12 years ago I knew I was enormous, my belly was tight, my legs were aching. I knew that I was uncomfortable, that little feet and knees were kicking me all through the night, and that even eating something as benign as vanilla yogurt would give me heartburn. I knew I was tired of going to the bathroom so much. Maybe it was because I was young. Maybe it was because it was my first pregnancy, but I don't think I really knew there was a baby inside of my body. I'm positive I didn't know that this baby would quickly become a person...a real live person with hopes, dreams, fears, an imagination, his own issues, a personality, questions about this world and about life, favorite foods, struggles, a love for reading, an aversion to oatmeal, a sensitive heart, and a sense of humor.
12 years ago today we met you Anson. We held you in our arms and marveled that you were ours. It was you who first made us parents. You who changed our entire world. We sat there holding you, looking at all your features, knowing that everything was different now. Everything was more serious, more important, more real, more moving, more magical.
We're so proud of the person you have become and the one you are becoming. It's a miracle really. That day I first held you I vowed many things. Before leaving the hospital I made a long list of things I wanted to change about myself. I wanted to be the perfect mom. I wanted you to always be happy, for us to always get along, for us to always protect you, for your dad and I to always make the right decisions for you and respond the right ways. And yet look at us. You know we fail. You know we don't always respond the right way. It could be argued that we rarely do. Yet look at you. You are the sweetest, kindest, smartest, most responsible kid we know. In spite of who we are...you are you. This is grace, Anson. You are a picture of sweet grace in our lives. While God continues to grow us as parents, He has been faithful to grow you...to teach you...to lovingly lead you and call you to Himself. Grace. We do not deserve what God has given.
We love you Anson. Your life has taught us more about ourselves, about each other, and about the Lord. 12 years ago you were a tiny baby...daddy and I were babies too. We're all kind of growing up together. Thank you for being patient with us and for being so quick to forgive us when we mess up.
Your love for your brothers, the way you lead them, look out for them, and seriously consider the example you are setting for them means so much to us as parents, and it's one of my favorite things that I've seen God do in your life this year. We see Jesus in the way you love and care for kids who are younger than yourself. You are kind, patient, and compassionate. You take very seriously how important it is to protect the weak and to stand up for them. None of that comes natural to us as humans. God is at work.
We love you Throne Warden. You were a gift 12 years ago, and you have been one every day since then. Except the day when you threw an awful fit at the public swimming pool, and I took you to the car kicking and screaming. And the day you threw up Oreo cookies in my bed. And all those days when you were learning to "go" in the toilet. We weren't so thankful for you those days...but all the other days...all the other ones...we've been thankful God saw fit to give you to us.
Happy Birthday Anson.
--- Mom and Dad
This post was supposed to go up yesterday, but this is Haiti. Not only did we not have internet at the house, all of THIS was going on.
Cliff Notes: Two of our Harbor House girls gave birth yesterday. It was frantic and insane. I have never been more proud of our team here at HL. I saw God's sweet grace on grand display as He miraculously put each of us right where we needed to be. It did not matter that this is Haiti, that the traffic is crazy, or that the hospital where we transported Lourdes Milla doesn't even really like us. Two births. One ambulance/hospital transport/Anson's birthday/all 7 school aged kids educated, picked up, and cared for....two healthy babies and moms who are doing well. God provides. He loves these ladies and these babies. He gives us the privilege of watching...up close...how He declares justice...He provides care...He lavishes them with His mercy. We are all in awe.
For the full story of all that transpired yesterday go here.
I loved telling Anson last night...."Guess what. You know how one of your favorite things in the world is babies? Well...Alloune and Lourdes Milla both had babies on your birthday. You all share the same birthday! We will have a massive party next year!!" Anson went to bed smiling.
I guess September 28th is a day God likes to show off.