking to Boo and began to tell her about her grandparents arriving the day she was born and how we all were at the hospital together, but only Sweet Pea and Mimi were in the room with Daddy and me when she was born. As I was telling the story, I became very aware of Dimples and Honeybee and felt sad that I didn’t know the stories of their births.

Dimples said, “Tell me about when I was born.” I told her that I wasn’t there, but I knew her Ethiopian mommy loved her very much when she was born. She said, “I want to know about when I was born. I want to tell my mother, ‘Come down here and tell me!’

Honeybee also made a bit of a joke about wanting her Ethiopian mommy to tell her about her birth. Later she crawled into my lap and asked me if I would make copies of some special photos that I have of her Ethiopian parents for her special album.

Every day brings something that stretches me as a mother. There is always more to learn.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Andrea
    December 31, 2008

    Happy Birthday Boo!
    These mommy stretches can get painful huh? You are doing an awesome job!
    Happy New Year to you!

  2. Amber
    December 31, 2008

    Happy Birthday Boo! That cake looks delicious!

  3. the ewings
    December 31, 2008

    Happy Birthday Boo! Great choices for her special day! What a great idea for Dimples. I need to keep that in mind for my jealous one. You may be stretched but you are sooo good and learning is something we all need to do daily. – chris

  4. small world
    January 1, 2009

    We had the same experience between our two “twins”. Isabelle could not be happy when Abigail received her gifts and she did not get one. Later when we talked about it, it came out that she missed her China mom and wondered why she did not want her. There is such a deficit and inequality that comes from the pain of abandonment. And when her sister who has a birth mother present on her birthday and gives gifts these feelings just emerge. She and I both cried and my heart just broke for her. I told her how much her China mom felt the loss of her precious baby, but that if she had remained in China she would not have her sweet sister Abigail. That changed her mind because Abigail is real and present and loves her so. I was able to share with her her precious adoption story and that is just as powerful as any birth story. I pray God will heal my child and use her past to help others someday. I know you know what I mean.
    Love, Theresa


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