One of the things that we do at Back2Back is to put a lot of emphasis on the children’s birthdays. For some of them, it is the first time that they will celebrate their special day, and for others their birthday has bad memories attached to it.
By giving them new, positive experiences, we are able to change their beliefs about themselves a little bit more.
Our goal is to help them understand how special they are, to bring new memories of love and acceptance, so that one day their hearts are able to be restored again.
Here in Mexico, when a girl turns 15 it is a big deal. We celebrate with a big party and a ceremony that represents her coming of age. Girls look forward to this day where everyone special in their lives comes together to be present at this significant event in their lives.
We were able to be part of Laidy’s “quinceaños” (15th birthday). Dalila, Laidy’s mom, couldn’t stop smiling when she found out that her daughter would be able to have her special day. She wanted to do something but she didn’t have the resources to do it. We partnered with her to make this day a reality through Back2Back’s child sponsorship program (www.back2back.org/sponsor).
Dalila cooked and we took care of the decorations. Everything was ready for Laidy to enjoy!
We started with the ceremony. Laidy had a grand entrance to show off how beautiful she is and how she looked. Than came the time for Dalila to speak a special message to Laidy. Speaking in front of an audience makes Dalila nervous so instead, she decided to write her a letter. Laidy read it while a song that Dalila dedicated to her children played in the background.
I (Anna) had the privilege to give the message and I spoke from Jeremiah 29:11. We had lasagna for dinner (Laidy’s favorite food) and then Laidy danced her father-daughter dance with Andrew, Erick and her brother Jose Luis.
We also celebrated Sofi and Chave’s birthday (2 sisters from San Jose children’s home), they turned 8. We are always trying new things to do with the kids on their birthdays so the memories of that day stay in their mind as long as possible.
We have done “birthday tunnels” where they walk through and we through foam, we have decorated their dorm door the night before so when they wake up there is a surprise waiting for them, they have popped balloons that have positive words that describe them, etc. This time we decided to have a day of “Whatever you want to do.”
So when I asked them what they wanted to do for their birthdays. They had a meeting to discuss and came back to tell me that they wanted to go to McDonalds. So that’s what we did, we went to McDonalds and to watch a 4DX movie. These kinds of theaters are definitely a new experience where your five senses are involved while watching the movie.
We are very thankful to their sponsors, because of their commitment to these children we are able to bring great new memories through something as simple as a birthday.