11/6/2008--Juan David quietly celebrated his 11th birthday between himself and his two siblings, while Mike and I began our first pursuit to adopt him and his sister. We looked forward to celebrating his birthday with him the following year after completing their adoption.
11/6/2009-- Not only did we not get to celebrate his 12th birthday with him, but we sadly said goodbye for what we thought was the last time.
"We only talked for about fifteen minutes. Mike and David got on the phone to tell him happy birthday, then I told him that I missed him and I loved him. He responded by saying he missed me and loved me, too. We said goodbye, but little did I know that that was the last time they would ever pass the phone to him when I called. That last goodbye really was goodbye All the hoping, dreaming, and believing that things would be final by his birthday, and final they were. Just not the final we were hoping for."
p. 76, From the Mountain...to the Valley...and Back!
" I sent a message to Camilo (Julian), asking if he would please tell Juan that I hoped he would have a very happy birthday....I found out that Juan had indeed gotten my message, and it meant the world to me to know that he knew I hadn't forgotten his special day. It had been an entire year since we had last talked, and I never imagined that I'd still be able to wish him a happy birthday the following year. Truth be told, I didn't think I'd ever be able to communicate with him again. God was so good to me."
p. 120, From the Mountain...to the Valley...and Back!
11/6/2011--Juan David was living with another family, but I was able to send him a message online to wish him a happy birthday for his 14th birthday. I just wanted him to know that I hadn't and wouldn't ever forget his birthday.
11/6/2012--Our case to adopt Juan David had been reopened, and his social worker gave me permission to call him on his 15th birthday. I called him from David's soccer game, and he still remembers all the background noise from that call. A week ago we were at that same soccer field together. I showed him where I stood as I talked to him that day, and he finally got to match the sights and the sounds together from that phone call.
11/6/2013--Today. We finally get to celebrate our son Juan David's 16th birthday together as a family. Cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Early dinner out. First game of a soccer tournament in the evening (if it's not canceled due to rain). The boy lives and breathes soccer--what more can he ask for on his first birthday here? Most importantly, he's home, right where he's always belonged.