Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Seven Years Later

My sweet Ethan,

It's a little after 9:00 on the night of your seventh birthday. You are tucked into your bed, cuddled up with the monkey that was given to you the day of your birth. Judging by the stillness upstairs, I'd say you're already fast asleep -- worn out from the full day of celebrating you. Because celebrate YOU, we did.

You've heard this story a-thousand-and-five times already, but right around this exact time, on this day seven years ago, a very special team of people were preparing to transport you from the hospital where you were born, to Duke. You were SO sick and we were SO scared, so we did the only thing we knew to do. We gathered that team of people, and our family, and we prayed around your little ICU on wheels. I slipped my hand through the small opening, willing myself to remember how warm and soft your skin felt, given the very real chance that I might not ever feel it again.

You've heard this part, too, and your spunky spirit today is proof, but God took that fragile baby and has done an amazing work in his -- YOUR -- life. I know that you don't fully understand that yet, but one day you will. One day, you will look at these first seven years of your life and marvel at how good our God is. One day, you'll grasp the full meaning of "community" when you realize how loved and cared for you are. 

In so many ways I find myself thinking, "how are you ALREADY seven?!" But then, my very next thought becomes, "you're ONLY seven!" I could write a book about these first seven years -- the good, the bad, and the ugly -- but I'm quickly reminded that your story isn't over yet. Imagine how much more we'll be in awe of what the Lord has done in your life seven years from NOW!

Some of my favorite things about you right now are: your creativity, your resilience as a foster brother, your joke-telling, your drawings, your sweet singing voice, your kindness. You are ALL IN when it comes to anything Star Wars, which makes our conversations really interesting these days because I know NOTHING of the sort. You're so patient with me, though -- even if I can't keep the characters straight.

You are such a gift, Ethan, and it is a joy to be your mama.

Happy birthday, sweet boy. You are so loved.


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