The 1,460 days you’ve been alive have been the craziest, amazing, exhaustingly wonderful days of my life. You have more orneriness inside your little body than I know what to do with and I’ve yelled at you more times than you’ve probably deserved. And your energy, your never-ending energy, makes me feel twice my age, and many days I find myself counting down the minutes until naptime.
Okay, most days.
There isn’t a day that’s gone by that I haven’t learned something from you. You’ve challenged me in more ways than I ever thought possible, pushed me to the edge of my sanity, and made me want to give up. You’ve taught me that life is imperfect. It’s messy. It’s hard. And it can’t be controlled, as much as I’d like to try to control it.
But I’ve learned that all of these things are what make life beautiful.
You’ve taught me that each day doesn’t have to contain an extravagant plan because sometimes the best memories are made in the smallest moments. That most of the things I worry about are unwarranted and that there’s always time for cuddling and playing tractors. Oh, and when people tell you that the days are long, but the years are short? They know exactly what they’re talking about.
You’ve taught me that my capacity to love is so much greater than I ever imagined.
In the midst of everything… the messes, the laughter, the fun, and the chaos, I pray that I never forget one thing:
You are a miracle.
Because for almost three years, you were a hope.
We waited for you. And waited. And waited. As each day passed, a little bit of hope was lost and in its place grew despair, followed by helplessness, followed by confusion. Oh, and tears. Many, many tears. We were ready to give up, to accept that maybe God’s plan was different from our plan, and we began plotting a different course for our lives.
But then you became a reality.
You restored our hope.
You made us a family.
And you gave me a new name, one that I wasn’t sure I would ever have.
Now here we are four years later. I can’t even remember what our lives were like before you. Haven’t you always been a part of our family? Haven’t I loved you forever?
I’ve watched you transform from that cuddly bundle of joy into a smart, independent (and adorable!) young boy, who absolutely loves life. You are truly amazed by the world around you, and I’m amazed by you. The way you constantly analyze and study every moving thing to see how it works, how you can carry on a conversation like a ten-year-old, and how you piece together complicated concepts all on your own.
You truly march to the beat of your own drum and I love that about you. You are funny and even more ornery, but underneath all that orneriness is a beautiful heart, and that’s one thing I pray that you never lose.
We’ve had our ups and downs the past four years, but I’m learning to be okay with that. The valleys make us appreciate the mountains; the bad days somehow make the good days seem a little bit better. No matter what, I’m always behind you… cheering for you, praying for you and loving you more than you know.
But today, on your fourth birthday, I just want to make sure you know one thing:
You were worth the wait.
You were definitely and completely worth the wait.
Happy Birthday, Malakai Luke. Mommy loves you.