it's EVERYONE'S birthday in cambodia!

Today was amazing. Uh-MAY-zing. Tonight in particular. We threw a birthday party for all the kids at the orphanage, and Oh. My. Word. Pictures are going to have to do for now, because I couldn’t POSSIBLY describe the awesomeness.

First, here’s a pic of handsome Sophann with some of the new flowers we bought for the orphanage today. Half of our team went with Pisey to pick them out, and the rest of us went to the other Asia’s Hope orphanages to deliver medical supplies and candy. I got to see the orphanage that my sister’s church supports, and her picture was on the wall! I told everyone “THAT’S MY SISTER!!” Bethy, they were SO impressed when I knew every single name of all the people in the Peters’ family photo!

And, um, I CERTAINLY do not pick favorites when it comes to these 22 precious children, but this dude has stolen my heart. His new thing today was telling me his name was Olivia. And then Ava. And then Nina. He says I need a son, an older brother for my daughters. He will be my son, he told me. IF ONLY. Crying right now (by myself downstairs in the guest house at 11:06pm while everyone else is in bed) just thinking about saying good-bye to him. To all of them.

Okay, enough of the bawl-baby already. Let’s remember some HAPPY.

Lindy, Rebekah, Srey Roth and Erin. Let’s get this PARTY STARTED!!

Here’s the whole crowd (minus selfless photographer Jen) in our Kuh-MYE Dye tees and our birthday party hats.

So, we sort of kind of forgot to plan a bunch of party games. Oops. Thankfully, we’re quick thinkers (I use this term loosely) and I got this idea to divide into two teams with one balloon per person and hit balloons back and forth over the volleyball net for one minute. Whoever has the most balloons on their side when time’s up loses. Panha, our fearless translator and timekeeper, couldn’t really get anyone to stop at the 60-second mark. They were having way too much fun. HUGE success.

Balloon relay!! Oh my word, adorable.

Jen’s BRILLIANT version of Duck, Duck, Goose. Cannot WAIT to teach this to my kiddos when I get home.

Singing Happy Birthday to everyone. Beautiful cake, huh? Panha made us keep singing and singing while he passed out these gigantic firecracker/streamer things we bought at the bakery.

Quick thinkers that we are, we let them go RIGHT OVER THE CAKE and spent the next 10 minutes picking confetti out of the icing. Brilliant. They didn’t care. They waited patiently in line for their piece and licked their plates clean.

We made each of them a gift bag and each of our 7 team members made a card for 3 different kids. We called them up one at a time and clapped and cheered for him or her and Panha read the card we wrote. Then each kiddo would go hug whoever made his/her card. After Panha read the card that Gabe made Sothourn, he ran and JUMPED into Gabe’s arms for the hugest hug in the history of the world.

Happy Birthday, you darling, beautiful, dearly loved kiddos!!

Love, Ma-la (for Gabe, Doug, Jason, Erin, Lindy, Kim and Jen)

p.s. More great pics and stories onĀ  Jen’s blog!

13 thoughts on “it's EVERYONE'S birthday in cambodia!

  1. Ashley E.

    What a beautiful bunch of kids. Are they eligible for international adoption? My sister adopted my niece through a Christian adoption agency, America World. I see that they don’t currently have a program in Cambodia, but perhaps another Christian agency does. This would be an amazing thing for churches to become involved with, to help forever families for these kids afford the cost of an international adoption!!!

  2. Gail

    I’ve loved all your blogs from Cambodia, but this one was my favorite. Loved it! (The Bethy on the wall thing is sooooo cool!)

  3. sarah m

    those kiddos will NEVER forget their special birthday party. I’m so glad you’ve been able to blog and keep us updated while you were across the world. I’ve LOVED keeping up to date. Still praying for you guys.

  4. AKat

    Oh my goodness, Marla! SO SO beautiful. Just everything. Is beautiful. You had me tearing up, too! Love you, Marla! You and Gabe are both in my prayers this week! Keep the posts coming.

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