On May 18th we celebrated Yonas' birthday without him. We had cake, we sang him "Happy Birthday" then at Ava's suggestion, "Melkam Lidet" to the tune of the only birthday song we know. I cried. We bought him presents. A wooden woodpecker walker, a bright orange Ugly doll, and of course, a soccer ball. When we first got our referral pictures of him, I cropped his sweet face, printed it out, cut closely around his head, taped it to a paint stir stick, and stuck it on a chair. So he's been at our table for awhile, and for a short few weeks his head made the rounds in different carseats in the car. He ended up crumpled and on the floorboard which just seemed wrong and uncool, so I took that one out.
We put a piece of cake it front of him, lit a candle, and sang. Or rather everyone sang while I swallowed hard and tried to mouth the words. We videoed the entire thing and then I took the recorder back to the room that will be his and blubbered a birthday message to him. I'm not sure exactly what I said. It will be a long time before I feel the need to watch it. There is a sweet, and maybe a little creepy, picture of his floating head with a piece birthday cake in front of him. Next May 18th will be better.