Monday, January 19, 2009

Feliz Cumpleanos

It was just a year ago that I was rushing my little Guatemalan friend to the hospital so she could have her baby. Today as we celebrated Angeli’s first birthday, I realized that both baby and mom have grown up a lot in this past year.

I met the mom when I was trying to figure out how to spend my first RAK (random act of kindness) money. I had determined that I wanted to buy a deserving mother a sewing machine. I ended up doing some work with an Arlington program for teenage mothers, where I met the perfect recipient, who was 8 months pregnant.

The gift of that sewing machine introduced me to the extended family of the petite, pregnant 19-year-old. My neighborhood organized a baby shower for the young mother-to-be. I found other gently used baby items that every mother needs, including a breast pump (with new tubing). For the first few months, I provided rides when they were needed. I helped the family move to a bigger apartment when they got kicked out of their original apartment. I watched baby Angeli get a good start.

Then we sort of lost contact. I always felt a little guilty when people would ask how the baby was doing.

I was delighted when I got a call earlier this week inviting me to the baby’s first birthday. I consulted with a friend who has a 1-year-old about a useful birthday gift. I had fun visiting Kinderhaus Toys and choosing among the many possible gift ideas.

I was happy to have chosen an old-fashioned wooden shape sorter with only 6 pieces in 3 shapes. The baby was quick to discover what to do with the pieces and do it over and over and over again, each time looking for approval when they fell inside the box.

The picture below is of Angeli with her 4-year-old aunt. They both dressed for the occasion!


Blogger Kristin said...

What a wonderful update! I've wondered what happened with the young mother and her family; though, I can't believe that a year has passed already.

9:04 AM  
Anonymous lr said...

How delightful you were invited to Angeli's first birthday party! I know how much you've looked forward to shopping at Kinderhaus, and you found the perfect gift. It's good to know the family is doing well. thanks for sharing the news.

9:22 AM  
Blogger karen said...

i love the idea of the RAK!! wonderful to hear the story of little Angeli...:-)

10:55 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

What a lovely thing to have done, barbara, a year ago and now! I am proud of you!!! Feliz cumpleanos, pequena Angeli (I don`t find an enye-sign). Muchos recuerdos de la "grande" Angeli! Tu vida será bonita!

10:58 AM  
Blogger e said...

Feliz cumpleanos Angeli! What a wonderful experience for you and the baby and her family. You are awesome!

1:17 PM  
Blogger Avid Reader said...

Angeli is such a pretty name.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What generous gifts of time and service you offered, and what wonderful gifts of community and love you're still enjoying! I'm so glad that you're still part of her extended family. Isn't it great having a little one in your life?!

-- F.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Angela said...

As the African saying goes, "It takes a village to raise a child!" Besitos! You inspired me to my next post!

5:04 AM  

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