August 4, 2012
7 years ago tonight you came into this world and forever changed it. You spent your first night here on this earth without us even knowing you had arrived. But...from the very moment we knew you had come the hearts of those who were set aside to become your family were changed.
I'll never forget how desperately I wanted to get to you. To touch you. To hold you. To show you how much you were loved. I needed you to know we were your family. Your mommy. Your daddy. Your big brother. Your big sister. You were not alone that night. We were there.
I laid awake that night praying for you. Longing for you. Pulling for you to survive. Ash, I loved you so much. My heart ached to be near you. I just needed to peek at you. Know that you were really here.
Even with all the ups and downs, with all the closed doors, with all those who told us no...I knew...I always knew. You were ours. You were the one. You belonged with us.
So many times in those early days I was reminded of the words Joseph spoke to his brothers, "What you meant for harm...God meant for good." If only those who stood in the way, closed the doors, and tried to discourage us could see you today. If only they knew how amazing you have grown up to be. If only they could have seen the plan our Father had designed for you. If only.
Ashley Kate, I am humbled by the greatness of our God when I look into your face. When I see your eyes sparkle, and hear your laughter come tumbling out, I feel His presence in my life. When you ask for me to hold you, and you wrap your arms so tight around my neck, I feel His presence in my life. When I witness your love for your daddy, and watch you snuggle with Blake, and hear your conversations with Allie, I feel His presence in my life. He used you to show Himself to me in ways bigger than I ever knew were possible.
How do I show you how very much you are loved? How will you know? How will you ever comprehend who you are to all of us? How much you mean to us? I want you to know. I want you to see. I want you to understand. I want so much for you. So much more than I can give. More than I can promise.
This year as we live the first day of your 7th year I hope you feel surrounded by all those who love you. I hope you know as big, and as deep, and as wide as you can possibly understand that you are LOVED. There has never been a day that you were not. Never. Even on that first day, before we knew you were here, you were loved. The Father had prepared our hearts in the days, weeks, months, and years before you came to love you.
My heart is flooded with memories on this day. I fight back the tears. I am overwhelmed by His goodness. By His glory. By His plan. Its been a journey my sweet girl. A journey that is long from over. A journey that has scared me and shaken me to the very core of my faith. A journey that has strengthened my faith as well. Without you here, without you in our lives, I fear I would have never really known how very much He loves me.
Happy Birthday Ashley Kate. Lets go celebrate. Lets go live. Lets get busy making memories today. Its a great day to be 7! I love you, Mom