As it turned out, BGC's birthday was a few weeks ago, about six weeks after she came to us, but her family would not be able to join us for a party. I certainly wanted to celebrate her (and her mom made a point at our first supervised visit of asking me to send pictures of BGC on her birthday, party or not) but wondered what we should do. Invite a bunch of our friends and family over, like we would for Kate or Claire's birthday? Just sing to her at dinnertime, the five of us around the kitchen table? She's only one, and doesn't eat table food yet, so she wouldn't remember it or even get to enjoy a bite of cake. What to do?
As it turned out, I thought about the people who have seen and helped us care for BGC in her time with us, and I thought of our church family. Like the rest of our PKs, she has been at church at least three times a week (Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Wednesday evening) and everyone has welcomed and doted on her as they would any new child in our community. Since our Sunday evening service, The Road, is a smaller and more casual gathering that always includes dessert afterward, I had the idea to have a little mini-party in that time when everyone is milling around after the service, enjoying cookies or cupcakes and starting to break down the tables, sound equipment, etc.
My chosen theme was Sesame Street, mainly because I wanted to make these cute cupcakes I'd seen online! Since I was working with just a tabletop instead of a whole house (our downstairs, at least) the other thematic elements were just napkins, balloons in an Elmo basket, a little card I designed (since invites weren't necessary), and Elmo himself!
To update/clarify on a few things: It is looking like BGC will be with us until at least April or so, and that is just fine. She fits into our family so well, being toted along to gymnastics and church and being doted on by two big sisters. We enjoy our visits with her parents and feel confident they'll work their plan and be reunited with her in the spring. She has some developmental delays, so we've started several therapies to help her catch up. (I'm so grateful to my premie-mama friend Nancy for helping me know even where to start!)
And if you don't know what "BGC" is all about, it's short for her blog alias, "Baby Girl Chandler," which itself is a reference to my favorite, most quotable show, Friends, which Matt likes to remind me began almost twenty years ago and went off the air almost ten years ago. Eeek!