Dear, sweet Nate...
I can't believe it's been 3 years since God placed you into our arms and challenged us to allow you into our hearts. Our hearts broke in those first moments, weeks and months. The picture of what we'd imagined for our lives had been shattered in an instant. But, slowly, God picked up those pieces and showed us how they fit into a beautiful picture of love and grace.
Nate, you are...a true expression of joy, resilient, patient, the best cuddler I've ever known, pure, loyal, adventurous, expressive, musical....you are LOVE.
I have learned so much from you. I have gained a deeper understanding of what it means to love. I have learned a new level of patience. I have learned to rely on God and recognize that he planned every step of your life (sorry, I struggle with this one from time to time, but I'm getting better). You have taught me a new level of compassion and understanding for others.
My frustrations with your extra needs and numerous appointments with therapists and doctors are FAR outweighed by my deep, deep love for you - who you are NOW and who you will become. You are amazing to me! Thank you for being one I can come to when I need to feel God's love in flesh. You wrap your little monkey arms around me and squeeze me just the way you know I need it.
Nate, I am proud to call you my son. It's hard to believe I hid you from others in those first few months of your life. If I could now, I would carry you on my shoulders everywhere we go and shout, "He is mine! He is amazing! God loved me so much He gave me this precious boy!".
Happy Birthday, Monkey!!!