My dearest Mike,
I just want you to know how much I love you and have counted it a blessing to walk with you for nearly 21 years already. I still remember our first date back in 1994 when you brought me home so early and my brother said, "He's a keeper."
We've been on a rollercoaster ever since then, up and down several times, but every time we go up, we seem to get higher every time. Every low has made us humbler, yet stronger. Every high has given us a story of God's grace and beauty.
Thanks for keeping me sane and calm when I could easily go overboard or panic. Thanks for not being afraid to work through the lows or to reach higher than we've ever dared before. Thanks for being willing to live a life of adventure by following God's leading, rather than just seeking comfort in this life. Thanks for loving me, even on the days I'm not easy to love.
I love you and am glad I listened to my brother back in 1994.
My darling David,
I love you to the moon and back. I thank God for giving me the gift of motherhood to be your mom. I love all the adventures we've been on together through books and through real life, and I love the simplicity of our relationship, how we can just enjoy each other's company.
I won't deny that watching you begin your adolescent years is hard on me. I hate seeing you pull away in order to find yourself in this world apart from me. I hate watching you go through awkward stages trying to figure out who you are and what your voice should sound like. I hate watching all signs of little boy fade from your figure. But I love watching you grow and continue to seek God. I love watching you become a leader. I love how you still want to run to my rescue, and I love how you take care of me when I am sick or in danger. I love your concern for me when you know something's not right, and I love how you willingly let me pray with you every morning before school.
I know the next few years may be difficult and awkward, and I know we may butt heads often like I did with my own mom when I was your age, but I want you to know that I love you beyond words and will continue to love you more every single day.
My beloved Juan David,
Words cannot describe how much I cherish you.
Attaching has not always been easy for us, but I don't take a moment for granted when we just talk and enjoy each other. I love how you open up to me so much more now. I love how we can play around and have fun. I love how we seem to grow a little bit closer every week. I love to watch you grow more comfortable and secure in our home and in our family every day. I love watching your soccer games, and I'm so proud of your dedication. I love how much you care about your friends and the value that you put on friendships. I love how you continue to love your brother and sister, and I love how you have embraced your new brother. I love hearing your coach yell, "Alspaugh!", knowing just how long and hard we had to fight for you to become an Alspaugh. I love the looks we get when your friends see that your mom is white, and thus we tell our story again.
I hope one day we'll be able to have a more affectionate relationship, that one day you'll be more accepting of a hug, a kiss on the forehead, or an arm around your shoulder. I hope one day you won't have such a hard time telling me you love me. I know your seventeen years of life have held more ups and downs than I even know, so I will wait patiently for you to show me when you're ready. I am grateful for the ways you do show me you love me and for the ways you do accept my love.
I cherish you, and I love the fact that you call Mom. You have no idea how often I just watch you and cherish every moment.
I love you.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.