Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Birthday, Isaiah

I don't even really know how to begin this post.  Many emotions flood my heart as I think about this little guy.  It has been almost 4 years since I received this picture in my email:
When I look at this picture, I see a bloated belly, no shoes, dirty surroundings and fear on his sweet little face.  I stared at that picture for hours trying to figure out what was going on behind those eyes.  What had those little eyes witnessed at such a young age.  What deep pain had he experienced.  What suffering had he faced?  I still have some of those questions.  Some of them will never be answered.  We are on a journey with him, a journey of him learning to trust us, a journey of him realizing he no longer has to fight for his needs, a journey of helping him see that he has a love from us and from God that he doesn't have to earn or manipulate to get, and a journey of us really helping him use his strengths in a way that will make him into a better man.  I have to be honest, he is a challenging little guy to parent.  He is passionate, he is loud, he is rambunctious, he is energetic, he is the life of the party, he is a little flirt, and most of all, he is mine.  He delights me, he exhausts me, he makes me laugh, he frustrates me beyond belief. I guess I could say that about all of my children.  With Isaiah, everything is magnified, the joy, the pain, the laughter, and the tears.  When I compare that picture to the ones I am about the share with you, I just have to smile.  What a gift God has given to us in Isaiah Sanele Clapp!  What a joy it is to see him grow and mature.  

It was his year to have a friend party.  Since his Birthday was on a week day(Dec. 18) and only one week from Christmas, we decided to do his party the Friday before.  His party was not until 2:30 on that day.  I knew better than to stay home with him.  His excitement could not be contained within the four walls of our house, so we did some fun things that day leading up to his party.
First, we met a friend at the skating rink for a skating class.
 By the way, Isaiah ended up working his way into the heart of the teacher and ended up having several  "couples" skates with her.

Afterwards, my friend, took Isaiah and her son to the mall to ride the train.  
 By the way, Laila did not want to have anything to do with either activity.  She did not skate or ride the train.  That is just one small glimpse into how different they are!
For his party, we made a big cookie!
 Could there really be a better place for a party for this kid?

Although, not nearly as adventurous, even Laila had a lot of fun.
I had to convince him to let her come.  He wanted an "boys only" party.  I explained to him that sisters don't count.  She had a blast!
 We had this whole area to ourselves and a party room for food and gifts
 "Flipping" Fun

 She got really brave, but never did an actual flip
 The foam pit
 "Happy Birthday to You"
 The whole crew
 Isaiah gave out goody bags with some Spiderman items and 3 different kinds of candy from Swaziland
 He could not stop talking about his party.  He had a really good time.  I am so glad we could celebrate him in that way!
He had his check-up with the doctor the day before his bday.  
He weighs 40 lbs.(15%) and is 44 in. tall (%30)
Dr. Reich just loves him
 On his actual Birthday, he took M&M cookies to school to share with the class.  Then we had a family dinner of his choice that night.  He chose spaghetti and garlic bread.

 He had gifts from his grandparents and siblings to open.
 We love you, buddy!!

When we did our family photo shoot, our photographer got so many crazy pictures of Isaiah that she decided to add a blooper reel to our disc.  This will give you a little glimpse into his personality:

 I have no idea where he gets any of it!!
Isaiah, I love you so much, buddy and my heart so desperately wants you to receive that love fully and know that it will NEVER change.  You don't have to earn it.  You don't have to fight for it.  You don't have to manipulate to get it.  It is yours without strings attached.  You are my son.  You did not have to be born from my body or have the same skin color for that to be true.  I can't explain it, it just is.  I love your passion.  I love your personality.  I love how funny you are.  I love your heart for others.  Give those things to God to be used for His glory.  He has created you to do great things.  He has made you into a leader.  He has given you the charisma to attract people.  He has given you a story to draw others in.  Great days are ahead.  Now, go be six years old.  Don't carry the weight of the pain you have experienced.  Live life to the full.  I know you know how.  I love you!!


  1. Laura, what a great blessing you are to your children. Your words of encouragement reach farther that just the hearts of your children, you are laying groundwork that touches the lives of anyone who reads them. I always look forward to what you write to you kids on their birthdays. Thanks for letting us in! Happy birthday, Isaiah.

  2. This made me cry...what a journey. Absolutely LOVE Isaiah!

  3. Oh, dear friend. I'm not sure I saw the last few pictures or sentences. My eyes were just brimming. The story God has for this little boy and his