Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby!


My Valentine's baby. My eldest princess turns 9 tommorrow. Is it possible? Can you believe it? I can't... It's so strange isn't it? Time... It's an elusive concept. It seems just yesterday I met a scared little 6 year old in Guatemala.
She was a little mouse- scared of her own shadow- so skinny you could count each and every rib. Her hair was short and choppy, her teeth decayed, her skin sun damaged. Even so she was breath takingly beautiful. Her heart was even more beautiful. She had this inner strength that had kept her going through everything- it got her to us. She had an amazing sweetness that overwhelmed us and let us know she knew how to love. She had experienced pain that I have difficulty understanding even now though I try to feel it with her. She was scared to even speak to us. She would giggle uncontrollably because she was afraid to cry. She was precious and a little spastic. She was kind and clingy. She was nurturing and loving but wouldn't look into our eyes. She didn't know how to learn. She had never had a hot bath. She had never eaten in a restaurant. She had never gone shopping at a real store for new clothes. Eating every day was considered a luxury. We had to listen for her tummy to growl because she wouldn't dare to ask for food. She considered the ground a bed.
When she came home she was terrified. She loved us but was afraid to love us. She wanted to be perfect but wanted to leave us before we left her. This scared little one- and now...

Now at nine she is a completely different child- yet the same heart and strength. She is so tall and strong. She has become far more spririted and can border on sassy. ;0) She is funny and a little sarcastic. She is incredibly smart and only a little scared now. She has opinions and dreams. She sings her favorite songs loud and off key while she listens to her Ipod. She is an artist and has great fashion sense. She is incredibly grateful and gracious. She is sensitive and crazy helpful. She is hands down the most amazing big sister I have ever seen. I have fallen in love with her. Truly I have...

It happened slowly for me. From the moment I saw her picture I loved her. Yet the feeling has evolved and changed. At first it scared me that the feelings didn't overwhelm me the way I hoped they would. I felt like I should feel more. I felt mediocre and wondered if I had overestimated myself. The truth is I had. I am selfish and shallow. God was doing something so much bigger than I was capable of doing myself. I didn't even know about this kind of love... it was more profound than anything I had experienced...

In the beginning I admired Zoe deeply- found her to be so sweet. Soon I really liked her too. Before long I was used to her and became comfortable with her. Eventually we shared secrets and jokes. Finally sometimes we didn't even need to talk at all because I knew what she was thinking. Then it happened. I don't know when. It crept up on me.
-
While I write this I have tears in my eyes. I am so in love with this kid. The very thought of not having her in my life leaves me breathless. I don't just love her. I am not just committed to her. She is mine.... at my core. I am head over heals. I can't begin to picture this family without OUR Zoe. It would never be right. It would be like losing my arm or leg. I would never be the same.


How does that happen? How does a six year old with crazy hair step into your life and steal your heart away? It's God- it's a gift. It's not easy or simple. It's messy and complicated and sometimes confusing. It pushes you beyond what you can handle on your own. It forces you to give up who you are and become more than you ever thought you could be. Then one day you turn around and see that your life is a miracle. You can't claim it- it's clearly God's hand. All around you is something beautiful... something God created. Zoe has given me far more than I could ever hope to give her. She has changed who I am. I am better and stronger- my heart understands more because of what she has taught me.
=

I love you Zoe... with all my heart. Love isn't a strong enough word.

-

You are mine, my little Valentine.


Love, Your Mommy

23 comments:

Whitney said...

Happy Birthday Zoe!

Angel, you made me cry with your sweet and honest words! It's pretty amazing the things God has for us!

Scarlett_333 said...

Beautiful post. I can see her sweetness in the photos you post. Happy birthday Zoe!

Michelle said...

A lovely tribute for a lovely little girl! Very sweet, Angel. Happy birthday, Zoe!

The Morgans said...

WOW! Thank you so much for describing so beautifully your little gift from God. I hope to get to meet her one day. Many more blessings, Heidi Morgan

Candy said...

YES BAWLING OVER HER IN OKLAHOMA....Oh ZOE you are sure not that Scared little girl anymore...you are the most Precious Guatemalan Princesa who is turning into the most beautiful young lady...girl you give Mily Cyrus a run for her money if you ask me...YOU ROCK. Kya Blu and I are sooooo Excited we get to see you again soon...I asked Kya if she had anything to say to you for your birthday...she said TA DA...That pretty much sums it up TA DA you are AMAZING GIRLY...HUGS and Besos Candy and Kya Blu and soon to be Jagger

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday my sweet Morning Star....God truly sent you into our lives...He KNEW WE needed YOU!!!~! You bring light into our lives. I love you and I love your Momma so very very much! Your Polkadot

ManyBlessings said...

Amen amen amen (and crying over here too). Happy Birthday to an amazing young lady.
d:)

~K said...

That's a really beautiful story, Angel! What an amazing little girl!

Kimberly (Nora's mom)

TNKerry said...

You've brought me to tears. What a precious, beautiful gift you have been given!!!!!!

chitwood said...

That was a really wonderful post Angel, the way you are able to describe your love for Zoe is so very special. She is obviously an amazing little girl and you are an incredible Mom. Happy Birthday Zoe.

Marianne
from Indiana

Mandy said...

I'm crying as I drink my morning coffee reading this. What a beautiful tribute to your oldest daughter! She is an amazing individual! Thank you for such a beautiful post. Happy Birthday Zoe!

Betsy said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY and HAPPY VALENTINES DAY ZOE! You are beautiful!

Great tribute, A.

Anonymous said...

Angel....you are amazing. Thank you so much, not only for your wisdom and creativity, but also for your authenticity. You have been blessed immensely as you are such a blessing to others. I love checking in on your blog -- what an incredibly "fun loving" mommy you are! You are a true gift to your family ~ Kaiya has such a wonderful family waiting and praying for her. My prayers are with you! Thank you, again, for the example that you are!
Heather L.

Amy said...

Beautiful Angel!!!! You made me cry again! Love ya girl! Amy

Amy said...

These words bring tears to my eyes. As I read this I am reminded of one of our children, they want to love but are so scared to love. But the Lord heals their hearts and in the process totally changes ours.

What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful young lady.

THE MERRILL FAMILY said...

What a wonderful, heartfelt tribute to your daughter. Brought tears to my eyes and made me think about my own journey to loving my little girl.

Happy blessed birthday, Zoe!

Wendi said...

Oh my gosh...bawling...I can't seem to ever look at those pictures of your sweet Zoe when she was 'little' and not bust out into a full blown cry - she has come so far, and is growing up at light speed right before our eyes. I swear it scares me to know that my own little munchkins will be zooming through childhood, too. I just hope we're having as much fun along the way! :-)

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Zoe!

Melissa said...

I have said this before, but I will say it again...there is something so beautiful and special about Zoe. I know God has many wonderful things in store for her. Happy birthday sweet Zoe.

HoustonMamaJenn said...

This is awesome. I love the picture of you two together-you both look beautiful!! I'm so happy for ya'll!

HoustonMamaJenn said...

This is so wonderful! I love the picture of you two together-you both look gorgeous! I'm so happy for ya'll!

The Allums Family said...

Happy Birthday Zoe!
You are a miracle! Amazing!

Jeffery said...

Happy Birthday Zoe!So Sorry I missed it. Angel, you and Russ are truly blessed!

Scott W