I just want to write something here to let everyone know how much I love and appreciate you.
When we met, I knew there was something different about you. I've always known that there was something different about me, so I guess we are a good match. I have also always loved a good challenge, and you love to challenge everything. I truly believe that God put us together for a reason. A bigger reason even than the fact that somehow our genes combined make the most incredibly cute kids.
I know that, right now, things are hard, and life isn't as exciting as we'd hoped that it would be. Right now we are living the normal life, struggling at times, and happy at times. But I want you to know that I appreciate how you get up every day and go out in order to provide for us. This stage of life is hard, but I think you are doing a great job. What I appreciate most is how you haven't given up. You are still dreaming and planning, and always learning new things and challenging yourself. You are also not allowing me to settle, and always challenging me as well to be better and keep going. You may not be Mr. Nice Guy, but you do know when to extend grace to me when I truly need it, and when to give me a little push when I need that instead. Even though it sometimes sucks at the time, I appreciate that you keep the big picture in mind, and don't let me fall into complacency. Even before I met you, I knew I never wanted to settle for the status quo, and you have helped me to continue pressing on.
It's mostly because of you that our children were born peacefully and naturally, and are being raised with healthy attachment, gentleness, and freedom. You were there for me through Judith's birth when I didn't think I could go on, and you encouraged me to persevere when we endured so many problems with breastfeeding. You have gathered information about every aspect of parenting and together we have made informed decisions for our children, whether those decisions are popular or not. You have helped me to believe in myself, have confidence, and stand up for myself. And when I haven't had the strength, you have stood up for me. I feel safe knowing that you will protect us, and want the best for us.
I respect you so much for your desire to know the truth. I love your ability to see through the lies and deceit, and not be caught up in what simply looks or sounds nice. I appreciate your ability to challenge everything, and how you put things out there just to see what response you will get, desperately hoping to engage with someone, even if you are not 100% convinced of your own opinion. I love that you love to learn, and to glean whatever you can from others, no matter who they are. I think it's great that you don't care who people think they are, but you look at everyone on a level playing field. And I love how your opinion of someone doesn't affect how you interact with them, you take everyone's ideas as valid, but also aren't afraid to pick them apart, while also not letting someone's ideas and opinions change how you treat or respect them. Not many people can be friends with others of such differing opinions, and are able to set opposing views aside to have a genuinely good time together.
It's also respectable how you are willing to change your opinion if and when you are presented with something you can't refute. So many people just don't care about important issues, are too proud to change when confronted with the truth, and would rather just never think. It means a lot to me that you are the way you are. I don't think I would be very fulfilled in life if I married someone who was happy to simply stay where he is. I'm glad that you don't really care what other people think of you, you only care about what's real and true. I have learned and grown a lot from simply living with you.
Most of all, I think I love your heart the best. You are passionate about God, and pursuing what He has for you. You have gone through so much healing, and are always striving for wisdom. You don't accept theology simply because it is popular or commonly preached, but you have to always read the Bible and study for yourself. You are constantly listening to vastly different teachers and Bible studies, I like how you don't just pick which stream you want to follow and blindly go, but you try to see all of the different angles, and discern the truth from the fluff in all of them. I am thankful for your spiritual leadership over our family, how you don't lord it over us, but are always encouraging me to discern for myself, and wanting my ideas and opinions on everything. I am a valued, equal partner to you on our journey together.
I love how we are always talking, and never grow tired of each other. I know that we will never run out of things to talk about, and when we are old, we will still be the best of friends. This makes me feel safe and happy, and know that nothing else really matters. I love how you don't mind my awkwardness or quirkiness, and always make me feel beautiful and important. I don't know how I would be able to deal with life without you. You push me to independence, and I would not be nearly as capable and self-sufficient if it weren't for you, but at the same time you are my rock, and I'm not sure if I would be able to be fully myself without you.
Anyway, I'm sure there is a lot more that I could say, but I think I got out what was on my heart. I am writing this to you on your adoption day, July 20. I meant to do it on your birthday, July 12, but never got a chance, so this will have to do. I am so thankful that your birth mother was brave enough to carry you, give birth to you, and then give you up to a great family. I am even more thankful for your wonderful parents who managed to raise you well and have let you be who you are. Most of all I am thankful that God brought us together. I don't know where I would be without you, and I love you so very, very much.
P.S. Happy Birthday!