It seems like yesterday that we watched photos and videos of you on the screen in the doctor’s office. You know the doctors never thought we would have a biological child. It was truly a miracle the first time I held you in my arms. God formed you in the womb, and you still rub your eyes when you are tired the same way now that you did then. (view Samuel’s 3D sonogram) Your mom and I prayed that God would bless us with children, and He has done so through adoption with your sister, Rachel, and biologically with you. I have watched you grow and your personality flourish over these past two years. Words can neither express the joy that you bring to my heart nor the number of smiles you bring to my face. I want you to know that I will always be your biggest supporter and that my mission in life is to be a good earthly father shepherding your heart toward the heavenly Father.
Your mother and I both marvel at the tenderness of your heart. You are a sweet boy who loves generously. I hope that never changes. God has gifted you with a vivacious personality. You’re so animated with your eyes and facial expressions—always friendly with hand extended for a handshake or a high five. You’re a natural born leader…you already lead the rope line consistently in childcare at Bible Study Fellowship. These gifts will serve you well no matter where God sends you in life.
You enjoy laughing. Don’t ever lose that. Your sense of humor brightens everyone’s day. I will continue to encourage and foster your humor. I hope you will live life to the fullest and laugh every day. If you do, hard work won’t seem so hard and stress will never find a resting place in your heart.
You demonstrate a gift for visual and auditory learning. Right now, you are fascinated with your ABCs and the sounds each letter makes. You love watching the Letter Factory more than any other show. I hope you will always continue to learn but not just for knowledge’s sake. Always realize that knowledge not placed in submission to God puffs up pride and makes you unusable by your Creator. Knowledge submitted to the authority of Scripture and surrendered to our Savior can change lives and the make the world a better place. I pray you will always strive for the latter.
I also promise to do my best identifying and minimizing your weaknesses. We all have them so when you read this later in life, don’t take it the wrong way. Right now, you really don’t like family devotions. You’re too busy playing and don’t like to sit still, but once we get you focused, you do well. I will work to help you develop the ability to focus while fostering your love of activity.
Unfortunately you have much of my personality. That means when you don’t get your way, you get angry. You have quite the temper. The good news is that God has allowed me to overcome those tendencies, and He can do the same thing for you if you let Him. You will have to work on this one. It will not serve you well in life, but you may find it useful during a football game or two.
You also have my stubborn streak. We will have days when that streak places us at odds. I don’t look forward to those battles, but they will happen. When they do, my goal is not to win but help you be successful in life. I will try to help you recognize your stubbornness when it arises and work to ensure that you always stay stubborn enough to take a stand for what is right. Stubbornness can be a gift if you use it to stand for the Lord, but it can also be a hindrance if you use it selfishly. I pray that you will always use it wisely for God’s Kingdom.
Your mom and I love you unconditionally, and no matter what happens in life, we will always be here for you. Our one desire is to teach you about God and His ways so that when He draws you to himself, you will be ready to accept the Gospel. We don’t want you to have our faith—we want you to have faith in God on your own. We will make many mistakes along the way, and I apologize for those in advance. We will do our best. God has big plans for you. We will always pray that you follow His will for your life with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
I love you son. Happy second birthday,
PS: Just in case you wonder later in life right now cars and balls are your two favorite toys and Jake and the Never Land Pirates is your favorite cartoon.
Editor's Note: This post is intended primarily for family, but we are happy to have anyone celebrate the life of our son with us.