A Birthday Party for Haiti Orphans: A Family Story

The following post was submitted by Barbara Kennedy, a future Haiti America World adoptive mom. We love her creativity!

We have stuff. Lots of stuff. We have so much stuff that I have no idea where it all comes from. It doesn’t matter how many times I purge our toy room, it still ends up looking like this:

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So, I decided to do something about it. But, let me back up. You see, my kids have birthdays that are 5 days apart. Which is really fun for me, because I get to throw one heck of a combined birthday party for them both. I’m pretty sure my husband wouldn’t live through two parties but I digress… Since I throw one bigger birthday party instead of two smaller ones (who am I kidding? It would end up being two big parties…) I go all out. Last year’s theme was “western†and there was panning for gold and then all of the kids got to “purchase†their very own of hand sewn stick pony. There were horse races and “find the gold†races, cowboy hats and bandanas. Darn you Pinterest!

This year’s theme was PIRATES. Like, Ahoy Matey! And, yo ho ho. Although my son kept saying “ho, ho, ho†and thinking that Santa was coming. Here’s the invitation:

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My husband has threatened to change my Pinterest password.

This year, there was a treasure map with stations for the kids to go through: Walk the Plank, Hook toss, Dig for Treasure, and The Tattoo Parlor. There may have been a pirate ship bouncy house. How could I pass it up? It was a PIRATE SHIP. 

Let me be honest… I LOVE the party part. I kept telling people that if I wasn’t in the ministry, I would be a full–time party planner. I’m serious. We have loads of extended friends and family that come and it’s a big deal and so much fun to put together. 

But the one thing that gives me hives is the thought of everyone bringing my kids presents.  It sends me over the edge. We have enough. We have more than enough. Let’s just put it out there… We have too much. We are so incredibly blessed. So, this year, I decided to do something a little different. This year, instead of bringing presents for our kids, we asked everyone to bring soccer balls to send to kids in Haiti. 

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We figured that instead of bringing our kids toys that they really didn’t need to fill up an already full toy room, we could potentially bless other kids with the gift of a soccer ball. So, that’s what people brought. We got soccer balls, pumps, needles, gift cards, and cash to buy more balls and to help with shipping. It was AMAZING. 

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We were overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity. And it was a wonderful way to advocate for orphans. If you’re in the Haiti adoption program like we are, or know of anyone who is, it is a long waiting process. It’s frustrating. And discouraging. But, there are ways that you can help with the waiting. Lots of prayer. Throwing yourself into a pirate party. And sending soccer balls. 

Want to submit your adoption story? Email your story, along with a few photos, to your Family Coordinator or to Blog@awaa.org !


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