Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Just another day?

One of the greatest joys of parenting is joining our kids in all the excitement surrounding their birthday.  The anticipation that builds before frantically ripping the wrapping paper off their gifts.  The opportunity to stuff some cake and ice cream down while staying up past bedtime.  Our kids love their birthdays and we love them too.

Today my daughter turned 7 years old, which is hard for me to believe in a thousand different ways.  But December 15th is not just another day marked on the Middleton Family calendar to celebrate.  

It's extra special. 
Not because of memories we have of the moment the doctor handed our beautiful daughter into our loving arms.  It isn't special because we are filled with joy as we remember bringing her home from the hospital or letting her older siblings hold her just a few hours after her birth.  It isn't special because we can't believe how those first couple years of her life flew by as we smiled and watched her learn to sit up, crawl and then walk.  Not because we laugh at all those sleepless nights of trying to get her feeding and sleeping schedule down while we listened attentively to a monitor in case she made the slightest sound.
As a matter of fact, it's extra special because we missed all those things.  Those and a million more during those first couple of years of her precious life.  We missed December 15th, 2008 when she took her first breath.  Her first scream.  Her first tears.  Her first smile and laugh.  Oh what I would give to have been there to see her.   I'd trade just about anything to have held her in those moments as she broke into this cold world.  But we were here and she was there.  
Of course it saddens us to think of the time we didn't have with our newborn daughter, but we still celebrate.  Not just because it's her birthday.  We all have one of those.  No, we celebrate because of all the miracles that occurred on that day.  A woman in China chose life.  A family in America chose adoption.  And an all knowing and wise God chose to make us a family.
So here's to birthdays.  The ones we missed and the ones to come.

December 15th will never again be just another day. 
I love you Ry.  Now let's eat some more cake.