You are one of five cousins who turn the same age within a seven-month span. As the second-to-last birthday, some years you wait more anxiously than others to reach that special milestone! This was certainly true for your 13th birthday. It gave you plenty of time to have some specific expectations by the time April 8, 2021 rolled around - and it was our joy to try and make those come true for you as much as possible!
Unfortunately, we were unable to fulfill your request to have a dress suit made by our friend and stellar seamstress Tia Catalina (since lockdown meant she could not buy material to do so, and also limited any use the suit might get before you outgrew it!) Nonetheless, you showered and put on your best outfit to look the part of the handsome young adolescent you are. Then you humored me with a photo shoot, taking advantage of our neighbors' unique portones and painted outdoor walls to do so!
Another special request was for the delicious chocolate cake made by a Japanese acquaintance in Iquique. We had purchased it twice before - for Silas' 1st, and Eva's 18th, birthdays. Unlike previous years, this time the icing was white with sparkly blue accents and a blue fondant label stating "Happy Birthday, Alec!" Although your birthday once again took place in quarantine, with family for neighbors we could again enjoy the Fishers' presence and this year Felipe joined us, too.
One reason for Pipe's presence was our weekly church music practice held prior to your celebration. We had been hiding your gift ever since the Sharps left Iquique, having purchased from Uncle Jon his like-new electro-acoustic guitar and amplifier. We had no way to wrap it but Ian draped everything in towels for you to uncover, which was rather humorous. Daddy and I are very proud of how much you have progressed in playing guitar and even leading the way when Pipe is not able to be with us on a Sunday. God has given you a special ability and we hope you continue to enjoy serving Him in this way!
Sweet son, we are so glad that God gave you to us as a "bonus baby" from Haiti all those years ago. You are His unique creation. Keep following Him! I can't wait to see what God has in store for our book reading, guitar playing, deep thinking, brilliantly smiling son Alec Stephen! Daddy and I love you. Happy 13th Birthday!
All my love,
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