seven years worth of memories, and I can’t see them all

My beautiful baby girl is seven today.  It is such a strange feeling when you celebrate your child’s birthday and you can’t look back and remember their birth.  This is why adoptive parents celebrate adoption day, because birthdays are nothing more than a celebration of a year older, which is worthy of celebration, but there are no memories on this day of birth to look back on.  I wasn’t there the day she was born.  I didn’t pick her name.  I didn’t hold her in my arms.  I wasn’t there to feed her and protect her when she was so fragile.  I didn’t watch her eat solid foods for the first time.  I didn’t watch her try her fist bites of cake as she dug her hands into one on her first birthday.

I forget sometimes the things I’ve missed out on, sometimes it feels like she’s always been ours.  It’s not till days like today that I’m reminded of it.  Maybe I’m just sentimental.  On my birth children’s birthdays, I remember the moment they were delivered, I remember how small they were, all my hopes, and all my fears.  So today, on my babies birthday, I don’t have so many of the memories I wish I had.  But, I have my own memories of our first days.  I remember how she called us mommy and daddy the first day she moved in (because of our older children, I think she thought those were our names).  I remember how she barely said any words, and how afraid she was ever time she saw a bug.  I remember how much Braden and Brittney fell in love with her (even though she was one and a half and into ALL of their things).  And I remember how small (and chubby) she was, I remember all of my hopes, and all of my fears.

I am one of those mothers that writes letters to her kids periodically throughout their lives that one day I’ll give them.  So today on my babies 7th birthday, I’ve written her some of the hopes and prayers I have for her.  Feel free to join me in prayer today.  Here is the list I wrote for my baby girl Haley:

  1. I hope and pray that you grow into a young woman who Loves and Honors God
  2. I hope and pray that you lead and don’t follow, you are such a leader
  3. I hope and pray that you never let anyone let you think you are not good enough
  4. I hope and pray that you never stop singing at the top of your lungs to the radio, it’s greatness
  5. I hope and pray that you get to live out all your dreams and never let fear hold you back
  6. I hope and pray that you never feel like you were unwanted or unloved, YOU are SO LOVED
  7. I hope and pray that you never doubt who you are
  8. I hope and pray that you always keep your amazing (sometimes less than humble) confidence
  9. I hope and pray that you and your big sister always stay close
  10. I hope and pray that you and your big brother can always be there for one another
  11. I hope and pray that one day you find a man that loves and adores you the way daddy loves me
  12. I hope and pray that you get to be a mommy one day, you’ll be a great mommy
  13. I hope and pray that you get to grow old and grey before you know personal loss
  14. I hope and pray that you don’t make choices you forever regret
  15. I hope and pray that you live a life you love, and that you love deeply

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