We finally got around to celebrating Alex's 6th birthday, about one month late. We had a party at Pump It Up, a bounce house, and invited all of his friends from the Livonia Church to celebrate with us. The kids had a great time bouncing on all the inflatables, followed by cake and ice-cream in one of the party rooms.
When we started planning his party, I asked Alex how he felt about using his birthday party as an opportunity to bless other less fortunate children instead of making it all about him and getting a bunch of presents he really doesn't need. I expected a lot of resistance, but he surprised me by being very enthusiastic about the idea. Instead of presents, we asked his friends to contribute money, which we then gave to World Vision, an organization that helps needy children. We sat down with the World Vision gift catalog and Alex picked out a $22 backpack filled with school supplies as his gift of choice. At his party, we collected enough money to purchase 6 backpacks, one for each year of his life! And honestly, he didn't even miss having presents to open! He still got presents from us, from his grandparents, and from the Angola Team, which he opened during a Skype phone call. But no presents at the actual party.
Happy Birthday, Alex! We are so proud of how you are growing and learning, for your tender heart and your energy and enthusiasm for life. We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with you in the years to come!