Monday, March 11, 2013

Emmanuel Mark,

Today you turn two years old.  Today is your first birthday at home!  The moment I met you, you stole my heart.  And from that time on you have been showing me more and more of your heart.  And what a BIG heart it is.  I love that you have let all of us into that heart so quickly.  And don't tell anyone else, but I am so glad I am your favorite.  I love the connection we have and know that God gave that to us.

I am so proud of you.  Of who you are and all you have survived in your young life.  I love your sweet spirit and your silly giggle.  You are so full of joy and energy and fun.

On your first birthday I didn't even know you existed.  I didn't know there was a little boy across the world that would be my son.  That you  would join our family and fit so perfectly.  Isn't it neat how God works like that?

I love you sweet boy and am so thankful to be your mama.  Happy Birthday!


We can't celebrate Emmanuel's birthday without celebrating a special part of our family across the world.  The complex and beautiful thing about adoption is that God gave Emmanuel to his birth mama. He chose her to be his mama, knowing that she would make the choice for Emmanuel to become our son.  That God would go through all those details and all that work to begin the story of Ema's life is amazing to me.  He truly is the Father to the fatherless, setting the lonely in families.

As I watch Ema play today, listen to him giggle, and watch him find joy in life's simplest things, I can't help but think of Mama A in Ghana.  The fact that today she may remember is the birth day of her son.  The fact that today she isn't watching him learn and grow like I am.  And I am flooded with emotion of gratitude for her selfless sacrifice of love.  The unconditional way in which she put her son's needs above her own.  Mama A we love you and honor you and Ema will grow up knowing your love for him.

Birthdays bring reflection.  They just naturally make us think back about the past and also look to the future and what the next year will be like.  I can't believe how much Ema has changed in the past 2 months at home.  He is taller, bigger, stronger, eating everything, sleeping well, talking, and attached to his family.  So thankful.

Can't wait to spend the next year of life helping Emmanuel grow into all God needs him to be.  What an honor!


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