Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Ella!

Dear Ella,

Yesterday you turned 2 years old…I can hardly bear to say it…2 years old! On one hand the past two years have flown by. I look at pictures of you at just a few months old and wonder what happened to my little baby. On the other hand we have experienced more in the past 2 years than most families go through in a lifetime.

You are such a sweet, beautiful and smart little girl. You know more than I think a 2 year old should know. Soon, you will know more than me, and that scares me. At 2 years old, your favorite activity seems to be coloring. You prefer to color on a blank piece of paper so that you aren’t inhibited by lines and pictures…I think this is a testament to your personality. You are a cuddle-bug. When we read or watch a show you like to sit on my lap and lean back into me. Sometimes you press your chubby cheek right next to mine and lean in. We will stay that way until I have to move, but you would be content staying cheek to cheek all day. You are quite the chatterbox and repeat everything we say. The Itsy Bitsy Spider and Twinkle Twinkle are your favorite songs. We sing them over and over and over again. I thrive on your laugh and will do almost anything to get you to giggle. You love being outside and looking at all the pretty flowers. As we walk we look at all the colors of the flowers and you bend down to gently kiss each one, then you stand up and say “Thank you flower!” You even call plants flowers and kiss them. My favorite image is of you and your dad going for a walk, hand in hand.

Even at the age of 2, in my heart I know that you understand your skin. You are different than other kids, and you know it. You are much more cautious and aware of your surroundings and you keep a safe distance from other kids who play much rougher than you do. But the truth is that you have been chosen. All kids are special, but for reasons none of us may ever understand, God decided, long before your dad and I saw your beautiful face, that He was going to give us a child that would reach thousands…perhaps one day, millions. My sweet girl, I firmly believe that you have shown more people God’s love and power in your short 2 years, than I have in my 32. Through you, people were able to witness a miracle. They were able to see a very grave situation turn to hope. They are able to look at a beautiful girl who has proven that God is still in control.

Over the course of your life you will have hundreds of questions. While I don’t have the answers to them, I can assure you that I have spent far too many hours asking the same ones. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared for you, and it seems the older you get, the more scared I become. Soon I will no longer be able to protect you from the stares and comments. Through it all please find comfort in one thing…you are not a mistake. You were hand picked to face these challenges, and as difficult as they are to endure, you are not alone. God loves you very much.

While I don’t know what the future holds, I do know that you have forever changed me. You have made me a better mother, wife, daughter, sister and friend. Because of you, I look at the world differently. Where I once felt incredible judgment, I now feel compassion…hope now replaces the impossible. You have a strength that puts my own strength to shame. I see a wisdom that is waiting to burst through. I see a beauty that runs deeper than skin. You are my precious little girl. You are my hero.

We spent your second birthday on vacation in Natural Bridge, VA. It was just the 3 of us and that’s exactly how we wanted it. You shared this birthday with Father’s Day, which was very appropriate. You are your daddy’s girl. The two of you have a special bond. We were staying in a cabin and you were watching a video while daddy and I rested. Every time something new would come on TV you’d run over to our bed and put your face right up to daddy’s face, nose to nose, and you’d yell “Hi Heart! Hi Heart!” until he opened his eyes and acknowledged you. You did this throughout the entire video, whether a heart, orange, kiwi, baby, blocks or letters of the alphabet. You wanted daddy to share in the joy of the video with you. You are such a special little girl. I look forward to every day we get to spend together. Each day with you holds a new adventure and I am excited to see what tomorrow has in store.

I love you,



Paige said...

Happy Birthday sweet Ella! You have been touching our hearts since you were born. Thanks so much Katie and Joe for keeping up the blog.

ValerieO said...

That is a beautiful letter to a beautiful little girl! I hope y'all had a great day! Happy Birthday Ella!

Michael and Lauren said...

Wow -- what a touching letter! Happy Birthday Ella! You are so blessed to be part of such a wonderful family.

Dee said...

Doug Mazza, Joni&, Father of Ryan says in his video "A Legacy Of Hope"(Episodes&offers) Ryan is his purpose for life.
"Anyone can follow Jesus to the green grass hillside where he is feeding the thousands, but who will follow Christ to The Cross? The most personal relationship you can have with Jesus is when you are sharing in His Sufferings."
God knows every situation.
We serve a God that never wakes up surprised.
God wrote the book on suffering Himself.
God is trustworthy.
He is the kind of God you can put your faith in.
He has suffered more than any person.

Jesus, I will Praise You!
My soul knows right well.
Psalms 139:14

Jesus said, "I Am The Door!"
John 10:9

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Ella. Thank you for teaching us so much.

Emilie and Paul (ellen's friends in NJ)

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful letter, Katie.
I am so touched to read about your compassion and love and joy for Ella. Our children are soo special to us. Ella just happened to be hand-chosen by God to be extra-special. Great things are in store for that little girl.

<3 Erin McL