Sunday, May 6, 2012

Cate is 5. Really.

She wanted this gift bow in her hair ...

Dear Catherine Anna,

Something about turning 5 seems big. You must think so too because you've been talking about it for months. Literally. And today is the day. You're 5.

Five years ago, I finally became a momma. The process proved God's faithfulness. But being your momma has changed me day after day. We don't share a shred of DNA, but you're so much like me. We like plans. We like to know what's coming next. We ask lots of questions. We love our friends, but sometimes we need our space. We like to go on trips. We get frustrated when other people think we're wrong. We are big sisters. We're both first-week-of-May babies. We like to make crafts.

Living life with you by my side has made me stronger. It's also helped me let go and experience life now. In the moment. You make me laugh. You make me want to remember every story you tell {and, trust me, there are many stories!}. You make every adventure better.

And you are 5.

Today.

These past five years have flown by. We love your birthmom, not only for what she did for us but for who she is, how she handled herself in what was a hard time for her, and the time we spent with her.

I remember holding you in my arms in the early morning hours of Monday, May 7, 2007, like it was yesterday. Technically, that's the day after you were born, but you were about 7 hours old. It was the middle of what is usually my night. You had been cleaned and monitored and weighed and tested. The nurse handed you to me and left a cart with diapers, wipes, and bottles filled with formula.

And I knew God orchestrated our family perfectly. I had fed few babies and changed fewer diapers. Yet I was at peace with you in my arms. I haven't been the same since.

You're eager to try to new things. This year it's been ballet and now t-ball. You're signed up for basketball camp and then kindergarten. You don't understand why summer break exists. You ask profound questions about heaven and the Trinity. You make friends wherever you go. You remember. Oh, how you remember. Just the other day you were talking about falling off a swing when you were 2 -- a true story we haven't talked about in a very long time.

Skirts and "soft pants" are your wardrobe preferences. I can't even remember the last time you wore jeans. You like to wear sparkly dress shoes and flip flops. We're in an awkward stage of growing out part of your bangs that were cut too far back some time ago to accommodate a self-inflicted cutting of a few random hairs a couple years ago.

You adore your brother. Sometimes he intrudes upon your space and your bucket of dolls and their small accessories, but you lead the way for him. And he follows. That's the way you are. You're a leader. You're brave. You're sweet. You're joyful. You sing songs, often ones you make up yourself, and dance around. And sometimes you thank God for Donte Poole.

Happy birthday, baby girl. I'm so blessed to be your momma.

________

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