So cliche to say, but words escape me as I sit down and try to write a letter to you on your first birthday. Instead of words, there are only tears, and a heart that loves you so much it aches.
Everette, you have absolutely no idea how much you mean to me, how loved you are, how much you've changed my life, how much you've changed my soul.
The road to become your mama was hard. There was loss, there were tears, there was frustration, there were doubts, there was worry, there was stress, there was pain. But there was always hope. Always a nudge, that the sunshine would eventually break free from the darkness. That there was a greater plan. That you were out there, and that all I had to do was keep fighting for you.
So many people wondered when we'd throw in the towel - when would enough be enough? Why were we continuing to put ourselves through it all?
You, my sweet boy.
YOU are the reason we kept on. The reason we mustered up the strength to try again, to keep fighting, to believe.
I always felt in my heart that a piece of me was missing. Always knew in my soul that if I kept pushing, kept hoping, kept believing - it would all be worth it.
And Everette Lawrence, you were, without a doubt, worth it all. I absolutely cannot imagine my life without you in it. And today, as we celebrate knowing you and loving you and having you for an entire year, I honestly feel like you've been a part of me for much, much longer than that.
I still remember the day I saw the word "pregnant" - showing your dad, him jumping out of the shower to wrap me up in his arms, soaking me from head to toe. There was honestly a sense of peace, because I felt in my heart you were supposed to be here and would be here, on this earth, rather than joining your two previous miscarried siblings in heaven. But there was also so much fear.
Being pregnant with you was the scariest, most worrisome, most stressful nine months of my entire life.
We hoped and prayed and wished and dreamed and watched my belly grow. We relished in your kicks and also what life would be like as a family of four. And before we knew it, it was the day before your scheduled birthdate.
It is still all so vivid... trying to sleep the night before, getting ready to go to the hospital, holding your dad's hand on the drive over, squeezing three times to let him know that I loved him. Putting on the hospital gown, starting the medicine, listening to your heartbeat on the monitor. Friends and family coming into and out of the room, waiting...waiting...waiting.
And then --
Tears stream down my cheeks, my sweet boy, as I get lost in the memory of this moment...
...And oh, your dad's face when he exclaimed, "It's a BOY!"
So many dreams came true with those words.
You on my chest, warm, perfect, crying - and all I could muster was, "Hey buddy, hey buddy, hey buddy."
The best day of my entire life.
CK became a sister, your dad had a son, and we were a family of four.
And this past year has been the most incredible year of my entire life. You have changed our family in the best possible way, and we are all just so thankful that God chose us to be yours.
You are a ray of sunshine, so snuggly, so happy, so joyful.
In fact, one of my dearest friends once told me that in every picture of you, there's this light in your eyes - like you just get it - like you know just how precious life truly is. And I couldn't agree more. There's always been a twinkle in your smile, and I will spend the rest of my life thanking God for giving you to me, for letting me see that twinkle each and everyday.
This day, your very first birthday, is so emotional for me. I'm wrestling with feeling everything imaginable - so incredibly happy, very nostalgic, sad that time is going by way too quickly, and so proud of you and our little family.
You have taught me so much, my sweet boy, and you have no clue just how special you are to me. Looking at your face, looking into those greenish-brownish-greyish eyes reminds me to never lose hope, to never give up... to always trust, always believe. And that the best things in life are always worth fighting for. Because what if we had given up the fight?
I just love you so much, Everette. And nothing brings me more joy than being a mama to you and your sister.
So today, on your very first birthday, we celebrate you, our fighter, our "Rocky," our boy - my buddy-roo, my buster, my son.
A little boy who makes everyday feel like Christmas, who has stolen what was left of my heart, who absolutely has me wrapped around his finger. A little boy who is proof that you should always put one foot in front of the other, always keep hope alive, always listen to your heart, always keep the faith.
You are my miracle, my soul, my most favorite little boy. And I cannot wait to continue living this life God gave me as your mama.
Happy First Birthday, Everette Lawrence. <3
"For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." Romans 8:24-25"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. " Romans 15:13