Today is your 9th birthday! As I sit here and type, my heart is burdened with sadness. I want nothing more, than to wrap my arms around you and tell you, "Happy Birthday Son! We LOVE You!" You have spent 9 years without a father. You have spent 9 years without a mother that knew how to care for you, but loved you. Though you may not have seen that love or understand this, as a mother myself, I promise you, she does love you. For is she didn't, she wouldn't be giving us, she wouldn't be giving YOU, my dear Isaiah, the opportunity to be loved and taken care of. She loves you so much that she is trying to give you a better life. One in which you will have food - every day. One in which you will have a bed at night. One in which you are allowed to be a boy and not a parent. One in which you will have the opportunity to learn and become a part of a family with a mother and father.
I wish I could be there when you open your present. I know you told me that all you want, all you've ever wanted, is a birthday cake for you birthday. You didn't request toys, a TV, a DSI, a bike (though I'm sure that will all come soon!) :), all you wanted was a cake, with candles. How sad I am that I couldn't give you that one simple thing! I even researched bakeries, but there wasn't one on the whole island! But your foster mom promised to make you one - with candles! I couldn't send a cake. Well actually, I tried. I told Mrs. Harris I would send her Betty Crocker, which is a wonderful box mix, with frosting, if she would make it. Very politely, she told me, that she doesn't use box mixes, everything she makes is from scratch. Please savour each bite son, for this mommy doesn't have the first clue how to make a cake from scratch!
I want to tell you the story of your present - Your brother and sister helped me pick out your birthday present. (I think your brother had an ulterior motive in choosing it, knowing in a few short months it would be back here. :) I went to mail it, along with some clothes and shoes for you and Ruth. I was so excited at the Fed Ex store as they looked up your island and tried to find a postal code for it. It was taking quite a while and a line had now formed to the door. The young man behind the counter told me, "That will be $288." My joy in sending you your first birthday present, went to immediate panic and I just burst into tears. In complete helplessness, I told the guy, "I can't afford that. Is there anything you can do?" He finagled everything into a smaller box and with a huge smile, thinking he had accomplished some large feat, told me, "That will be $213." Between sniffles, I still said, I can't afford that. By this time, everyone in the store knew my plight and knew about you, my dear son. And now 8 more people know exactly where your island is. So I handed him my debit card and said a little prayer that it would clear. :) As I was walking out of the store, the sweet woman at the very back of the line, grabbed my arm and said, "God Bless You! That money will back to you. Don't worry."
I got in my car and just cried. I cried because I didn't really even want to send your present to you; I wanted you to be here so I could give it to in person. I cried because financially, I just couldn't see how $40,000 was going to materialize. I just cried for you. I mourned your childhood and the I mourned the months in between our visit and the time we bring you home.
Well, the money did come back to us, in the form of a complete stranger, but I'll tell you that story later.
For now, I just want you to know that I don't have your all your plans and your future and your college (WHOOP :) all planned out for you. My dream for you is simple - I want you to grow up to "Love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all you mind and with all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself." I don't know where this dream of mine will take you. It might take you back to St. Vincent. Or to Africa. Or just down the street. But as long as you are following and loving Christ, I can lay my head down at night in complete peace.
Because really my dear son, you belong to God, not me. You have been his child before you were even conceived and you will be his child until you take your last breath. He just chose me to find you and love you and "train you in the way you should go, so when you are old, you will not depart from it." He chose me to be your earthly mom. But I can't watch over you now and I won't be able to watch over you when you are grown. But because I love and honor a good King, I have complete peace when you and I are apart. I trust my King to watch over you and guide your little feet and keep you safe. And because I am entrusting your safety to the LORD, it frees me up just to love you. I am not filled with worry or anxiety...only hope for the future.
I Love You with all my heart sweet, sweet boy! I can't wait to celebrate the next the next 50 birthdays together.
Happy 9th Birthday Isaiah!!