Friday, August 31, 2012

Happy 15th Birthday, Colin!

I know that I haven't posted our year in review as we celebrate Colin's one year anniversary with our family. (8/22)
I want to, but I have been so busy and now, a week later, here we are celebrating his 15th birthday.
I am so amazed at the young man he has become in this past year.
The first picture I ever saw of Colin
An orphan no longer.
Colin in May, 2012
Rather, he is now a two-time, big brother to Cameron and Tommy.

Soon, he will welcome with open arms another beautiful child, our newest son, Cooper!

Certainly, none of us saw our family growing this way on this day, one year ago...

But, God has blessed us. 
Last year at this time, we were in Guangzhou, China, celebrating Colin's first birthday with our family.  Check out this post to take a look back at that special day!

As I look back to that day, I see how much he has changed since coming home to America.

When Colin came home, he was 5'6", 124 pounds.  (Even then, taller than his new mama!) Today, he is 5'8" and 142 pounds!
In just one year, he has jumped up 2 inches and gained 18 pounds!  

It does our hearts good to see him thrive this way.

As was true last year, birthdays start early in our house.  Luckily, this year, everyone had all their clothes on for the video!

Once we were all ready for school, Tom cooked Colin a special breakfast of sausage biscuits and scrambled eggs. (By the way, for those who are interested, we are going to need a full dozen eggs for a simple meal once Cooper comes home.)

The card that my Mom sent in the mail was waiting for him at the table.  There is something really nice about seeing your adoptive child's new name on an envelope.

So, off to school they went and the day marched on, pretty much like normal.

When Colin came home, he said that both his ESL (English as a Second Language) and his Geometry classes sang to him!

Our celebration plans were to throw a pool party at our local pool where we would have some snacks, cake and fellowship.

(Ok, confession...yes, it was all about being easy on MOM!...or so I thought....) 

Well......we went to the pool.

We hung decorations.... 

Our dear friends, Bob & Jody
(or "Chef Bob" as he is affectionately known in these parts) 
generously donated the cake for this occasion. 

The boys arrived and jumped straight into the pool while we waited on our party guests.


You guessed it....

Rain.  Ok, not rain. R>A>I>N>!!!!!


So, those of us who were there early ran under cover and thought, "It'll pass soon". 


So with the impending nastiness and my mom's long drive back home, we decided we would at least let Colin open her gift before she swam an hour home.

This was not just any ordinary present.

No, my mom, a very talented seamstress, among her other gifts....

Quilted a 
 blanket for Colin's bedroom.

Look at this thing!  

The pictures really don't do it justice.  
The colors are so vibrant and the workmanship is incredible.

It was a real work of love for her new grandson and it looks amazing on his bed!

Once that was done, it REALLY began to pour.  Did I say pour?  I meant FLOOD!

Here we were, under the canopy at the pool, wind and rain all around and what does my sweet boy do?

He runs over to one of the large tables, pulls out the enormous (and heavy) green umbrella and carries it over to where we are so that he can escort each person (and all their STUFF) to their cars.  Back and forth he goes wading through inches of water on the deck of the pool as he helps everyone out of there. 

So, needless to say, the party???

Moved to the HOUSE!

Picture this scene...

Over 40 SOAKING wet (yet smiling!) people who came out in that monsoon to celebrate and show their love to our extra special teen!

Yes, that's Colin with his shirt off!
He eventually put it back on when he dried off.

and of those 40-some people, over twenty of them were children!

there they all were climbing on Cameron's bunk bed like monkeys in the jungle!

it was insane.  But, we had such fun!

Tom w/ Pastor Richard Brown

Finally, it was time for the cake!

This video was taken during the festivities
(if you are reading this in email format, you will need to go to the blog to get the video to work.)

 Cake anyone?

Look at these beautiful stairsteps!

Sweet Colin holding "Baby J" (Justus Carpenter)
 while watching the Lion King

as the fun winds down, and the guests have gone, and the vacuum comes out.....

Colin counts his birthday loot.
Now, I know that there probably isn't a teenager on the planet that does not appreciate a TWENTY now and then.  

But, for a child who has never owned anything in his life until this year, the generosity shown to him is powerful.

Now, you might wonder why I have included this last picture.

This is the cubby in Tommy and Cameron's room.  Otherwise known as "Mom's sanity".  

This would most definitely be the "after shot".  I did not, sadly, have the foresight to take a picture of the "before shot".  

Use your imagination...

20 kids, limited supervision, 12x14 room...

you get the idea!

It was a certified disaster!  Several broken toys later and all the boys helping out, and we reclaimed the bedroom and crashed into bed!

Happy Birthday Colin!
We love you!


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Colin!
It is wonderful to follow your Mom's blog and see you grow up into an amazing young man.

Carmen from Hong Kong

dajmommy said...

Happy birthday, Colin! I can't believe you've been home a year now. God has amazing plans for your life. You are so loved and I cannot wait to see what your future holds. You bless EVERYONE you meet. My boys still talk fondly about our time with you in Beijing!

Much love, The Johnson Family: Angie, Andy, Darren,
Justin and Raimey