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Birthday Girl

July 28, 2006

Today, my daughter turned five. While we were celebrating her birthday, I found myself oddly sad. She came to us as a beautiful gift of God at the age of six months. Tiny for her age, yet feisty in spirit, we were told by adoption workers that we would need a lot of energy to keep up with her. Other than an odd refusal to sleep, which one can understand after six months of little stimulation, she has been quite an easy child to raise.

I will never forget the first time her cousin, 10 months older than her, came to see us after our daughter arrived. With a ten month old and a twenty month old, things are bound to be interesting, yet our little one took everything, including my niece’s desire to love on me, take her toys, and have my attention, pretty well. Finally, when she could no longer handle this other person talking over her and gaining my attention, she pulled up on me, drew in a huge gulp of air, and out of this tiny body came the most unimaginable roar–she was like a lion.

My father bonded with her immediately, which exasperated her grandmothers who were momentarily left in the cold. In fact, he could not believe she would ever have a frustration tantrum as my husband and I claimed, so I finally video taped one showing that she had incredible lung power. She still has her first present from him…the first thing she “picked out” in a store at just 7 months of age…a worn out, patched together, pastel colored Moo Cow who has seen better days. Just in the last few months, though, her tastes have run to other stuffed animals. Moo Cow no longer is by her side every night.

Last year, she needed help opening her gifts and cutting her ice cream with a spoon–this year, she is a big girl…no help wanted unless absolutely necessary. She has always been a Mommy’s girl, but Mommy’s presence at her side is no longer as necessary as it once was.

In a few weeks, she exits babyhood, toddlerhood, and preschoolhood in the biggest way possible–she starts school. She is smart and excited about learning. I am happy for her and know she has the potential to be amazing to more than just her daddy, mommy and other family members (she is already more than amazing to me). I want her to grow and learn, to be more like Jesus, to love and serve Him more, to be in the process of growing more beautiful on the inside. Yet, part of me is sad that this period in our lives is over. I can honestly say they have been the best years of my life. I pray the next years are just as special.

To my wonderful daughter, Happy Birthday!

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