My darling children,
7 years ago I never could have imagined a life so wonderful. The Lord has been merciful to this sinner and blessed my life much more than I deserve. 6 1/2 years ago I wasn't even searching for your father but the Lord sent him to me. I knew the moment I saw him (despite what some might say) that I was going to marry him. I love your father more than words could ever describe and sharing you with him only makes my love for him run deeper. 2 years ago I was searching desperately for just one child and the Lord sent me two. Once again He's blessed me far more than I deserve and the love that your father and I have in our hearts for you will never end. The first 27 days of your life were tough on you and harder on us. You were so tiny and fragile when you were born. We were not prepared even in the least for the heartache we experienced watching you both lay there in those incubators and fight for your lives that 1st week. One night I found a passage in Psalms that when I read to your daddy we both cried and cried. We had finally found words to describe the way we were feeling. Those words, even though they made us cry more were the most comforting words we'd heard. Psalm 102:1-7 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and let my cry come unto thee. Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me in the day when I call answer me speedily. For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. My heart is smitten and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert. I watch and am as a sparrow alone upon the housetop. Even though most days were filled with lots of tears and hardly any words, your daddy and I found comfort in the Lord and in each other. Watching your tiny bodies struggle and not being able to hold you was undoubtedly the hardest trial we have ever been through, separately or together. But the Lord blessed us once again to come out stronger and more grounded in our faith. We grew as disciples, we grew as individuals, we grew as a couple. I write of this so that you both will always know where our strength as parents and as husband and wife come from: the Lord and He alone.
James Bryant, the love that a mother has for a son is simply unexplainable. When you were born I never imagined you would get so big and thick or that you would be such a mama's boy! Watching you grow and develop over this last year has been the absolute joy of my life. You are such a loving and gentle little boy, so much like your daddy. Your sister torments you day in and day out and you take it pretty well most of the time. You have just now started to push her out of the way and take the toys back that she grabs from you. But even though she gives you a hard time so much of the time, it is clearly evident that you adore her. You are always laughing at her but who can blame you? The girl is a hoot! You are a cautious child. It takes you awhile to adjust to new people and new situations and some times you never adjust(i.e. the beach!!!)You have a smile that could melt the stoniest of hearts. You love your daddy and you crawl as fast as you can to get to him when he comes home in the evening. You love to wrestle with him; that is probably your happiest time of the day. That and meal time! I have never seen a baby love food as much as you. You are very, very demanding when it comes to getting your belly full! You love taking a bath, when Audrey is not playing slip and slide around you and knocking you over! You get very excited when Mickey Mouse or a baby Einstein comes on the t.v. and you adore books. You will sit quietly for long periods of time flipping through books. I love you my son, now and always.
Audrey Grace, you are my little sunshine. The love a mother has for a daughter runs deeper than I could have imagined. While you laid in the incubator you would move your legs like you were riding a bicycle. Now we know that you were preparing to constantly be on the go! Watching you grow and develop over this last year has been the joy of my life. You always make us laugh because you are always having fun. Everything that you do is an adventure and I hope and pray that you will always have this fun-loving, free spirit about you. Even though you rarely like to be held during the day you have your moments when you cling tightly to me at night while we are rocking. You love your daddy ever so much. When you see his face peer around the corner when he gets home, you are like a bolt of lightning crawling to him! You love to wrestle with him and you love to pull his chest hair! You have eyes that, as grandaddy says, are haunting and a smile that is intoxicating. You don't have a very long attention span when it comes to anything except for books. That is the only thing you do that keeps you still and quiet for longer than 5 minutes. For long periods of time you will sit on the floor flipping through books; sometimes quietly and sometimes reading them out loud!(In fact you did that very thing at 3:30 this morning!) You love your brother deeply and 99% of the time are just trying to love on him when you push him over or poke him in the eye or slap him on the head! For the most part you play extremely well together! You have a temper but it's rare that it comes out. You have to be really tired usually to get upset. I love you my angel, now and forever.