From Your Sister Mother

ShepherdDear, dear Shepherd, I cuddled our youngest daughter last night in bed with special knowledge that warms my heart; at that very moment my best friend was cuddling her baby in her arms. Friends since our youth, now mothers together, we share the joy of the way our arms cradle your tiny bodies - so small and light yet so heavily profound. The weight of our love for our babies the easiest burden we will ever carry.

I write to you now, two weeks after your birth, and my heart still aches with joy at your arrival.

Your mother and I met in Elementary School and with that comes many stories (I'll show you laughable pictures someday). In that time I've had the privilege of being present at so many fantastic parts of your parents' journey, all of which are painted in colors of Jesus.

I was there when your Daddy first came over for dinner at our house: and later, he bestowed upon me the great honor of helping him pick out the ring for his wife's finger. I was there right after your Mommy said 'yes' to his proposal: a backyard dessert party celebrating their path to marriage. I stood before their family, friends and our God, promising to forever honor, serve, and be on my knees for their marriage when they took their first communion together on their wedding day. I answered the phone, knowing your Mommy was about to tell me she was pregnant with you. And now here we are. Here you are.

I cried when you were born. Tears of joy. Tears of pride. Tears just watching your daddy kiss your mommy as they wedged you tightly into their embrace for the first time. Bursting was my heart - I will never forget that moment.

In a matter of months you will fit into these arms that hold you and hop aboard an airplane to Thailand, to be a part of the dream God has placed in your parents' hearts. And let me tell you: Your mom is amazing. Yor father is incredible. You are a lucky baby. You will be raised by parents who follow Jesus not only with their hearts but with their lives. Oh the places you will go. And while I might not get to see you everyday, I will travel with you by prayer and spirit and anxiously anticipate the tales of your travel, your own little baby journey filled with laughter and love.

Little Shep, I am so lucky to be a part of your life. Your Amanda now and forever. You are loved beyond anything you can imagine. Welcome to our world.