We celebrated Devi's birthday with her extended family and friends on the November 11th and made it a combination Diwali Indian luncheon and First Birthday party. Guests were greeted by colorful rangoli around our stoop emphasizing hospitality. As they entered, we asked that they each light one of many lanterns or tea lights decorating our home as a symbol of how they bring light to our lives. When all the lanterns were lit inside, it was warm but beautiful!
We threw in part of a Annaprasana ceremony which is really done when a child has his/her first solid food, but because we were not able to share that time with Devi, we thought it would be fun to incorporate parts of the ceremony now. We had Devi crawl toward objects at the end of a blanket. If she reached for the bananas she could likely enter a career in agriculture. The dollar bills represented wealth and perhaps she would become a banker. Reaching for the books would ensure that she would be scholarly perhaps becoming a teacher and if she reached for the pen she would enter a profession like law or medicine. Well, I guess it was no surprise when our chow hound went for the bananas...something edible! I tried waving the dollar bills, but those bright yellow bananas won out in the end!
Samosas with cilantro and lime chutney, Ghee rice, Vegetable Korma, Tandori chicken and Naan made up our luncheon menu. The Indian cooking classes came in handy, but I wouldn't have been able to pull it off if it weren't for my friend Michele who is town from Virginia. As luck would have it, she is an excellent cook and is also a caterer! We worked her like a dog but it was so yummy in the end. Everything was just right with lots of left overs to remind us of this great day.
Birthday cake, hmmm, a food with an interesting texture and flavor. Devi loved having us sing, but honestly, I think she enjoyed the ice cream far more than the cake. Good girl!!! She did manage to have her little brown skinned face covered in white icing but it is debatable if anything actually went in her mouth.
We summed up the afternoon with a loud Happy Diwali shout outside with the popping of hand held mini firecrackers. For our first Diwali holiday, I think we did pretty good :)
Today, November 15th, we spent a quiet evening at home with our friend Michele as it is her last night with us. She treated us to one of her famous home cooked meals of fresh halibut with a Thai curry sauce that was absolutely delicious. Perfect for Devi too, as she LOVES fish. Devi had a small white cake with mango filling and seemed to be getting the hang of things far better on her second try, although "blowing out the candle" still has her baffled. We were joined for cake by our friends, Di Anna and Tim. Tim has given his own two girls roses for their birthdays since they were little and last night began that tradition with Devi, presenting her with her first bouquet of a dozen pink and white roses. Does this girl have the whole neighborhood wrapped around her little finger or what?
Tissue and wrapping paper everywhere, Devi delighted in opening a few small gifts. Pat and I gave her a charm bracelet to grow with. We both wonder what charms of interest will dangle from the chain as she matures. For now, it contains a single heart, formed by twisted vines and leaves of white gold. It seemed fitting, representing the growth and multi faceted depths of our love for her, each other and our family.
Happy First Birthday, my sweet DeeDee! I can hardly believe that today is just one year from the day your biological mother made the most selfless decision of her life; to give you the opportunity to join and grow in anothers' family. To be loved and offered a life of experiences she could not provide is what she had hoped for you, I'm sure. The ultimate sacrifice.
We are so incredibly blessed to be on the receiving end of her wish. We love you so very very much. You amaze me with your wit, opinions, intelligence and love of life every day. In the spirit of Diwali, little princess, you bring light to our lives. Happy First Birthday!
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