Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The big 2-1

This is it.

This is the day.

We'll celebrate with donuts during brunch.

We'll sing.

Maybe we'll even send him a video of us doing this.

All because this is it. This is the day that my oldest turns 21.

So we will celebrate even though he's 9 hours from home.

This is our first-born, a typical first-born; the guinea pig, the rule follower, more like his mother than he might ever admit. Creative, funny, sarcastic, sensitive, full of ideas, and the follow-through to carry them out.

21 years is a long time to sum up in one post. I thought of 21 photos, one for each year of his life but I won't bore you. Although, remember, this is the first-born; we actually have one photo for each week of the first year of his life and the trend continued.

One of my fondest memories of Andrew was when he was about 13 years old. He used to organize his siblings and the neighbors into his own acting studio and production team. He would write little sketches about James Blonde and then the kids would act them out around the neighborhood. On this particular occasion, he was filming a chase scene and he concocted his own roving camera by mounting the camera and tripod onto our wagon. He sat in the back with the camera while someone pulled him. Ingenious.

This was when we knew that this child was headed into the film industry. Sure enough, that's where he now finds himself as a junior in college. Using every bit of that creative, industrious talent to direct and produce an eclectic mix of films. As his biggest fans we still pull up his documentary on hedgehogs and all of his istandTV productions from his NYC internship last summer. And there's more coming.

And this summer he will head to the Olympics as a camera operator in the press conference room at the Olympic's International Broadcast Center. Maybe I'm just a little sad that he's not a Momma's Boy, and I'm not a helicopter parent, in which case he'd have to take me along.

Andrew, we hope you can use your DD gift card today so you can enjoy a donut at college while we enjoy your birthday donuts here. We got the good ones, from Shady Maple, in honor of you. I have long forgiven you for arriving 10 days late and for taking more than 24 hours to make your arrival. I am proud of you for following your calling, for stepping out of your comfort zone, for your ambition, and for trying new things. We love you. Love, Mom and Dad


  1. I enjoyed this sentimental journey. I couldn't help but think about the impact of those childhood games on a kid's life as an adult. Happy birthday celebration!

  2. Aw, my oldest turned 21 over a year ago, and it was a challenge for me. What a beautiful post! He sounds like a great young man.

  3. Wonderful tribute! My son shares a birthday with yours. March 13th is a special day indeed. I loved the pictures. Happy birthday to your son, and congrats to you for raising such a talented young man (and for making it through a whole day of labor)!