Caleb’s 1st birthday was about giving back
This is the story of the Hiromura's and how their son's birthday became a lesson about giving back. They decided that toys and clothes were enough, instead of a traditional birthday party, they hosted a donation party for the children we serve at Boys & Girls Aid.
Caleb James came to us on Oct. 1 2016, when he was only one day old. We got an email from Boys & Girls Aid letting us know of an “instant baby,” which is when a birth mother chooses adoption right after birth. Typically, birth mothers make this decision months before pregnancy. Just five hours later Caleb was placed in our arms at the hospital. Instant baby – meet your instant parents! To say our step into parenthood was a whirlwind would be a major understatement!
Within two days of announcing our news ecstatically to friends and family we went from having only a car seat to our names (the one item Boys & Girls Aid said we’d need to have in advance for our little guy being born) to a living room full of clothes, diapers, swings, toys, blankets, baby carriers, bottles and more! The support of our family and excitement of those wanting to help prepare us for the most important job in our lives was overwhelming in the most amazing way. We were loved beyond belief and to this day everyone’s generosity brings me to tears.
As we approached Caleb’s 1st birthday, I knew that I wanted to use his big day as a “thank you” to the families who supported us during the first year of his life, and also do what we could to help other children and waiting parents be matched together with their forever families. We didn’t want finances to be a barrier to the families and children who were waiting, and it just made sense to donate Caleb’s birthday towards helping these families in this way - especially when we were helped so much in our journey towards parenthood.
Caleb had more toys, books and clothes than he knew what to do with. The idea of family and friends spending more money on these items just didn’t make sense. We knew there was a greater need that could be met by donating his birthday. We asked Caleb’s permission, and then set about contacting our clinician at Boys and Girl Aid, Barbara, who connected us with the right people to get the ball rolling on how to set up a donation page. They recommended Every Day Hero (www.everydayhero.com/us), and setting up our donation page was very easy after creating an account on this site. We added in our adoption story, loaded up cute pictures of our sweet baby boy and included the link to our donation page in our Facebook invitation for his birthday celebration.
Donations came rolling in right away, especially from friends and family who weren’t going to be able to attend the party and still had wanted to send Caleb a gift. On Caleb’s big day we set up a donation and information table on which we included: a basket with envelopes (we pre-printed info on the envelopes for people to fill in when donating so we could be sure to give people tax credit for their donations, if they desired); a framed picture of Caleb and with his birth mom on the day we met them; a printed brief overview of our adoption story; and an iPad set to the Boys and Girls Aid website so people could browse around and see all of the wonderful things that Boys and Girls Aid does for local families. People responded so positively to the pictures, story & website – I can’t help but feel like the whole event was a big success in helping inform people more about our adoption story and how their donations would help others working with Boys and Girls Aid.
Caleb smashed through his birthday cake with an audience of about 45 loved ones there to cheer him on. Some guests still brought small gifts for him, and he enjoyed opening them, but the greatest gift we received was the over $1000.00 in donations in Caleb’s honor.
There isn’t a day that goes by where we’re not reminded of how blessed and fortunate our family is to have so many wonderful, supportive and loving people in our lives. Caleb is the best gift we’ve ever been given and we hope that other prospective parents and children will have an opportunity to be matched into a forever family someone soon with Boys and Girls Aid’s help!