Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My Birthday Letter to Andie


You are my first child, but the second oldest in the family. (Adoption can make a family funny that way.) You are my dream-come-true, but I was so nervous when the call came asking if I would take a two-year-old who bit and threw tantrums. I was a basket-case by the time they knocked on my door. What had I gotten myself into?

You were so tiny and vulnerable. The social worker put you down on my floor. Two plastic grocery bags contained all your earthly possessions -- diapers, a doll, and some clothes. After signing some papers, the social worker left. Just another day on the job for her. But for you and me, it was the first day of being a family.

You stood still beside the couch, quietly looking me over. My stomach was in knots. Did I know what I was doing raising a child by myself? I had signed up for foster care classes so confidently--all smiles. And now? Here you finally were in my house and I was at a complete loss. "What am I going to do with you?" I whispered as I sank to my knees in front of you. Your dark brown eyes looked intently into mine. Then, slowly, you walked over to me, put your arm around my neck, and hugged me. "Yes, that's right!" I smiled, holding you tight. "I'm going to love you!"

Suddenly everything was clear again. We would take one day at a time. God would lead and we would follow. You and me. That's how this family started. And that's how this family has grown.

One year later, Quinn joined us and became your nine-year-old big brother. You called him "Tin," and adored him. And then you fought with him. And then you adored him. And then ... well... you remember. :)

And then one day, you realized our happy little family was missing something very important. We had no daddy! So you took it upon yourself to pray a daddy into our family. For three years you prayed. Every morning and evening, at every meal, at every church function, during prayer request time at school, at every opportunity you asked God to give you a daddy. It became a little embarrassing for Quinn and me, but you were relentless!

And God answered your prayer. Eight years ago, Daddy and I got married. You were the flower girl and a happier flower girl there never was. When Daddy and I got into the car to head off for our honeymoon, you pranced out towards us wearing your dress and my veil. You told me you loved me and gave me a single white flower. You were no longer my little princess, you had become our little princess.

The years have flown by. Quinn is grown and on his own. We have three new girls in our family and who knows how many more to come. Today you turned sixteen. You are my helper, my friend, my daughter. You are an incredibly caring and loving young woman and I am so proud to be a part of your life. I'm looking forward to seeing what God will do in the next sixteen years of your life and beyond!

Hugs and kisses,