The first words out of Cate's mouth this morning were, "Did I turn 4?"
"Yes, sweet girl, you're 4."
It's like it really happened overnight. She's talked for a long time, but now she sounds older. She tells long stories that are full of details. She remembers moments from years ago, like she's stored them in her little heart.
She loves the people around her with a compassion that makes my heart melt. She loves having people over for dinner and assigns their seats at the kitchen before they arrive. She was quick to make friends at preschool, and, really, wherever we go.
My first Mother's Day came when Cate was a week old and we were still staying in a hotel waiting for adoption paperwork to be passed between Indiana and Kentucky state governments. When I held Cate in those early days of her little life, I knew God's faithfulness like ever before. And I haven't been the same since. When I hold her now, with her long legs dangling, I still know that faithfulness. God embodied the desires of my heart in Cate.
And that's why I love telling her story -- which I've embraced as our family's story.
That first Mother's Day four years ago, she filled my heart by laying her sweet head on my shoulder. This year, she made me a present at preschool. It reminds me how so many things change in what seems like no time at all, but, really, much stays the same too.
This same girl still makes my heart melt. With her professions of "I love you so, so, much." With her smile and laughter. With her innocent wisdom. With the love she has for her brother. With all the ways she's stubborn and into plans just like her momma. With her desire to work at her desk and make things.
This is something she made at school a couple weeks ago, when she was still 3. I was a little surprised to learn she considers corn her favorite food, but I love how it documents what was on her mind that day.
On today is her day. We'll celebrate who she is and the way God brought her into our family. But I have to say, I'll also celebrate this journey through motherhood that has been challenging and fulfilling in ways I could even begin to anticipate. And it all started with one baby girl.