“Is she always this happy?” strangers and friends ask me in the grocery store aisles, at the kids’ school, on the soccer field, and wherever else we tote you. Yes, almost always. You’re the happiest baby I’ve ever been around. And the fact you’re mine makes me one happy momma.
For a long time I thought I would be a mom to three kids. Well, as you’ll hear more about as you grow up, becoming a mom didn’t go as planned but then God gave Daddy and me Cate and then Ben 30 months later. Adoption really is beautiful.
Several years past and we still longed for a third baby, but adoption started to seem like those earlier years of infertility and Daddy and I wondered if maybe God only meant for us to parent two kids. So we stopped pursuing that third baby from whom we longed.
Then God surprised us with you – and you were worth every minute of that hard wait.
Just as God was teaching me to find joy in everyday life, God gave me you. I got to be momma to a baby who embodies everything God wanted me to know about joy and peace and adventure. And this age gap I never wished for among you, Ben and Cate is actually perfect for the five of us. (And remind me to tell you about that time we accidentally showed up in matching Team Taylor T-shirts for your birth day.)
Here you are turning 1, with so much life ahead of you, but you’ve already done a great big thing for our family. I’m a better wife, mom and friend because of you, Rachel-girl. Your Daddy gets to love well on another baby. Cate helps take care of you and loves doing so. Ben adores you and is a natural big brother. And, goodness, do you love them.
You laugh, clap, kiss, dance, and wave. You eat anything we give you and take many naps in your stroller and carseat. You still want a bottle of milk before bedtime and your sleep schedule is a little unpredictable – but I’ll take it in exchange for your smiles. You’re easy to love and radiate joy wherever you go.
I’ve said this about you and joy from the beginning and I pray I say it for the rest of your life. I pray you always love life and the people in it. I pray joy and adventure are always part of who you are, baby girl.
Your life is a special part of our family’s story, and we are all changed for the better because of you. People love to be around you, and I’m confident is going to do many more good things through you.
I love you, Rachel-girl.