I have special memories from each birthday of both my children. Even the birthdays without parties were special. There was usually a cake, presents and lots of phone calls and messages throughout the day from family and friends.

When my friend asked me to come and celebrate her new foster child’s first birthday party, I was excited! It was hard to imagine how a child had not celebrated a birthday before. Needless to say I was going to be there with my kids are we were going to help make it awesome!

My friends are this lovely retired couple who live in our neighborhood with their daughter. The three of them had heard about three children who had been placed in a safe house. They were found to be living on the streets with their father who is now in a shelter. Lilly and her family got custody to provide a foster home for them about three months ago.

This is Lilly whom they now call Ouma (Granny) and her daughter.

There are two little girls aged two and four and a seven year old boy. The eldest is starting school with Alex next year although he is a year older than the required age. He never had the opportunity to go to school before so they got a special exemption to have enrolled for school next year.

It’s been sad hearing about their experiences of when the children first came home to them. They told me how dirty and sick the kids were when they first arrived. How scared they were and too afraid to make eye contact.

You’d never say that now! They are absolutely adorable and have completely thrived under the family’s care. They adore their new family and they can’t get enough of being cuddled.

A first birthday party

This little boy had the best time! His new family went out of their way to make him feel special! They made him an awesome birthday cake, got a jumping castle and surprised him by inviting a few children (mine included).

We had a great time and spent a lovely Saturday afternoon with them.

He was so excited to open presents and play on the jumping castle! We sang happy birthday and he blew out his candles. Their foster “mom” baked a lovely birthday cake with a big robot at the top that made a sound when you put a coin in it.

They’ve only been living in our area for less than four months so they haven’t had a chance to make friends yet. Although we were a few we had a fabulous time and showered him with love!

His two sisters are so adorable! They were initially shy but that didn’t last long. They’re just so lovable and sweet!

I’m just so humbled and privileged to have met this family. The timing is not lost on me either. Christmas time always makes me reflect on all my blessings.

I think about everything God has done for us this year. I also look for ways to bless others because we are so blessed.

It’s also been a huge learning curve for the kids. I’m always reminding them to have a heart of gratitude. I forget that it’s difficult for them to understand what I mean without any point of reference. All their friends have many other friends and lots of toys. They’ve never lacked for anything. Now they’re seeing that they are blessed and can truly be grateful.

Calling all good Samaritans

Lilly and her family are pensioners. They told me that while they’re able to make things work at home with the new full house, there is no money for extras.

Space is limited so all three kids are sharing one single bed. Also that they are not able to spend money on luxuries like toys or even Christmas presents. I wish we could help them!

When I think of how excitedly my kids race to the tree on Christmas morning and the pile of presents they find there…

I’m going to be adding them to our gift list this Christmas. Will you join me? 

Alex and the foster mom (Lilly’s daughter)

They are also sending the eldest child to school next year. Having just gone through orientation with them, I can tell you they’ve spent a fortune so far. There are more costs coming in January with school clothes, school bag, shoes, etc.

I haven’t asked them at all if they need anything so they are not expecting any help! If you can and would like to assist in any way (even with a prezzie for their tree), please email me at anthea@antheasprojectlife.co.za.

I’d also be very grateful if you would take a moment to share this post!