I've committed to writing thirty-one letters over the course of this month and yours is a one that's been a long time coming.
Have I ever told you the story of when God first put you on my heart? I was seven years old. I remember it clearly. I heard mom coming up the stairs, and I jumped out of my room to block her path; all business. I didn't ask or beg, but rather declared to her that I wanted her to have another baby.
I remember that she grinned, the kind of smirk that parents wear when their tiny-babes say grown-up things, "Well, would you want a brother or a sister?"
I didn't hesitate. "I want a baby brother. I'll get up with him every night and help take care of him. I promise. He can even sleep in my room!"
What could she have been thinking? Likely that I had no concept of what sharing a room with an infant would be. I'm sure she hadn't any notion that, a year later, she would conceive a son while attempting to repair a long broken marriage.
Reflecting on this memory and my young heart, I know that I knew God had created a piece of me for you.
I know that you've endured more than your fair share of heartache. I wish I could make the world fair for you. I achingly wish I could take away the lies that were told to you about who you are, your worth, your identity. You didn't deserve any of it.
When you came to live with me, before Josh and I had even had children, people had doubts. We faced opposition that told us two young adults couldn't raise a thirteen year old and that you would resent us for being your only escape from an abusive home.
Six years later and I promise to you, I don't regret for one second bringing you into my home. I never doubted. I always knew instinctively that you belonged here. I wanted you to see how truly you are a part of our family. Watching you walk in my front door feels so right...I'm so proud to call you brother.
We have these moments that I can't quite explain - like when you and I would make eye contact while you were on stage for choir and I was in the front row - one look and I know that you knew how deeply proud of you I am, and I can't help but get teary eyed. These are my favorite moments. Your smile brings me so much joy.
All this to say, Adam, that I know you often think that it was us that did such great things for you. But truly it was you that did such remarkable things for us. You have forever changed my heart. You've restored my faith in family. You've proven to me that love always wins.
Thank you so much for being the best brother I could have ever imagined, nineteen years ago.
I love you more than you can imagine,