Today you are 1 year old. It seems like it was just yesterday when I was in that hospital room holding you in my arms for the very first time. I could not tear my eyes away from you, and no matter how sore I felt all over, I did not want to let you go. All the pain and discomfort of the previous 9 months melted away and there was just beauty and tenderness in that moment. It was all worth it.

I feel a big lump in my throat as I write this, but not because I’m sad. The tears that sting my eyes now are because of the joy you have filled our lives with since you joined us. We prayed for a child and God gave us the most wondrous gift, a masterpiece beyond all that we were hoping for. For the past few months I have agonized over the rapid passage of time, wanting to pause it and soak in the days of your babyhood that we will never have back. To bask in the light of your innocent smiles, breathe in the sweetness of your baby scent, feel the warmth of generous hugs and butterfly kisses you lavish me with. But I have come to understand this – the future only holds greater, better things for us. For you, love. I am gaining far more than I am losing.

There are so many things I want to tell you; most important of all is that you are loved. Greatly. You are so incredibly blessed in the fact that you are loved, not just by your Mom and Dad, but by so many people. Take comfort in the knowledge that you will never run out of family to pray with, laugh with, share highs and lows with and even to be just plain silly with. Of three things you can be certain – life won’t always be fair, but your family will be here for you constantly and God will be with you at all times. You have us, your wonderfully huge kin, all in the palm of your hand, and you know it. We all have you in our hearts – know that. Most of all, rejoice, my love, because there is One Who holds you in the palm of His hand and has written your name in His heart.

Every day I pray for you, that as you grow older you will learn to lean on God more than you will lean on us. That you will seek His plans for your life and adhere to His word. You are bound to make mistakes and that is okay. But remember to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, seek His forgiveness and align yourself to His ways. Always. You will never go wrong seeking His face in all circumstances. The world may mock you, aim to discourage you and make you doubt your faith. It’s in these times that you must cling to Him all the more. It’s in times of your weakness that you’ll find His strength will never fail you.

I am so grateful for you my dear child. You’ve changed my life in so many ways I can hardly recognize myself, but in a good way. Because of you I am learning what it is to be selfless and patient. You’re teaching me to enjoy every single minute, to relax and drink in the sights and sounds and feel of the time that we spend together. To not waste one second of each day that we are gifted with. I realize that no matter how difficult it can get, I am a mother. I am your mother. And I am a better person because of it – because of you.

We will celebrate grandly a few days from now, my love. You will be surrounded and loved by family and friends. You won’t understand it yet, but it will be all to give thanks for the blessed day you came into our lives and turned our world right side up. To give thanks for the bright future ahead of you.

To give thanks for you.

I love you. Oh how I love you!


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