My Dear Children,

This Mother’s Day has me reflecting more than usual on my motherhood journey and each of your distinct roles in it. All 3 of you continue to shape me in different ways, with different challenges and different rewards.

My beautiful Kelly Bean:

You made me a mother. You rescued me from a life of selfishness and loneliness. Your very existence brought your dad and me into a beautiful new place of love, gratitude, and humility. You challenged me right off the bat with nursing troubles, but once we overcame that hurdle, it was smooth sailing. You were such an easy baby and I completely took it for granted, not knowing what was coming. You’re now 6 years old and you’ve lived in 4 homes in 4 different parts of the world. You moved from New Mexico to Guam at just 18 months old and handled it like a champ. You were the new kid at school in K3, K4 and Kindergarten. You’ve said goodbye to 3 sets of best friends in your short life, and you’ve done it with such grace. I’m in awe of your independence, your smarts, your artistic talent, your beauty. You take such good care of your 2 younger siblings who look up to you every day. I’m so overjoyed to have you as my oldest child.

My sweet Clayton:

You made me a crazy mom, but that’s ok! I think that’s what boys are supposed to do. You were an easy pregnancy and birth compared to your sisters, but the hardest baby by a longshot. You screamed all through the first 12 months of your life, leaving you with a permanently raspy voice that I now adore. Your dad deployed for a chunk of your first year, leaving me to juggle a baby and toddler on an island far from home. I may not have done a great job in that season, but I promise you I loved you and did my very best. You are 100% boy, full of energy and a constant need to wrestle anyone and anything. You’ve got that Kenaston stubborn streak that leaves me either in awe or steaming with anger, depending on the moment. I fully believe that will serve you well as a driven adult. While you tend to go a million miles an hour from sun up to sun down, you’re also the best cuddler I know, with the most tender heart. You genuinely care about the well-being of everyone around you. I can’t wait to see how God uses your stubbornness combined with such a kind heart.

My darling Ava Grace:

My sweet, little leech – I say that in the most loving way possible. You need to be by my side much more than your older siblings ever did, and while I may complain about it sometimes, I know I’ll miss it dearly when you move on from this phase. (I’m secretly hoping you never move on and always need me so desperately.) You are the wild card in our family, always surprising us. You’re full of so much joy and it breaks the tension in our house daily. You’re always trying to make people laugh and I love that about you. Your goofy personality is paired with such a loving disposition. Everyone that spends time with you adores you. I love watching you follow your big sister and brother around, copying their actions and growing up faster than they ever did. I love hearing you mash together your ABCs with Jesus Loves Me, into one silly song you sing loud and proud every chance you get. I love how well you eat almost anything I put in front of you. You light up every room you walk into, Ava Grace, and I’m so excited to see how God uses that to light up the world as you grow.

To the baby who will complete our family:

I don’t know who you are yet. I don’t know when you will join our family. But please know that I pray for you every day. I don’t know what circumstances you will come from or if you even exist yet. But I can hardly wait for you to complete our family. My heart is already so full of love for you, sweet child.

I’ll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living
My baby you'll be.