King for a Day, by Caroline Burns

Living with the boys at Douglas this past summer opened my eyes to sad reality that birthdays for these orphans are often one of the worst day of their year instead of the best. They are a reminder that they are thrown into a group, not celebrated as individuals, that their mom or dad didn’t make their birthday a priority and that they are not a priority to mom because she didn’t visit on their birthday or bring them anything. I was shocked once I realized this awful truth.

Since then, I’ve tried my best to make sure that each of my boys is celebrated like an individual and treated special on the exact calendar day of their birthday whether it is a special movie we watch with snacks or ice cream just for them on their birthday; we sing happy birthday and make them feel special. Every now and then, one of the boy’s Shelter Child Sponsors gets involved in this celebration.  Witnessing this yesterday, warmed my heart because at least for one day, something was right in this situation.

Adrian turned nine yesterday. But about six weeks ago, his Shelter Sponsor made sure that he’d be celebrated on his birthday with some gifts and a card so that he wouldn’t be forgotten. His mom didn’t come. His full-time caregivers hadn’t checked the calendar to know that it was even his birthday (I don’t blame them – this has happened to me before). But his Shelter Sponsors were right there celebrating him even though they were thousands of miles away through their words on encouragement in a card reminding him that he is loved and important to them and to the Lord.

We sang to him, celebrated him, let him pick the movie that day, and then we ate the biggest cake ever. For one day, he was happy all day and for just one day he felt like a king.