To my Liam Solo on your first birthday,
Can you imagine the feeling I felt one year ago today when our Aunt Patty called from the hospital summoning me to the delivery room telling me “if all goes well, you’ll be new parents by noon?” The day had finally come! Yet how did it get here so fast? I was sweaty and cold all at once. I couldn’t make up my mind! So I put on my brave face and went in.
You see, the whole pregnancy was an entirely surreal experience. I knew you were there, I could feel you. I wondered what you would be like. You seemed so calm. Would you always be that way?
Aunt Patty was almost right; she only missed the mark by two minutes. You were born at 12:02 p.m. The doctors and their students were huddled around you for so long. I only wanted a peek. To pass the time, I maintained forced conversation with the anesthesiologist as I squeezed the life out of your dad’s hand. He suddenly fell quiet and beckoned me to turn my head.
There you were in one of the students’ arms. I met your gaze and I watched your tiny eyes dilate as they gained focus of mine.
While I was pregnant, I must have read hundreds of articles in baby books and magazines that buzzed about the connections a mother makes with her child during the pregnancy. I had thought that all of those article were preparing me; teaching me how not to drop my newborn child or giving some insight to just how many poopy diapers I can expect within a 12-hour period.
What I didn’t expect was for everything I read to no longer have any credence or value the moment our eyes met. Liam, you are my kindred spirit. I knew it the moment I laid eyes on you. I think you knew it too. What’s more, you are also your dad’s kindred spirit. You are so us. You get us and we get you.
God knew to give you to us. Somehow, He knew, in spite of our inexperience not only with parenthood, but also with the present special need, that we would be the right fit for you. He knew the whole family, as amazing as they are and have been, with their words of encouragement and their loving acceptance of you; that they would be the right fit for you.
You are an amazing child, a gracious soul, a kindred spirit; one that brings such joy to all of those that deserve it. My pride fills to burst for you.
Your first year of life has been met with many challenges that many adults have never had to face. Your strength and drive to succeed are incredibly admirable. It just comes so naturally to you. You are in the hearts and prayers of many. I see and feel the love around you every day.
In the face of challenge and adversity, you are a shining beacon that gives hope to the rest of us. Your life is truly a blessing. And may it always be.
With all of my love and heart,