Wow. When I think about your early entry into this world and everything surrounding it my mind goes blank. It is not because I have nothing to say about. It is because I have so much to say and their are so many emotions wrapped up in that day and the following weeks and really years of your life. So, let me say what I can here and when you read this when you are older we can talk about it all you want. You are 4 now and I know it will be a while until you will understand this letter. I hope you never fully understand it because I hope and pray that when you have children, prematurity is a thing of the past.
When we found out that mom was pregnant, we were so excited. We hadn't necessarily been trying to have a baby, but our life together was in the perfect spot to bring another person into our family. We were building a house, which we moved into a few months before you were born and we both had steady jobs. We knew that we could provide for you and we also knew that we would love you so much, which we did instantly from the day we knew you were coming.
When you came almost 10 weeks early, your mom was very sick. It wasn't your fault, but you had to be born so that she could start getting better. It was very scary. I did not know what to expect, but when I heard you cry as they delivered you it was the most amazing thing I had ever heard. Along with your cry I heard Jesus tell me, "Everything is going to be alright. He is strong."
And you were strong. From the moment you went to the NICU you carried on as if you were a full sized baby. All the nurses loved you because you had some attitude and were always trying to get out of the little wrap they had you swaddled in. Your mom and I visited you every day and prayed with you, talked to you and sang to you. When we finally got to hold you it was one of the greatest days of my life.
One of the other greatest days (though it was a little scary) was when we got to bring you home after 5 weeks. You were so tiny, somewhere around 5 pounds, but you grew quickly at home. You went from a tiny baby who I was scared I would break to a chubby, smiley little man who brought us so much joy. Your smile has always been big and infectious. Perhaps that is why even at 3 you claimed as many as 3 or 4 girlfriends at once. Anyway, we will talk about girls later. For now there are a few things I want you to know.
Never put all your trust in a person, not even me or your mom. Put your trust in God. Jesus is the only one who will never let you down. We trusted Him alone for your health and for the health of your sister Anna.
Never forget how you started out and always be willing to help those who are weak, small, sick or otherwise in need. So many people helped us and helped you when you were born and continue to help us. Live your life loving and helping others and you will find that you will be blessed beyond anything any of us deserve.
Be nice to your sister. She was a preemie too, so you guys share a bond that many siblings don't. You were in the same hospital, had the same doctor and of course you have the same parents! If you treat her right, she will be the closest friend you will have here on Earth. If you treat her wrong then you better watch out because she is a red head and is likely to be meaner than you.
Last but certainly not least. I love you. I have loved you from the moment your mom told me we were going to have a baby. You will always be my son and I want you to know that from the first day of your life you beat the odds and have always been a fighter. Use that for God. Do great things for Him and when you are my age, you will not look back at your life so far and wonder if you have done anything meaningful. You will know that you have and you will know that I will be proud.
Be strong in the Lord,