Today we will celebrate your first birthday. We will celebrate the blessing that you are and thank God for choosing us as your family.
We will reminisce about all that you have accomplished in such a short time. The traditional milestones. First smile. Rolling. Trying out solid-foods. Belly laughs. Sitting. Waving bye-bye. And of course raising your arms to show us that you are “sooo big.”
We will also celebrate and look back fondly on moments of your first year that weren’t so traditional. Learning to always have a bib on you and a burp-cloth on-hand for the first 10 months. Celebrating the 10 pound mark – at six months. Getting the results back from your echo-cardiogram and EKG to discover that your heart beats perfectly. Passing your ABR (hearing test), confirming what we already knew – that your hearing was fine. Receiving a phone call from the radiologist letting us know that your kidneys were just the right size. Getting the results of your first full evaluation telling us that you were doing “everything a baby your age should be doing.”
You came into this world early. About two weeks before your due date. In fact, I didn’t even realize that I was in labor. It was my doctor who confirmed why I wasn’t feeling well that day – I was 5 centimeters dilated and in labor. I walked myself over to the hospital and checked-in while your dad rushed to meet me there. Only a couple of hours later you made your appearance. Charles Andrew. 7 pounds 10 ounces. 19 inches. You didn’t cry, but your eyes were open-wide taking everything in.
Your dad was there to hold you right away. Big brother Henry was so excited to meet you. He is so proud to be your big brother and covers you with kisses everyday. Charlie, our hospital room and house was filled with people who wanted to meet you. They surrounded our family and fell in love with you from the moment they saw you.
I have tears in my eyes as I write this little one. You are such a joy. It’s not just your mom that loves you so. No matter where we go together people are drawn to you. Your smile is like sunshine. And your eyes – those eyes are so many shades of blue.
I love that you are so little. I love that the “baby stage” has lasted so long. It means more time to snuggle and hold you close. Before we know it you will be a “big boy” doing things independently and without my help. For now though, I’m happy that you need me so much. Because I need you too.
God had big plans when he brought you into this world Charlie.
It’s not just me that you have changed Charlie. You – just by being Charlie – you have changed the world for so many. Do you know that you have spurred many great discussions? That your life has encouraged others to acknowledge and address some hard issues that exist in our world? You are so brave Charlie – and you have helped me to be brave too.
Charlie in just one year of life, you have shown others how valuable every life is. You have shown us the beauty and love that God intends for all of us – right before our very eyes. Sweet baby boy, do you know how many people have prayed for you and for our family? Do you know that because of our story – your life – many people are discovering the goodness and grace of Jesus? Some have even accepted him as their Lord.
It seems as though my words are inadequate. I’m not sure I could ever really describe my love for you. You are my baby and I love you so. Happy Birthday sweet baby boy.