My dear girl,
Nine years of your life marked the calendar and clock this morning on square 24 at 9:46 am. The memories swarm me every year as I think about the culmination of a God methodically, beautifully and purposefully at work behind the scenes for so long, for so short .......and then on January 24th in Bossier City, Louisiana, He whipped the curtain back and there, my sweet one, you were. We never could have readied ourselves for what He was doing all that time, but, oh, He, in His kindness, showed us love extravagant, love overflowing, and love unreserved when we finally got to see your face and put our arms around your 7lb 15oz curled up frame. Imagining it for six years hadn’t even come close.
In nine more years, you could be ready to leave our home. That seems almost impossible but it places paramount significance on your next nine years. My hope is that you feel known within the walls of this home and that you feel safe to share all that stirs within your heart because the next nine years will be full of dreams, desires and decisions that will affect the rest of your life. I see you thinking. I see you wondering about things we’ve read, things we've talked about or things we’ve seen. I see you trying to figure it all out or at least snap one piece into your puzzle of nine gracious years of life so far. Your Daddy and I can help you with some but some pieces can only be put in place by you. I want you to know, as you are turning these pieces of your story around and over, I see you and I have seen you.
I’ve seen your tears, in fact, my thumb pushed one away today as I held your darling face in my hands. Math is hard...especially right before dinner and words DO hurt feelings... anytime of day. Your tears mean something in this home and are always noticed.
I’ve seen you looking in the mirror-- wishing to be older but I’ve also seen you looking at your brother in my lap, wanting to be there too.
I’ve seen you genuinely hurt by friends, eyes wet and heart pounding. I see you forgive quickly and take the chance again. Taking that risk takes a big girl.
I’ve seen you looking for gifts, for beauty from our Father, all because I shared with you what God was teaching me. I see you running to get your journal to record “eucharisteo”. My favorite entry of yours so far is “feeling happy”. Your eagerness to try this out makes this momma thrilled and nervous as I think of what you could be learning from me, seeing in me. I pray for grace. Abundant.
I’ve seen you choose long-suffering with your only sibling. I find myself reminding you of that -- “your only one”. I also tell you, he will be larger and stronger soon and that, by God's grace, your relationship with him will be the longest of your life, so be nice and gentle with his boy-ness, which may prove to be your fast track to major spiritual growth. WE LOVE HIM!! You are a superb big sister.
I’ve seen your whole body tell a story-- hands and face with highest expressions. Your accents are flawless and my favorite one is cockney English--do I dare say better than Eliza Doolittle?
I’ve seen you savor a book to its fullest. Even last night, you held one tightly to your chest and said, “This is a good book. It has always been a good book.”
I’ve seen you learning-- old and new-- sewing, history, gratitude, ballet, navigating play dates, poetry, responsibility, drawing, forgiveness, a familiar artist, the challenges of math, Scripture, the value of a good book, that our world is big and that He changes everything.
I’ve seen you putting your birth story together as you ask questions at the strangest times. Not once have I been expecting questions when they came. I see you wondering about God’s plan He made before the beginning of time and the days He ordained for you. I notice your distraction when someone else talks about their natural births and how it causes you to ponder your adoptive one. Yours is a wonderful story and you will know it in its entirety in due time, but I want you to know, in the meantime, I see you.
I’ve seen your heart moved by stories of people, wanting to share their stories with others. I see your desire to give, to make things better for those far away from here.
And a few times, I’ve seen you hold your hand open when you really wanted a clenched fist. I need to watch you do that a few more times so maybe I can learn it too.
I love you, Julia, but more importantly, you are loved by the King of Kings. You are His, never to be separated from Him. He holds you in the palm of His hand and not one moment, word or tear happens without His watchful eye upon you.
He sees you, Julia. He sees you.
Love and a zillion kisses,
Goodbye Eight! Hello Nine!