Ok, it's really breaking my heart.
When I agreed to go on the Haiti mission trip it was going to be during the week of March 14th. There were some things going on in Haiti during that time that made the area more volatile than normal so we discussed rescheduling. When talk of changing the dates came up I knew exactly when it would be. I just KNEW. I somehow knew it was going to be during this important time in Madi's life. I've said that if the trip had originally been planned during her birthday I don't think I would have signed up to go. You know what though? I think there is a reason it happened this way. Because I truly feel that God has called me to be a part of this mission. And He knew it would be hard for me to be away today and so in His great wisdom He made it happen.
Because here's the thing, being a follower of Christ isn't the easiest thing. You'd think that after you accept Him as your personal savior it would all be smooth sailing. But it's not. At all.
So here I am. On my baby girls 16th birthday, and I'm not there to give her a big hug and remind her in person how incredibly special she is to me. How blessed I am that God chose me to be her mother. How proud I am of the amazing woman she is becoming.
What's the next best thing? A blog post of course! I'll try to call her today and I'll undoubtedly think of her and pray for her throughout the day. But because I may not be able to call and I'm not there in person to say these things, this blog post will be the next best thing.
My dearest Madilee Elizabeth,
I will never forget the day that I found out you were on the way. I wondered why I wasn't feeling so well and just on a whim decided to take a pregnancy test on my lunch break. I was home alone with our dog, Inu. So I took the test and it sure did look positive and I came out of the bathroom and just stared in Inu's blue/brown eyes. I said, "Inu. I'm pregnant. What are we going to do?" And he kinda cocked his head to the side and stuck one ear up in the air. I think he wanted a treat and didn't really care about what I was telling him.
So, I sat down and called Shannon who told me, "Ok. Don't freak out. Those tests can be wrong." Bless her heart. She knew how frightened I was. Daddy and I had just been married for 8 months and were so young. The thought of raising a baby was a little overwhelming. Actually, it was a lot overwhelming.
However, in the next few days the thought of life growing inside of me grew more and more appealing. By the day of my first doctor's appointment Daddy and I were both nervous. He went with me and sat in the waiting room while I went back to take the "official" test. When I came out I found him anxiously waiting for me. He looked up at me and with sad eyes and a frown he said, "You aren't pregnant are you."
You see, at this point the idea of you had already consumed us so much that the thought of not having you was heartbreaking. We realized that no matter how new our marriage was God had a plan and we couldn't control it, but we sure did hope you were a part of it. And you were.
Madilee, you have been more than I could have ever imagined. God certainly blessed us with a bright, caring, beautiful daughter. You make me laugh every day, whether or not you mean to. *wink* Your generosity and caring nature take my breath away. Knowing that you desire to have a relationship with our Heavenly Father is amazing. It's something that I unfortunately never comprehended at your age. God put your Daddy in my life which lead me to Him in a more intimate setting and now I'm more than thrilled to have children who desire to know Him. You are an awesome example for your younger siblings.
Basically Madi, you ROCK!
Today I'm in Haiti and I'm praying that I can be the hands and feet of Jesus. However, a part of my heart will be with you my sweet girl. This is the first time in the last 16 years that I haven't been with you on your birthday. I definitely wouldn't have chosen for your 16th birthday to be this way but I know you have lots of people around you today who love and care for you.
Thank you Madilee Elizabeth for being you. I love you more than you'll ever know. Happy birthday baby girl! Here is a recap of every single birthday!
April 3, 1995 Madilee Elizabeth Stewart 5:41 p.m. 7 lbs 11 oz 21 inches
Madi's 1st birthday. A nice simple celebration at home with family.
Happy 2nd birthday! We celebrated with a Sesame Street themed birthday party.
3rd birthday celebration at Chuck E Cheese in Tulsa. Fun!
Madi says this is her favorite birthday memory. Madeleine themed birthday #4!
Happy 5th birthday sweet girl!
In her Sunnybrook school uniform. Happy 6th birthday Madi!
Baby sister Teagan arrived just 2 weeks ago. I was so busy I couldn't plan a big party so we went to the local ceremic store with Olivia and Paris from Madi's class. Fun!
Birthday #8 at the Best Western in Stillwater. Hello Luau!
Birthday #9! We had a jewelry party and everyone got to make their own necklaces and bracelets. Then we took some pictures on the stairs. I love this group of girls!
Birthday #10. We sent out invites for a party on April 1st...but it was a big joke! April fools! We "kidnapped" all the guests after they thought that the party would be a different day. They had to wear whatever they were wearing when we woke them up and weren't allowed to take anything with them. This was the best!
Their shirts say, "Pssst...I was fooled!" And Madi's says, "I fooled them!"
Birthday #11 was celebrated by making fun Hawaiin tops and lots of doing the limbo!
Happy birthday #12 sweet girl! No big huge special party tonight but we went to Kyoto's for dinner as a family and then had a nice evening at home celebrating.
Birthday #13. We had so much fun for this special birthday. Teenager!! A fun BBQ & games with friends. Over the years we've learned that friends come and go but memories are special and we cherish them!
Another bash for birthday #14. BBQ and volleyball in the yard. Plus, some delish cupcake style cake pops via Bakerella. Can you beat that? I think not!
Happy birthday #15! Wow. Fifteen? Seriously?!
Madilee Elizabeth, I love you more than you'll ever know. Happy 16th birthday sweet girl. You're one of the absolute best things that has ever happened to me!