First Birthday Party.

Yesterday, my beautiful baby had his first birthday party (he actually turns one on Tuesday).

I kept pinching myself that he was actually home for his first birthday and that I had the tremendous blessing of being able to celebrate it with him and capture the memories for him with pictures. Such a gift.

He is still purging after a bad bout with either soy formula or dairy — we aren’t sure which — and has been a bit on the weak side and not his typical joyful self.  But he still seemed to enjoy the celebration.

I don’t always want Baby Boy to feel like everything has to be all about Congo, but I did sort of do an Africa-ish birthday this time around since most of his first year was spent in DRC. I always like to cook my kiddos’ favorite foods on their birthday, and since Baby Boy’s is kuku paka, it sort of lent itself to a Congo-themed party anyways…

Even though I know he won’t remember this day, I did want it to be really special for him for reasons I can’t really put into words. It was a labor of love for the son who is so dear to me.

Plus when you’re house-bound for a week due to a sick baby, you have a lot of time to browse Pinterest.

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Party favors were safari animal stickers and finger puppets in little bags I purchased from Etsy.
I made the piece hanging from the chandelier with these tissue paper pom poms, which I tied together with grocery store balloons.
I purchased these inexpensive animal masks for all the kids (we only used the jungle animal ones for the party) which were a big hit and made for some hilarious pictures.
For drinks we had Congolese beverages: Ginger beer and Congo juice (Fanta — you Congo mommies know what I’m talking about!)

The dinner menu was kuku paka, fu-fu, plantain chips, and mangoes (Africa shaped grilled cheeses for the kiddos).

You may recall my Cake Fail for Yaya’s February birthday. I’m owning it: I can’t bake. Not only that, but I don’t like to very much. Throw in the whole business of having to be dairy free and it just was NOT going to happen. So the bakery made him a dairy free carrot smash cake with a chocolate lion on top that was much more beautiful and tasty than anything I could have concocted:
(I got the paper goods and cupcake toppers from a local stationary store closing sale, but you can purchase them here and here.)

The “big kids” painted Africa magnets that we bought from another adoptive mom who sells them to raise money for her adoption.


I’ll admit that I’m not the cool mom that can throw enormous birthday parties where my child gets to invite every single friend. We attend those parties all year long and Yaya LOVES them, and then hers rolls around and I let her invite three or four friends and probably offend all the people who invite us to their parties and then we don’t invite them to our little lame ones. But I’m not good with chaos…and I felt like with Baby Boy being as sensitive as he is, smaller was better anyways. So we invited just a few close friends and had a lovely celebration.

I am ridiculously, madly and head-over-heels in love I am with the boy I’m blessed to call my son. It was so special to celebrate him with our family and close friends on his birthday.



  1. […] We celebrated Baby Boy’s first birthday and I shared some tips on applying for adoption grants. […]

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