I was faced with this quandary a month or so ago when planning Ransom's first birthday and I threw around all sorts of ideas-none of which I really liked. The only thing that kept coming back to me over and over again was the phrase "it takes a village". I have definitely felt that sentiment quite a few times during this past year when friends have cooked for us, babysat for free, listened while I moaned, given advice, gotten us out of the house for a much needed walk....sooo many things that have made a year in the life of an infant and WITH an infant possible....anyway, I wanted Ransom's first birthday to really be about the celebration of Community. The community that has loved us and loved Ransom this last year.
We don't really go to an official "church" like most people in the Western world have come to recognize it. We attend small groups where we share our Walks with Christ and our victories and struggles in doing so and we are a part of a much bigger community that knows and loves one another throughout the week....that being said, Ransom had no official "Church dedication", but in my mind his first Birthday was an unofficial one.
In the end I printed off a bunch of pictures of different people with Ransom. In the end I had over 40...and while that seemed like a lot, there were people that I was sad to realize I had never gotten a picture with Ransom. My neighbor Michelle, Amy B., Rolinda and Keri....honestly shocking! That being said, it was wonderful to see all the faces and all the wonderful people who have played a roll in Ransom's life this year.
So, my Mom and I strung up the pictures as a reminder of this past year with Ransom. And I hope that we do it again next year, and all the years after...so that one day Ransom will have hundreds of pictures of the people who have been a part of his life. A reminder of the heritage that has brought him thus far.
Also, if your interested...you can check out Ransom's Birthday Letter here.