Friday, July 29, 2011

happy birthday

Hope Bezualem,
Today is your first birthday! I want you to know we are celebrating your life today, and thanking the Lord for the precious gift of YOU!

We first saw your sweet face on September 8, 2010. I remember I was folding clothes on a Wednesday afternoon, and my phone rang. I looked at the number, and my heart leaped as I realized it was our adoption agency! I answered, and our caseworker Kristin, said, "This is it! I have your referral!" I started crying, and felt overwhelmed, and was just so excited to see you. I called your dad, and he rushed home, and we called Kristin back together, and she sent us your pictures. You were so tiny with huge, dark eyes and soft, dark hair. We were instantly in love with you, and so thankful that the Lord had chosen US to be your parents.

I will also never forget the first moment I saw you in person! We had traveled to Ethiopia for our court date, and got to visit you three times. The first day you were outside with all the other babies from your room enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. I was studying the other babies, trying to find you, when all of a sudden I saw you! My heart leaped as I recognized those big beautiful eyes I had memorized from your pictures. And getting to hold you for the first time, was indescribable. You weren't afraid of me, you were calm and sweet, and I kissed you and thanked the Lord for you, and getting to be with you.

These last 11 months have been filled with so many emotions, as we wait and pray for you. We have been so thankful for updates monthly about your growth and development, and have marveled at how much you have changed. Mostly, though we have loved and longed for you. You have been a part of our family before we ever saw your face, but since we have known you, we think about you constantly.

And we are not the only ones! There are so many friends and family who are praying for you and love you too, and who are so excited to meet you.

Hope, when I think about you, I think about what it will be like to have a little girl in this house full of boys. I think about holding you, kissing your cheeks, seeing you in your crib when you wake up in the morning, and around our table at dinner time. As wonderful as it will be for us, I also know those first few days for you will be confusing, stressful, and maybe even scary. You will be leaving behind everything that you have ever known, and you really won't understand why. I guess I just want you to know, that I understand that as much as I can, and nothing you do will make us love you any less. We are yours, and you are ours, and that is how it will always be from now on.

My other prayer for you Hope, is that you will come to know and love Jesus, and that He will fill your heart in ways that only He can. His love is always enough, His grace is complete, and His power and understanding know no limits. He is carrying us through this process, He comforts, encourages, and challenges us through His word, and gives us what we need for each day. There are so many verses He has shown me, but here are a couple that mean so much to me when I think about you:

Psalm 62: 5, "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from Him."
Psalm 130:7, "O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with Him is full redemption."
Isaiah 40: 29-31, "He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."

Hope Bezualem, we are SO thankful for you, we are SO ready for you to be home with us, and we love you SO much!!


*your birthday is actually July 30th, but I started this letter yesterday and finished it this morning, and couldn't figure out how to change the date!


  1. What a beautiful letter, Mary! I'm sure that Hope will treasure it. Along with you, we're also thankful for Hope and so excited to have her home. But we're also thankful for you and Aaron, such wonderful parents and followers of Jesus. Your faith and love are so inspiring. I feel honored to have you as a daughter-in-law.

  2. Mary, This is lovely. Thanks for sharing. Love to you and your family.