Friday, April 12, 2013

Happy Birthday Wynray!!

365 days ago, in Gambella, one of the most remote parts of Africa, a young woman settled into her hut far from any village, hospital, or physician. With only the help of her husband's grandmother (rumored to be in her 90's), the young mother gave birth to a beautiful son. The boy's birth father said it was the happiest day of their lives. The great grandmother made beaded bracelets and a necklace and placed them on the baby. Their tribe had been persecuted for many years, and not many men remained, so to honor the special boy they named him Wynray, meaning in their tribal language: The Greatest Gift from God. 

Though their time as a family was short, only a few months, we've been told it was happy despite serious illness and loss. Today we honor Wynray, truly a gift from God in our lives. We honor his birth mother, whose time on this earth was too brief, yet we feel her presence daily as we see her smile on the radiant round face of her son. We honor his birth father, whose courage and sacrifice is beyond what my heart can comprehend.  And we honor his birth land whose history with Wynray's tribe is long and complicated, yet we honor the incredible beauty of her people and her culture because it is Ethiopia that granted us the gift of Wynray in our lives.

A birthday for an adopted child can be bittersweet.  It represents a time of uncertainty and loss, but in Wynray's case we know he entered this world loved, adored, and celebrated. It's easy to see when you look into his eyes that he's never been met with anything but kindness and love. And while there has been much loss in his short life, his birthday is an anniversary of joy and celebration, and today we plan to do just that. 

Today we celebrate you, the happiest, sweetest, fastest, strongest, and most joyful little boy we've ever met. In your 1 year you've not only danced your way around the sun, but you've moved from one side of the planet to the other, and THAT is some serious movement for a little guy. Perhaps all that movement means you will move big mountains someday, or move hearts, or simply move your body for the sheer joy of moving. One thing is for sure, you are a MOVER.

We are so blessed to have you in our lives and call you our son. Your smile is brilliant and your heart is kind. You bring excitement and laughter everywhere you go. I hope you feel love surrounding you from all corners of the earth and heavens today, because Sweet are LOVED.

May the light and joy you give the world so generously be reflected back to you a thousand times, now and always.

I love you.


  1. Allison, your words bring to mind the Montessori birthday ceremony. Do you know it? I will share, if you like. It is something that your family, in particular, would find very meaningful.

  2. Dorothy, yes. I'm familiar with the birthday ceremony. It's my absolute favorite way of thinking about birthdays. So literal, yet so powerful and meaningful. Thank you.

  3. I thought that you might be! When Ellison went to the 3-6 class, her teacher did not know it (!) I almost freaked out. We celebrate it at home as well as school, it is so special.