Party Girl

comments: 93



















Her third birthday party, filled with all of her beautiful people — birthparents,  grandparents, birthgrandparents, aunties, uncle, birthsiblings, cousins — all of us here together, all family now. In my wildest dreams I couldn't have imagined how it could be, and yet it's better than anything I might've hoped for. Anything. It amazes and humbles me daily, and yet on this day every year (though this year her party was not on her actual birth day), when we are all together again, all joined in so much love for our sweet girl, being part of an open-adoptive family overwhelms me with gratitude, amazement, and pure joy. How blessed we all are that she is here! How blessed we are that we are family because of and for her! How blessed we are to have each other, every one! I would not have it any other way.

She said goodbye to her guests outside in the afternoon rain, careening up and down the driveway with the giant umbrella, then zoomed back into the house to race around a bit more. Clover Meadow, who had been on her best behavior all day, went zooming back and forth between the living room and dining room about eight times, doing laps as fast as she could. Small ones were still zooming for quite a while; the rest of us collapsed in various heaps.

Parties are so crazy — there is so much going on and they go so fast and there are so many people and it's so loud and raucous and fun. I don't take many pictures during them, though I always intend to. There was a lot more to the weekend  (I do have more pictures of that; we just got back from dropping Andy's parents off at the airport, in fact). I ran into some of my neighbors at the grocery store last week. We were all waiting in line and we started talking about our earliest childhood memories, which for everyone there started at age three. I hope hers start a few days before, and that she will remember what a magical time this weekend was. I know I'll never forget it. My sweet love. Your party was so, so nice.



Your extended family is credit to all of you. Amelia is so lucky to have so many loving family members in her life. Birthdays full of kindness and love go like this. Many nice conversations are taken up and not finished but a good atmosphere floats everywhere. Recently we had a 3rd birthday party at my house for Tigerlily, my granddaughter. It was great to be around all the 3 year olds' energy.

Every bit as beautiful as I knew it would be. That girl is so dearly loved. I always say the more people that love my girls, the better!

P.S. Would you please throw me a birthday party this year? My last one was 1983. I think I'm due! ;)

That's so beautiful. I hope she remembers it forever.

Happy Happy THREE Miss Amelia . . .

sharon stanley says: October 13, 2015 at 06:39 PM

thanks to her mum and dad i'm sure it was a perfect weekend and a perfect party! please take pics of some of her bday gifts...i know they were fabulous fun girly treats! looks like a delightful day. happy birthday amelia!

Kristen from MA says: October 13, 2015 at 06:52 PM

I'm blubbing as I usually do when I read your posts about Amelia's birth, Alicia. She and her birth family are so lucky to have found you and Andy. You're both so lovely.

I've been reading your blog since before the beginning of this lovely little family you have created. It warms my heart to see such love and happiness.

Thank you for so aptly portraying the beauty possible in open adoption.

Happy birthday to beautiful Amelia! I can't believe she's 3 years old already. How wonderful to have an open adoption and to come together as one big family.

What a pretty pink day. Happy Birthday little Amelia, what a beautiful big family you belong to and what an awesome mama and papa you have. Happy happy days to all of you.

What a joy...

Happy Birthday! Her birthday dress is beautiful - you can tell it was made with so much thought and love. When she is older she will look back on all of the thought and the care and the detail that you have put into her experiences and she will know, deep in her bones that she was loved so so so much.

Amelia's special day just makes me smile.

(I noticed the plates too!)

My husband and I looked at each other with amazement after many big events in our lives when we had made a point to have our camera with us and had such a good time we had taken none or few photos :) We were sad to have missed the opportunity, but so glad we could hug happy memories in our hearts and minds! I'm glad your celebration of Amelia's birthday was so happy, Alicia, and thank you for sharing with us some of the photos you did take. xx

It was truly a celebration of the best that humankind has to offer- unconditional love swirling around one beautiful soul- Sweet Amelia! Everyone present wanted it to be the happiest party ever- for the most blessed gift of Mimi among us! Magic!

We too have an open adoption and feel the exact same way that you do. Our sweet boy will soon be four and we hope that (like last year) his birthmom will join us on this special day. We love sharing this relationship with her and gathering up as much love for our sweet boy as we can. Happy Birthday Amelia!

What a lucky girl, to be wrapped in so much love. How your mother-heart must sing to see it. :-)

mamaSabina says: October 13, 2015 at 11:43 PM

Happy birthday to sunshine girl! Three is wonderful age. My first memory is also from the age of three. I think you, and her entire extended family are pretty amazing. Wishing you all the very best ❤

Happy Birthday Amelia! I've been anticipating Amelia's 3rd birthday so much. Someone else mentioned how they went back and read about the beginning of your little family and it made me smile. This past weekend after I read "pre-party prettying" I could hardly wait to see the pics of the party. So I went back and looked through all the beautiful pics of parties past. All of it so beautiful! So heart warming! Looking forward to so many more to come!
P.S. Would also love to know where the paper plates and wooden forks come from. Thanks!

To all who loved the party plates. I found this site on etsy with the same plates and some other great vintagey looking plates, cups, and napkins. Going back to order some for an upcoming special event. So lovely!
Here's the link:

Her Birthday looked SO full of what EVERY child's special day should look like! After a long day in NICU..taking care of "abstinence" babies...( Withdrawing from various drugs) it warms my heart so much to see what a completely majical childhood experience you are giving to your little baby girl! I have said it before...but if the world were FULL of people like you and Andy..what a wonderful world it would be! XXXOOO I LOVED her dress by the way...she rocked it...and the hat!

Lovely. I really love popping in here occasionally. I can't believe it's been three years. Best wishes to you. Xx

Happy Birthday to Amelia! She's like a sunshine! Oh, everything looks so lovely. Please, please, tell us more about the food! What are all those delish things you prepared? I'm a mother of two girls and boy and I need ideas and for their upcoming birthdays. Best wishes to little Amelia and her big family! Dora from Greece

Happy birthday, Amelia! :-) She looks so proud and happy and pretty in her hat and party dress! :-)

Thank you for sharing Amelia's party with us, I'm glad you all had a smashing time! Three is a wonderful age😊 My favourite photo is the one of Amelia checking herself out in the dresser glass. She has such a sweet sweet smile!

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at




Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.